Two new non-executive directors for the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency’s (MHRA) non-executive board have been appointed today by the Appointments Commission - Professor Barrington Furr OBE and Professor Vincent Lawton CBE.
Chairman of the MHRA, Sir Alasdair Breckenridge said; “I look forward to working with Professor Furr and Professor Lawton. I believe their expertise will contribute significantly to the ongoing work of the Agency Board in safeguarding public health and ensuring the accountability of the MHRA.”
Professor Barrington Furr OBE aged 64, lives in Macclesfield, Cheshire. He has worked in ICI’s legacy companies Zeneca and AstraZeneca for over 33 years, from which he retired in 2005. In 1997, Professor Furr was appointed Senior Vice-President of Therapeutic Research for Zeneca, a department of over 600 staff in both the UK and US, responsible for drug development in Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases, Infection Cancer and Musculoskeletal Disease (UK), and Neuroscience and Respiratory Diseases (US). Following Zeneca’s merger with Astra in 1999, he was appointed Chief Scientist and Head of Project Evaluation for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals and a year later was made head of AstraZeneca’s research Centre in Bangalore, which is committed to developing world medicine.
Conflicts of interest: Professor Furr is a former employee of a large pharmaceutical company and consults for venture capital and biotechnology companies as well as one other pharmaceutical company, Almirall. He is also a trustee of the Breast Cancer Campaign and was a trustee of Cancer Research UK.
Professor Vincent Lawton CBE aged 59, lives in London. He is retired as Managing Director and Vice President Europe of Merck Sharp & Dohme UK (MSD) Ltd with whom he worked for 26 years in senior positions across Europe and North America
Conflicts of interest: Professor Lawton holds some stock in Merck Sharp & Dohme UK Ltd. He has stock options, some of which run until 2016, when they will expire, if they are not cashed or purchased at the option price. He has a small number of stocks in a former US subsidiary of Merck Sharp & Dohme UK Ltd, known as Medco, a pharmaceutical management company and a trustee of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).
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