[Geneva – 10 July 2018]
Seamus O’Brien, formerly of Pfizer, joins not-for-profit antibiotic developer
The Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) is pleased to welcome Seamus O’Brien as its first R&D Director. Seamus’s appointment completes recruitment of senior R&D positions as GARDP builds up a skilled team of experts from the antimicrobial field.
Prior to joining GARDP, Seamus built and led R&D collaborations, partnerships and networks to address Pfizer’s and previously AstraZeneca’s commitment to develop treatment options for antibiotic-resistant infections. He played a leading role in establishing novel partnerships with the US government’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority as principal investigator for an antibiotic portfolio agreement. Seamus led COMBACTE-CARE’s consortium addressing carbapenem resistance under the Innovative Medicines Initiative’s (IMI) New Drugs 4 Bad Bugs programme. He also represented both pharmaceutical companies on the Infection Control Strategic Governance Group for IMI.
Before joining Pfizer, Seamus worked for 10 years at AstraZeneca, initially leading physicians and scientists in the clinical development of oncology and infection products, and notably playing a leading role in building a stand-alone infection unit to address AstraZeneca’s commitment to developing antibiotics for unmet medical needs. He was responsible for bringing a novel antibiotic combination candidate through phase I to phase II and designing a streamlined clinical development programme aligned with emerging regulatory guidance.
“I am very excited to welcome Seamus to GARDP. Seamus brings a wealth of experience in the pharmaceutical development of antibiotics across a range of sectors. His strategic and scientific leadership in R&D will be invaluable as we move forward at pace to develop and deliver new and improved antibiotics that address the greatest global public health needs,” said Dr Manica Balasegaram, Director of GARDP.
“I am delighted to join GARDP as the R&D Director and have the opportunity to work with a motivated team keen to make a real difference to the development of new treatment options for drug resistant infections, and to support sustainable access. I am a passionate believer in the value of partnerships and collaboration, as envisaged by GARDP, to address what is a global problem,” said Seamus O’Brien.
Seamus has a Ph.D in Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection and host immunity from the Wellcome Trust/University of Leicester and first degree in microbiology from Trinity College Dublin.
GARDP is a not-for-profit research and development organization that addresses global public health needs by developing and delivering new or improved antibiotic treatments, while endeavouring to ensure their sustainable access. Initiated by the WHO and the Drugs for Neglected Disease initiative (DNDi), GARDP is an important element of WHO’s Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance that calls for new public-private partnerships to encourage research and development of new antimicrobial agents and diagnostics. GARDP is incubated by DNDi, which currently provides GARDP’s governance. www.gardp.org
About GARDP’s R&D team
In 2018, GARDP has successfully recruited the following experts to senior R&D positions:
- Professor Laura JV Piddock as Head of Scientific Affairs on a secondment basis from University of Birmingham, where she is Professor of Microbiology and continues to lead her research team of 14.
- François Franceschi as the lead for GARDP’s Antimicrobial Memory Recovery Programme. François, who has over 25 years’ antimicrobial experience, joined GARDP from the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
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