Our client:

The Medicines Discovery Catapult (MDC) is one of eleven in a network of world-leading Catapult centres established to transform the UK’s capability for innovation and to help create business opportunities that will enhance economic growth in the UK. The MDC is based at Alderley Park, a location in North West England, chosen for its strong reputation for science, medicine and innovation in medicines discovery.

To achieve its vision, the MDC acts as a collaborative ‘hub’ of national expertise, bringing together academia, industry and regulators to develop and validate new ways of discovering medicines and supporting the UK’s strength in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and contract research space.


The challenge:

The MDC needed a Chief Scientific Officer to manage its scientific functions, lead the scientific team and to act as the organisational expert on the science of medicines discovery.

The new CSO would need to be a respected scientist with a track record of delivering multiple medicines discovery projects from target validation to proof of concept (PoC) in patients. In addition, they would also need the ability to inspire external teams of scientists working in biotech companies, CROs and academia to collaborate and work with the MDC to drive through discovery projects that none of them could undertake alone.


How our approach made a difference:

The new appointee would need strategic vision, inspiring leadership and the ability to deliver operational excellence. We initiated a global search and within six weeks were able to develop a shortlist that included candidates from the UK, Europe and North America. We helped the MDC to assess the candidate who was appointed to the role, Dr Peter Simpson. Dr Simpson had an exceptional track record as Director of Discovery Sciences at AstraZeneca and Director of the N8 northern universities research partnership. He has since made a huge success of being CSO at the MDC, building a strong scientific team with diverse expertise and working on several collaborative projects. In addition to his responsibilities as CSO of MDC, he was most recently involved in the UK Lighthouse Labs for Covid-19 testing project that was led by Chris Molloy, CEO of MDC.

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