GlaxoSmithKline R&D chief to retire

GlaxoSmithKline R&D chief Tadataka “Tachi” Yamada will retire from his post on June 1 to take up the role of global health executive director for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Moncef Slaoui, GSK’s current head of worldwide business development and external research alliances, will replace Yamada. In a statement issued today, Yamada, who has overseen R&D at GSK’s North American headquarters since 2001, said, “Our R&D organization is in excellent shape and I am confident that under Moncef's leadership, GSK will continue to deliver many innovative medicines of significant value to patients.” Slaoui has helped GSK restructure its R&D operations “to enhance drug discovery and accelerate product development” on products including the recently approved vaccine Rotarix for infantile gastroenteritis, and Cervarix for cervical cancer, the drug maker said in a statement.