London, UK, September 4th, 2018: LifeArc, one of the UK’s leading medical research charities, is delighted to announce the appointment of Melanie Lee, PhD, CBE as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective 1st November 2018. Dave Tapolczay, the present CEO, will be retiring from his position next month after 11 years’ service.1 Melanie brings to LifeArc a wealth of leadership experience from the biopharmaceutical industry and the medical research charity sector. Her previous role as Chief Scientific Officer of BTG plc followed senior research leadership positions at Glaxo/GlaxoWellcome, Celltech plc / UCB; Non-Executive Director roles at H. Lundbeck A/S and BTG plc and currently at Sanofi, CEO roles at Syntaxin Ltd and NightstaRx Ltd and Chair and Deputy Chair Trustee appointments at Cancer Research Technology and Cancer Research UK respectively.
Explaining her reasons for accepting the CEO role Melanie said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to join a unique charity that can create life-changing therapeutics. The innovative scientific research supported by LifeArc encompasses numerous life science sectors and has the potential to deliver great science, innovative medicines and new diagnostics to patients in need; it’s this potential that really motivates me. I am looking forward to the prospect of leading this vibrant research charity through the next phase of its development.”
Melanie’s appointment has been made at a time of great opportunity for LifeArc. The charity, which evolved from Medical Research Council Technology (MRCT) in 2017, has benefitted from a significant royalty stream arising from sales of Keytruda® (pembrolizumab).2
The income stream generated by Keytruda (pembrolizumab) and other projects has transformed LifeArc’s ability to fund and invest in innovative medical research and has already resulted in the creation of a dedicated Seed Fund and of a Philanthropic Fund providing rare disease research grant funding.
Commenting on the announcement, Dr John Stageman, OBE, LifeArc’s Chair, said: “We conducted a detailed and lengthy search for our new CEO and my fellow Trustees and I are delighted that Melanie has decided to join us at this most exciting time in the organisation’s history. I believe that she possesses the ideal blend of business leadership plus strategic and scientific acumen to help us deliver a bright future for LifeArc. With the addition of Melanie’s unique professional experience to our already-established senior executive team, I am confident that LifeArc can continue to evolve by turning great science into greater patient benefit.”
Communications at LifeArc