GSK head appointed MD of innovation centre

Dave Tudor, currently head of manufacturing strategy at GSK and chair of the Life Sciences Scotland Industry Leadership Group, has been named managing director of the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (MMIC). Picture: John Devlin
Dave Tudor, currently head of manufacturing strategy at GSK and chair of the Life Sciences Scotland Industry Leadership Group, has been named managing director of the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (MMIC). Picture: John Devlin
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A new manufacturing centre designed to bring medicines to market more quickly and cheaply will be headed up by the leader of Scotland’s life sciences community, it was announced today.

Dave Tudor, currently head of manufacturing strategy at GSK and chair of the Life Sciences Scotland Industry Leadership Group, has been named managing director of the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (MMIC), to be built over the next two years at Inchinnan, Renfrewshire.

The centre, at the growing Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District near Glasgow Airport, will create 80 high-value jobs.

It aims to attract more than £80 million of research and development investment by 2028 to adopt the latest processes to reduce risk, cut costs and save time in bringing new drugs to market.

Tudor, who is based in Scotland but works globally in his current GSK role, said: “I’m excited to have the chance to create a transformative strategy for life sciences in the UK. What really motivates me is the idea that we can avoid waste, reduce costs and make these medicines more accessible and more affordable. Anything that can be done to transform the product and make it cheaper has got to be a good thing.”

He will speak at Life Sciences Scotland’s annual conference, organised in conjunction with The Scotsman, at the University of Strathclyde on Monday.

The university is the academic partner in MMIC, which also involves private companies Astra Zeneca and GSK. The core funding has come from Scottish Enterprise (£15m) and UK Research and Innovation (£13m) and the project will be run by CPI (Centre for Process Innovation).

With 27 years of leadership experience, Tudor will be tasked with promoting “pre-competitive collaboration” between Astra Zeneca, GSK and other pharma businesses at MMIC, to advance emerging and disruptive technologies.

Speaking exclusively to The Scotsman, he said: “It’s crucial in this role to drive company-to-company collaboration rather than competition. That’s where we will derive real benefit for patients.

“One of my key priorities for the coming year, while the centre is under construction, is to get projects up and running in existing centres [like CMAC in Glasgow and the National Formulation Centre in County Durham] – as well as creating a healthy business development pipeline.

“It’s also crucial that we recruit the right people for the major roles and oversee the build of the facility successfully.”

Nigel Perry, chief executive officer at CPI, said: “I’m extremely proud to welcome Dave Tudor to our team here at CPI. I am confident he will help the MMIC modernise the pharmaceutical industry’s approach to clinical development and commercial manufacture to help make healthcare more affordable.”

Tudor will perform the role of MD at MMIC initially on secondment from GSK, before transferring fully to CPI in 2019. He will remain in the post of Life Sciences Scotland Industry Leadership Group chair until 2021 after being appointed for a five-year term.