Scientist and biotech expert, Dr Paul Peter Tak, has stepped down from his role at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to join Flagship Pioneering as a Venture Partner.
Dr Tak’s new role will help oversee scientific ventures to find transformative treatments for conditions such as cancer, neurodegenerative disease and autoimmune diseases.
Dr Tak said: “I am thrilled to join Flagship Pioneering as a Venture Partner and look forward to supporting the scientific content and direction of the company as a whole. In this position, I will collaborate with other Venture Partners and serve as an advisory director to portfolio companies and their CEOs. In addition, I will serve as CEO to one of the Flagship companies which is still in stealth mode and I look forward to revealing more about this in due course.”
Prior to joining Flagship, Dr Tak was GlaxoSmithKline’s Senior Vice President of Research & Development, Development Lead and Chief Immunology Officer.
During his time at the pharmaceutical giant, Dr Tak oversaw global R&D in ImmunoInflammation, Infectious Disease and Oncology, and was instrumental in co-creatingimmunometabolics biotech start-up Sitryx (Oxford), which launched in 2018 with $30m from investors including GSK. He is also the scientific founder of Arthrogen b.v. (Amsterdam) and a non-executive director of Levicept Ltd (London).
During the last decade Dr Tak pioneered preclinical and clinical research on the role of the vagus nerve in chronic inflammation at the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam (AMC), which later provided a platform to explore bioelectronics as a therapeutic approach in autoimmune disease; he served on the board of Galvani Bioelectronics. He was also the first to evaluate the effects of a biologic (rituximab) to delay the development of rheumatoid arthritis in people at risk of this disease, work that was published in 2019. In 1999 he was the founding director of the Department of Clinical Immunology & Rheumatology at the AMC.
Despite being internationally recognised and respected for his work as an academic and in big pharma, Dr Tak believes his move towards entrepreneurship will enable him to have a bigger impact on global healthcare and provide further scope to innovate and invest in the health sector.
CEO of Flagship Pioneering, Noubar Afeyan, commented: “We are pleased to welcome Paul-Peter to our team of pioneering scientists, entrepreneurs, and executives. His deep expertise in drug discovery and development will be invaluable to our young companies as they grow.”