The AMR Action Fund announces appointment of CEO, Henry B. Skinner, PhD
Dr. Skinner will help ensure the AMR Action Fund achieves its mission to bring two to four new antibiotics to patients by the end of the decade and facilitate needed long-term policy solutions
Today, the AMR Action Fund announced the appointment of its first Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Henry B. Skinner, PhD. The AMR Action Fund (www.AMRactionfund.com) is a ground-breaking partnership that was launched in July 2020 by more than 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. It aims to invest over US$1 billion to strengthen and accelerate clinical research of innovative new antibiotics that are addressing the most resistant bacteria and life-threatening infections, as well as provide technical support to biotech companies developing assets in this field. The AMR Action Fund is the largest collaborative venture ever created to address antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
Dr. Skinner comes to the AMR Action Fund with extensive biomedical and investment funding experience, most recently having served as the Senior Vice President of Venture at Tekla Capital Management in Boston. Dr. Skinner also previously served as Vice President and Deputy Head and Managing Director of the Novartis Venture Fund; Executive Director, Head Strategic Alliances at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research; Chief Executive Officer at SelectX Pharmaceuticals, a small antibiotic-focused biotech; and President and Chief Executive Officer at NeoGenesis Pharmaceuticals. Having spent decades in the biomedical research, venture, and pharmaceutical industries, Dr. Skinner brings immense knowledge to his new role as the AMR Action Fund’s first CEO, perfectly situated at the intersection of finance and antibiotic development.
“Antimicrobial resistance is an immense, looming threat to global public health,” said David A. Ricks, chairman and chief executive officer of Eli Lilly and Company. “Dr. Skinner brings considerable experience and expertise to the AMR Action Fund, and we’re confident that under his leadership, we will achieve our goal of bringing 2-4 novel antibiotics to patients by 2030.”
“The biopharmaceutical industry’s strong and unprecedented COVID-19 response demonstrates what is possible when the innovation ecosystem is robust. Unfortunately, the market for antibiotics is broken, so industry has stepped in with the AMR Action Fund to sustain the fragile pipeline,” said Thomas Cueni, Director General of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA), the international body representing the R&D pharmaceutical industry that designed and established the AMR Action Fund. “The biopharmaceutical companies who have stepped up to create the fund look to Dr. Skinner to bring together public and private sectors to drive innovation and protect patient health.”
The AMR Action Fund is working to bridge the funding gap for innovative biotech companies developing urgently needed antibiotics between early-stage clinical trials and the financing and resources needed to bring them to market. While additional funding is a short-term solution to this pressing issue, longer term policy changes are needed to strengthen the pipeline.
“I am honored to join the AMR Action Fund and its incredibly important mission,” said Dr. Skinner. “Having worked on this issue from many angles throughout my career, I know how badly novel antibiotics are needed, and I also know how many obstacles currently prevent them from being developed and reaching patients. I am proud and excited to lead the AMR Action Fund in its efforts to tackle the global challenge of AMR. Thank you to everyone involved in developing this critical and groundbreaking initiative, and in particular to the interim CEO of the AMR Action Fund, Martin Bott, for getting us to this point.”
The AMR Action Fund will soon take its first steps to begin assessing investment opportunities in biotech companies focused on developing new antibiotics that address the highest priority public health needs, make a significant difference in clinical practice, and save lives. Dr. Skinner’s appointment as CEO of the AMR Action Fund is effective as of March 29, 2021.
For more details on the AMR Action fund, visit www.AMRactionfund.com.
About the AMR Action Fund
The AMR Action Fund is an initiative from over 20 leading biopharmaceutical companies, global foundations, and development banks that seeks to invest over US$1 billion to bring 2-4 new antibiotics to patients by 2030. The AMR Action Fund will strengthen and accelerate antibiotic development by investing in companies developing innovative antibacterial treatments. It will also work with governments to ensure there is a sustainable pipeline of new antibiotics to fight the highest priority bacterial threats.
The concept of the AMR Action Fund was developed by the IFPMA and its member biopharmaceutical companies, in collaboration with the World Health Organization, the European Investment Bank, and the Wellcome Trust. Investors in the AMR Action Fund include: Almirall; Amgen; Bayer; Boehringer Ingelheim; Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation; Chugai; Daiichi-Sankyo; Eisai; Eli Lilly and Company; the European Investment Bank (with the support of the European Commission under Horizon 2020, the 2014-2020 European Union research and innovation program); GlaxoSmithKline; Johnson & Johnson; LEO Pharma; Lundbeck; Menarini; Merck; Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany; Novartis; Novo Nordisk; Novo Nordisk Foundation; Pfizer; Roche; Shionogi; Takeda; Teva; UCB; and the Wellcome Trust.
Silas Holland, Interim Director of External Affairs, AMR Action Fund