Pharma industry leader joins Board of Governors

Pharmaceutical industry expert William (Bill) Burns this week joins the Wellcome Trust Board of Governors.

Bill Burns has spent his entire career in the life sciences industry. He was CEO of the global Pharmaceutical Division of Roche from 2001-2009, before joining the main Roche board until 2014. Today he is a non-executive director of Shire Pharmaceuticals and Mesoblast, Vice Chairman of Vestergaard and Chairman of Biotie Therapies. In addition he serves as a trustee to the Institute of Cancer Research.

Since 2010 he has chaired the funding committee of the Health Innovation Challenge Fund, a partnership between the Wellcome Trust and the Department of Health.

Chair of the Wellcome Trust Eliza Manningham-Buller said: “I am absolutely delighted that Bill has agreed to become a Governor of the Wellcome Trust. He has been a friend and adviser of Wellcome for some years; now we will benefit from more of his time. He has extensive experience of the pharmaceutical industry and I fully expect that he will be of considerable help to us, in particular in our aim to see more of the value of the science we fund translated into benefits for patients.”

Bill Burns added: “Through my association with the Wellcome Trust over the past five years I have come to an increased appreciation of its pivotal role in improving health throughout the world. I look forward to fully contributing as a member of the Board of Governors."