South Korea’s SK bioscience has welcomed Dr. Harry Kleanthous, formerly Senior Program Officer in Global Health at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), as Executive Vice President of Vaccine R&D Strategy and External Innovation.
Dr. Kleanthous, an expert in the vaccine field, has devoted 30 years to the vaccine industry in both biotech & large biopharma, serving as Vice President Research at Acambis, and Head of Research for North America at Sanofi Pasteur, where he developed innovative platforms and developed pipelines targeting medically important infectious diseases. He majored in Microbiology and Biochemistry at Manchester Metro University, U.K., and obtained his Ph.D. in Medical Molecular Microbiology at the University of London.
The appointment of Dr. Kleanthous will help SK bioscience accelerate its entry into the US, having appointed Dr. Hun Kim, Chief Technical Officer, as Chief Executive Officer of SK bioscience USA – a new entity that will be established early next year.
Dr. Kim will be responsible for leading the company's business globalization effort, development of innovative platforms and future growth engines, and accelerate sustainable growth through recruitment of additional global talents (starting with the appointment of Dr. Harry Kleanthous).
Dr. Kim joined SK Chemicals in 2008 and served as Head of the Bio Office from 2014 and then as Head of VAX Development at corporate HQ from 2016. He was appointed as SK bioscience's first Chief Technical Officer since its establishment in 2018. He closely cooperated with key global partners such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), and the Coalition of Epidemic Preparedness (CEPI), and successfully led numerous R&D projects including Korea's first homegrown COVID-19 vaccine 'SKYCovione'.
The headquarters of SK bioscience USA, Inc. will be located in Boston: building a US 'bio-cluster' of partnerships in its pursuit of novel and innovative technologies for transfer to SK bioscience's R&D centers in South Korea, for early de-risking and strengthening its pipeline.
Meanwhile, SK bioscience has named Dr. Sally Choe, an expert in drug review, clinical pharmacology, and medical product development, as Head of Global Clinical Development and Regulatory Affairs of the company. In this role, she will be leading the company's clinical development and execution of innovative products and regulatory affairs to advance SK bioscience's global competitiveness.
Dr. Choe joins SK bioscience from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) where she most recently served as the Super Office Director of the Office of Generic Drugs (OGD). Prior to her 12 years of tenure at the FDA, she worked at Parexel Regulatory Consulting firm as Senior Director, and also worked in large biopharma including Bristol Myers Squib (BMS) and Pfizer. She majored in Electrical Engineering at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and holds a Master's and Ph.D. in Pharmaceutics from the University of Michigan.