Super Fast Pharma

British racing car company and GlaxoSmithKline team up on a winning formula for innovation.
Nov 02, 2011


Rich Whitworth
Partnerships and strategic agreements are common in the pharma industry. But one particular announcement last month gave me cause to raise my eyebrows and smile.

I like fast cars and so too, it would seem, does GlaxoSmithKline's CEO Andrew Witty because the company is embarking on a long-term strategic partnership with the McLaren group, which is best known for its Formula 1 racing cars. The phrase "best of British" springs to mind and both companies seem extremely proud of the partnership.

The aim for GSK? Applying McLaren's engineering and technical expertise to production lines to reduce breakdowns and improve costs, amongst other things.

A state-of-the-art facility planned for 2013 called The McLaren GSK Centre for Applied Performance will allow scientists, engineers, and technologists from both camps to share ideas and collaborate on innovative, dynamic, and exciting joint working projects.

The R&D organization will examine whether real-time monitoring technologies can be applied to human studies. Meanwhile, the GSK Consumer Healthcare business will work with McLaren's "Mission Control" unit to enable faster responses to competitor activity and customer needs.

Some might say that it smacks of a marketing stunt, but which pharma company wouldn't want to be associated with such a fast-paced, exciting, technologically advanced, continually improving world?

What next? Sanofi and Red Bull Racing? The race to the checkered flag is on!

Rich Whitworth is an editor of Pharmaceutical Technology.