PM360 2019 Trailblazer Awards Gold Pharma/Biotech Company of the Year GSK

Since Emma Walmsley took over as CEO of GSK in April 2017, she has kept her foot firmly on the accelerator, forging new partnerships, recruiting new talent, and focusing on innovation the company can deliver to make a difference in patients’ lives. In her time as the head of GSK, she has presided over strong sales and earnings growth, a stellar launch of shingles vaccine Shingrix, studies underscoring the effectiveness of the company’s two-drug regimens for HIV, and creation of a Joint Venture with Pfizer to combine consumer healthcare businesses into one global leader in OTC products.

But nowhere has Walmsley’s focus been more evident than in the way she has enabled the company to propel innovation. Crucial to this was the acquisition of oncology-focused TESARO for $5 billion, helping GSK to more than double the number of oncology assets in its pipeline from eight to 17, which followed a deal with 23andMe to use genetic insights to develop novel medicines. The company has truly excelled in three areas that PM360 deems the most important for a Company of the Year.

GSK R&D analyst, Stevenage, U.K.


  • Completed acquisition of TESARO, which accelerates the build of GSK’s pipeline and commercial capability in oncology.
  • Announced global strategic alliance with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, to jointly develop and commercialize an investigational immunotherapy for multiple difficult-to-treat cancers.
  • Created five-year collaboration with the University of California to establish a state-of-the-art laboratory for CRISPR technologies that will explore how gene mutations cause disease and develop new technologies to accelerate medicine discovery.

Talent Development

  • Announced goal to achieve over 37% (currently at 33%) female representation in senior roles globally by 2022.
  • Rolled out comprehensive preventive healthcare package for employees and dependents in every country where GSK operates, covering more than 200,000 people and including up to 40 preventive healthcare services at little or no extra cost.
  • Named the World’s Most Active Organization by Virgin Pulse Global Challenge for the third year running, with over 15,500 employees collectively taking over 18 billion steps during May 2018.

Social Responsibility

  • After decades of development, GSK’s RTS,S vaccine for P. falciparum malaria, started WHO-led pilots in sub-Saharan Africa. Also earned approval for tafenoquine, the first new treatment for P. vivax malaria in 60 years
  • Ranked top pharmaceutical company on 2019 Dow Jones Sustainability Index; topped the Access to Medicines Index for sixth consecutive time; also topped the AtM Antimicrobial Resistance Benchmark.
  • Extended five-year partnership with Save the Children to 2022, working toward a goal of trying to save one million children’s lives by combining each organization’s capabilities and expertise.


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