GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and McLaren Group announce innovative strategic partnership

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) today announced that it has formed a long term strategic partnership with McLaren Group. The partnership, which will run initially until 2016, brings together two UK companies focused on innovation and high-tech research.

Issued: London UK

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) today announced that it has formed a long term strategic partnership with McLaren Group.  The partnership, which will run initially until 2016, brings together two UK companies focused on innovation and high-tech research.

Under the agreement, McLaren Group will share its widely acknowledged leading capabilities in engineering, technology, analytics, and strategy modelling, which it has developed over many years in its core business of Formula 1 motor sport, to help deliver world class performance across GSK’s global businesses.  The partnership will initially focus on GSK Manufacturing, Research and Development (R&D) and Consumer Healthcare. 

GSK CEO Andrew Witty and Ron Dennis, Executive Chairman of McLaren Group

A new state of the art learning facility will also be built as part of the agreement, focused on developing UK engineering skills and processes.  Called the 'McLaren GSK Centre for Applied Performance', it will be located at McLaren’s Headquarters in Woking and open in 2013.  Employees from both organisations and business partners will be able to use the facility to share ideas and collaborate on joint working projects.  

Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline said: “I am delighted to announce this partnership with McLaren which brings together two British companies whose continued success hinges on the ability to innovate and rapidly respond to change and competitor activity.  McLaren has an unparalleled reputation for innovation built on rigorous analytics and fast decision making.  This partnership is another example of GSK looking outside its sector for inspiration and fresh perspectives on how we can achieve our strategic goals in an ever more challenging and fast changing business environment.”

Ron Dennis, Executive Chairman, McLaren Group and McLaren Automotive, said: “This all-new collaboration between McLaren Group and GSK – McLaren’s first ever such association with a major pharmaceutical corporation – represents a strategic partnership that engages two great British companies at a variety of levels across a number of disciplines in a multi-faceted and ground-breaking way.  Specifically, our intention is that GSK will harness McLaren’s world-beating Formula 1-bred technology, processes and operational dynamism, in order to enhance its performance across a wide variety of its divisions in a way that none of its competitors can match.  In today’s challenging economic conditions, we firmly believe that innovative associations such as ours will play an increasingly significant role in ensuring that the UK remains globally competitive in the field of scientific innovation.”

Notes to editors

GSK Manufacturing supplies medicines and products to patients and customers across the world from more than 2,000 production lines in 80 factories.  A strategic programme is currently being evaluated to apply McLaren’s engineering and technical expertise to GSK’s manufacturing processes.  For example, during a racing season, each Formula 1 team can only use a maximum of eight engines across 20 races.  McLaren has therefore developed a unique system of modelling every working component within the car to provide intelligence that can predict potential fatigue and failure.  It is believed that the application of McLaren’s approach, technology and processes could lead to improvements in GSK’s production line performance, reducing the number of breakdowns and improving cost and customer service.

GSK’s R&D organisation is examining whether the application of McLaren’s expertise and technology could help drive improvements in clinical research processes by speeding up trial design and allowing for real time patient monitoring and treatment adjustment.  McLaren has developed a system which allows team members to remotely monitor every aspect of the car’s performance during a race using wireless technology.  This enables the team to make regular minor adjustments every few minutes to avoid having to make significant time-consuming interventions.  Working with McLaren, GSK will explore the possibility of reapplying this expertise to human studies. 

GSK’s Consumer Healthcare business, which markets brands such as Lucozade, Panadol and Sensodyne, will work with McLaren’s successful Formula 1 “Mission Control” – the unit which analyses the team’s performance and directs decision making to drivers during a Grand Prix – to construct a similar facility at the company’s London Headquarters.  This will enable faster responses to competitor activity and customer needs and inform decision making around inventory management, pricing, and retailer stocking.  Analytical and performance management tools developed by McLaren will also be used to improve GSK’s ability to make faster decisions around longer term investment allocations for new Consumer product development and innovations.

GlaxoSmithKline – one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer.  For further information please visit

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