Skip to Content Skip to Search

Our approach to R&D

Harnessing the multiplier effect of Science x Technology x Culture

To strengthen our pipeline and deliver the next generation of medicines that we see bringing the greatest value to patients, we have a new approach to Research and Development (R&D).

Introduced by Dr Hal Barron, Chief Scientific Officer and President, R&D in July 2018, our approach in Pharmaceuticals focuses on science related to the immune system, the use of human genetics and advanced technologies, and is driven by the multiplier effect of Science x Technology x Culture. It will help us to accelerate the pace at which we discover, develop and deliver transformational medicines, prioritising those molecules with a higher probability of successfully becoming a medicine that will improve patients’ lives.

In our Vaccines business, we balance our focus on our robust pipeline of innovative candidate vaccines with the active life-cycle management of our existing vaccines, seeking to protect more people through expanded indications and geographies.

Continued advances in technology, combined with a greater understanding of science and the human body means that we are able to explore new breakthroughs and will aim to deliver them for some of the world’s biggest health challenges. At GSK, we have continually managed to push the boundaries in vaccine science, including the development of recombinant DNA-based vaccines as well as the introduction of a variety of adjuvant systems with the goal to deliver better vaccines.


Discovery and development is risky with less than 10% of drugs undergoing clinical testing becoming medicines. 


Significant investment in a wide range of advanced technologies is central to our new R&D approach. 

We are developing a core capability in artificial intelligence and machine learning, to enhance our ability to interpret and understand genetics and genomic data. We are also investing in functional genomics, applying techniques for gene modification such as CRISPR technology, to help discover and validate potential targets. These investments supplement our existing strengths in other advanced technologies, including our leading position in cell and gene therapy, which we continue to develop.

Our approach in action

Can the human body become a factory for its own vaccines?

Dr Emmanuel Hanon, Senior Vice President and Head of Vaccines R&D, discusses how a new revolution in life science is changing the way we create vaccines.


The GSK culture is defined with a clear set of values and expectations.

Our approach to R&D lies in the multiplier effect of Science x Technology x Culture. We strongly believe that by getting these three things right, we will be able to deliver better medicines to more patients, faster than we do today.

In Consumer Healthcare, our focus is on building a strong, competitive pipeline of consumer-led, science-based innovation. Our pipeline is fuelled by five global innovation hubs that bring together our R&D, marketing and consumer insights teams, enabling us to develop innovative products based on the everyday healthcare needs of our consumers.

On 1 August 2019 we announced that we'd completed our transaction with Pfizer to combine our consumer healthcare businesses into a new world-leading Consumer Healthcare Joint Venture. Within three years of the closing of the transaction, we intend to separate the Joint Venture via a demerger. With our future intention to separate, the transaction also presents a clear pathway forward for us to create a new global Pharmaceuticals/Vaccines company, and a new world-leading Consumer Healthcare company.