LONDON _ The U.K.'s BioIndustry Association (BIA) hasrecruited industry heavyweight John Sime as its new chief executive.

Sime, who takes over on Jan. 2, was previously director and seniorvice president, strategic marketing, for SmithKline BeechamPharmaceuticals, Brentford, Middlesex, England. In that post, Simetold BioWorld Today, he was responsible for "bringing commercialexpertise into the development process." Prior to that position, Simewas managing director of SmithKline Beecham Australia and NewZealand.

Sime said that he hopes to build on and strengthen BIA's link withthe U.S.-based BioIndustry Organization and "to coordinate what isgoing on and to bring together the various players into a coherentEurope-wide industrial force."

By recruiting from within the pharmaceuticals sector, the BIA mayfind it easier to persuade more major players to join the association.A number of larger companies are not members, preferring to workthrough the Brussels-based Senior Advisory Group Biotechnology.

Keith McCullagh, chairman of the BIA, welcomed Sime'sappointment. "John brings to the association substantial managerialexperience obtained in both strategic and operational roles, as well asimpeccable scientific credentials in the bioscience field." _ MichaelKenward

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