People Transfers: Dr. Melvin Spigelman

September 30, 2003

DR. MEL SPIGELMAN has joined the New York-based Global Alliance for TB Drug Development (TB Alliance) as research and development director. His appointment, announced early in the summer, follows a decade as vice president of R&D at Knoll Pharmaceuticals, where he established global R&D processes, managed a significant increase in US regulatory filings and approvals and oversaw R&D collaborations with other pharma companies.

Spigelman gained his medical degree at New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine, then trained in internal medicine, medical oncology and preventive medicine, achieving certification in each area. From 1980-99 he was a member of the department of neoplastic diseases at Mount Sinai where, in addition to his teaching and patient care responsibilities, he established a brain tumour laboratory and clinical research programme. From 1985-88 he was a recipient of the American Cancer Society Clinical Oncology Career Development Award.

TB Alliance CEO MARIA FREIRE says of the appointment: “Dr. Spigelman’s expertise, from bench to bedside, provides us with an ideal leader to further accelerate the rapid portfolio growth and strategic infrastructure investments at the alliance.” Comments Spigelman: “I am looking forward to building an effective R&D team and bringing to bear my past experiences of working in industry, academia and medical practice. Together with our partners, I am confident that we can deliver a faster cure that will make a significant impact on global health and prosperity.”

When pressed, during a meeting with TransPPhhaarrmmaa at TB Alliance’s Lower East Side offices, on the realities of effective delivery in less developed countries, Spigelman said: “If we aim to save 200 million lives but only save 100 million we have still achieved a great deal…given the scale of the problem, the biggest danger is in doing nothing.”

TB Alliance is a not-for-profit, public-private partnership with offices in New York, Brussels and Cape Town. It aims to accelerate the discovery and development of affordable new anti-TB drugs. Partners include the International Union Against Tuberculosis & Lung Disease, Johns Hopkins University, the Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology, the Research Triangle Institute and Wellesley College (see TransPPhhaarrmmaa, October/ November 2002, page 14).