Zhi Hong is the Senior VP, Head of the Infectious Diseases Therapy Area Unit at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), where he is accountable for designing, consolidating, developing and delivering the infectious diseases R&D strategy and pipeline, from target identification through to post-launch life cycle management.
In this role, he provides an end-to-end view of the entire R&D process with greater flexibility around decision-making, funding and pipeline progression. Zhi is also a Board Member of Anacor Pharmaceuticals as well as ViiV Healthcare, a specialist HIV company established by GSK and Pfizer.
Previously, he was the Senior VP, Head of the Infectious Diseases Centre of Excellence in Drug Discovery. In this role, Zhi led the company’s effort in the virtualisation of drug discovery through strategic alliances with a number of external biotech companies including Shionogi, Anacor, Galapagos, Santaris, Regulus, ISIS and Mpex. He was instrumental in GSK’s acquisition of Genelabs Technologies, Inc., a California-based biotech firm with an extensive Hepatitis C Virus portfolio. Zhi also played a key role in the execution of a license agreement granting GSK exclusive worldwide rights to a Phase II compound from Idenix Pharmaceuticals for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. Under his leadership since 2007, he has revitalised GSK Infectious Diseases pipeline that now has eight clinical stage drug candidates spanning phases 1 to 3.
Prior to joining GSK in 2007, Zhi was the Chief Scientific Officer and Executive Vice President of Research at Ardea Biosciences, a publicly traded biotech company in California. Before that, he was the Vice President of Research at Valeant Pharmaceuticals International. During his drug discovery career in the pharmaceutical industries, Zhi and his teams successfully delivered many drug candidates into the clinics. As a scientist, he is well respected as an opinion leader in the field of antiviral research.
Zhi has many years of experience in drug discovery and product development. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Fudan University at Shanghai, China, and his Ph.D from the State University of New York at Buffalo.