In 1986, Paul Peter received his medical degree cum laude from the Free University in Amsterdam. He received his PhD from Leiden University Medical Center, where he trained as an internist, rheumatologist and immunologist. From 1997 until 1999 he was Visiting Scientist on Sabbatical at UCSD School of Medicine. Between 1999 and 2011, Paul Peter served as Professor of Medicine and founding Chair of the Department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology at the Academic Medical Centre/University of Amsterdam (Amsterdam University Medical Centre). It was during this time he became a Member of the Executive Committee of the European League Against Rheumatism and a Member of the Annual Meeting Planning Committee of the American College of Rheumatology. He trained a large number of internists and rheumatologists, and supervised 49 PhD students.
Paul Peter Tak has been published in a vast number of peer-reviewed journals (> 570 publications, H index 134, ~80,000 citations). He has also served on various editorial boards, including as Co-Editor of Arthritis & Rheumatism. Paul Peter has received many honours and awards including the Medal of Honour from the Netherlands Society for Rheumatology, an Honorary Membership by EULAR, elected ‘Toparts Reumatologie’ and elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in the UK.
He has studied the role of the vagus nerve in chronic inflammation, work which provided the basis for clinical trials exploring bioelectronics as a novel therapeutic approach in rheumatoid arthritis patients. He is also known for his studies on synovial biopsy and synovial tissue analysis. Paul Peter has also studied the earliest, preclinical disease stages of rheumatoid arthritis, providing experimental evidence in humans that B cells play a critical role in the development of the disease through mechanisms including antigen presentation and T-cell activation.
As global head of a cluster of Therapy Areas, he oversaw the creation of a portfolio of new therapies for cancer, immune-mediated inflammatory diseases, and infectious disease, including belantamab mafodotin (Blenrep®), NY-ESO1 SPEAR T cell therapy, STING cytosolic DNA pathway agonist, Benlysta® sc (and Benlysta/Rituxan combination therapy), otilimab, anti-CCL17 antibody, anti-OSM antibody, RIP1 kinase inhibitor, cabotegravir/rilpivirine (Cabenuva®), and gepotidacin.
Paul Peter used his wealth of academic experience in founding GSK’s Immunology Network, a collaboration between GSK and leading academics, which grants the latter privileged access to the latest research and facilities GSK has to offer. In his role as SVP R&D Pipeline he led more than 600 managers, professionals, and support personnel in the USA and the UK, with direct management of an annual $650m budget. During this time, he was also the President and CEO of Tempero Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by GSK, and co-founder of Sitryx Therapeutics. He was also Board Director of Galvani Bioelectronics and ViiV Healthcare.
On top of his many academic positions and achievements, Paul Peter has been Chair, Research Directors Group, European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) and member of the EFPIA Innovation Board Sponsored Committee. He has also been a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Index Life VI and Medicxi Ventures funds.
When Paul Peter Tak moved from academia to industry, he wanted to help discover and develop new medicines. He believed that he could have a great impact on medicine by working at a company like GlaxoSmithKline, where his extensive experience could combine with great resources to truly progress the science and development of new therapies. Paul Peter spent seven years working at GlaxoSmithKline, from 2011 to 2018. He served as Senior Vice President, Chief Immunology Officer and Global Development Leader. He was also the Chair of the Scientific Review Board, which is the governing body accountable for the scientific assessment of GSK’s R&D portfolio.