skip to main content
Close Icon We use cookies to improve your website experience.  To learn about our use of cookies and how you can manage your cookie settings, please see our Cookie Policy.  By continuing to use the website, you consent to our use of cookies.
Global Search Configuration

The UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has appointed former life sciences industry executive Stephen Lightfoot as its new chair.

Lightfoot, who has been a non-executive director of the MHRA since September 2015, will take up the new position on 1 September. He succeeds Sir Michael Rawlins, who has been the chair of the agency board since December 2014.

Lightfoot will take on his new role at a pivotal time in the agency’s history as it undergoes organizational transformation. Steering the MHRA through Brexit-related challenges will be a key task for the new chair, particularly after the transition period ends on 31 December. He also takes up the post as the MHRA continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Industry Experience

Lightfoot, who is also deputy chair of Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust and non-executive chair of Sussex Primary Care Limited, has had a 30-year career in the life sciences industry. 

He has worked on the development and commercialization of a wide range of medicines and medical devices in UK and global health care companies, the MHRA said in a 24 August statement announcing his appointment. His most recent executive roles were general manager of the global pharmaceutical diagnostics business of GE Healthcare, managing director of the UK pharmaceutical business of Daiichi Sankyo, and commercial director of the UK pharmaceutical and medical device business of Schering Healthcare.

Lightfoot will become the fourth person to chair the MHRA board, following Sir Alasdair Breckenridge, Sir Gordon Duff and Sir Michael.

“The Agency has a world class reputation and my ambition is for us to become an ‘enabler’ in the UK health system by developing new regulatory processes which are proportionate, evidence-based and transparent, so that patients can gain earlier and safer access to new medical products than ever before” he said.

Hunt Still On For A Chief Executive

Meanwhile, the MHRA is still looking for a permanent chief executive to lead the agency, after Ian Hudson stepped down from the post in September 2019 and June Raine stepped in as the interim chief executive.

Hudson had originally announced his plan to step down in November 2018, and the agency had been expected to start recruiting for his successor in early 2019. 

The MHRA told the Pink Sheet today: “There will be a recruitment campaign to make a permanent appointment in due course, led by the Department of Health and Social Care.” Raine, meanwhile, is continuing as the interim postholder. 

The agency has previously said it was not unusual for recruitment to a senior role to take some time.

Read also

  • Scrip: industry news and insights, Medtech Insight: global m...

    Pharmaceutical News and Insights

    Understand what’s happening in the market right now and what it means for the future of your business with news and insight from our team of journalists and analysts.  Pharma Intelligence's News Sources are essential for anyone making commercial decisions in the pharmaceutical industry.

  • In Vivo: strategic insights for life sciences decision-maker...

    Pharma News and Healthcare Business Insights

    Pharma Intelligence offers a wealth of pharmaceutical industry news and strategic insight into the healthcare & biotechnology markets from around the world. Working in an interconnected global network, our 65 journalists and over 300 in-house analysts supply comprehensive analysis and reports.

  • Pink Sheet: global policy and regulatory coverage

    Vaginal Yeast Infections Are A Bright Spot For Anti-Infective Development

    By Bridget Silverman 26 Jul 2022

    Working with US FDA was key to developing clinical trials in the absence of regulatory precedents in recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis...


Next steps

Whether you’re a small biotech start-up, research firm, generic manufacturer or a global pharmaceutical giant, you need focused, independent insight and opinion on market developments.

Our team is ready to hear from you for a particular request or area of interest. Please do not hesitate to reach out and discuss.

Contact us for product technical and account support.

  • US Toll-Free   : +1 888 670 8900 
  • US Toll             : +1 212-600-3520
  • UK & Europe : +44 (0) 208 052 0700

Have an immediate and specific information need?

Browse and buy from 1000s of analysis and research reports now: