Jim Laird is a seasoned pharmaceutical and information technology executive. His professional career includes 20 years with SmithKline Beecham plc (now GlaxoSmithKline plc), where he held management roles in sales, marketing, business development and international general management.
In 1995, Jim formed Jekeme Int’l, a consulting firm specializing in identifying and executing business growth strategies for early-stage and middle-market Life Sciences companies. Through his contracted assignments from 1995 thru 2001, Jim served in interim senior management positions such as Executive Director of a national IT solutions provider; COO for an emerging dot-com company; COO of a regional healthcare data and informatics service provider; and President of a regional business accelerator for early-stage Life Sciences companies.
In September 2001, Jim co-founded ParagonRx, a marketing services business specializing in the design and implementation of programs for complex drugs ( “black Box” warnings) and eventually became the industry leader in the creation of FDA sanctioned REMS programs.ParagonRx was acquired in 2009 by inVentiv Health.
In 2005, JIm joined the start-up executive search firm Ashton Tweed where he created and branded “The Life Sciences Talent Bank” consisting of executive level industry veterans that were available for “interim” assignments with Life Sciences clients. Jim also created and served as CEO of BioPortUSA LLC ( a wholly owned subsidiary of Ashton Tweed) launched in 2007 to assist foreign-based life sciences firms establish a business entity in the USA.
In January 2014, Jim was engaged by Ben Franklin Technology Partners of southeastern PA to assist them with the launch and over-site of the PA Life Sciences Connect initiative aimed at keeping talent and innovation in Pennsylvania.
In addition to having membership in numerous life sciences industry associations, Jim currently serves on the Commercialization Advisory Board for Penn State University Medical Research Unit and on the Business Advisory Board of Melanovus Oncology, a development stage company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing innovative new therapies and diagnostics for late stage melanoma.
Jim holds a Masters of Business Administration (International Marketing) and a Bachelor of Science degree (Pharmacology) from the University of Western Ontario (London, Canada).