John RichardsSVP and Head of Pharmaceutical Development at The Medicines Company
John has led CMC drug development activities since the company’s inception and is an expert in the scale up and manufacture of complex peptide and oligonucleotide based molecules.
John who is English by birth read Chemistry for his Bachelors at St John’s College Oxford prior to completing a DPhil in Peptide Chemistry also at Oxford. Following his doctorate John carried out post-doctoral research in the Laboratory of Dr RC Sheppard at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, working as a part of the team which developed the now almost universally utilized Fmoc-solid phase synthesis methodology. Subsequent to further research as a staff scientist into neurotransmitter peptides in the MRC Neurochemical Pharmacology Unit also in Cambridge John moved into industry, initially as part of a startup company formed by alumni of The Laboratory of Molecular Biology.
After his start up was acquired John continued working at ICI Pharmaceuticals (Astra Zeneca) on the development of peptides as commercial pharmaceutical intermediates. He moved with his family to the United States in 1993 working initially in biotechnology before joining The Medicines Company in 1997. One of his major accomplishments at The Medicines Company was leading the scale up and commensurate cost reductions for a peptide drug bivalirudin -- ultimately enabling ton quantities to be manufactured at low cost.