Trump’s former Covid vaccine chief Moncef Slaoui leaves more companies after sexual harassment claim

Moncef Slaoui, the former head of GlaxoSmithKlines vaccines division, listens as U.S. President Donald Trump delivers remarks about coronavirus vaccine growth within the Rose Garden of the White House on May 15, 2020 in Washington, DC. Dubbed “Operation Warp Speed,” the Trump administration is saying plans for an all-out effort to supply and distribute a coronavirus vaccine by the top of 2020.

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Two more companies are parting methods with Moncef Slaoui, the Trump administration’s former Covid vaccine chief, a day after he was fired from an organization managed by GlaxoSmithKline following sexual harassment allegations.

Centessa Pharmaceuticals introduced Thursday that the former head of Operation Warp Speed has stepped down as chief scientific officer, efficient instantly. Vaccine developer Vaxcyte additionally mentioned in an SEC submitting posted to its web site Thursday that Slaoui has agreed to step down from his place as chairman on the firm’s request.

Slaoui was fired Wednesday as chairman of Galvani Bioelectronics, a three way partnership between GSK and Verily, after a girl despatched GSK a letter saying he sexually harassed her a number of years in the past whereas she was working there.

GSK mentioned a probe by an out of doors regulation agency “substantiated” her claims. Slaoui, 61, had spent 30 years at GSK, overseeing vaccine growth at that pharmaceutical big. He was chief scientist for the usgovernment’s Covid vaccine growth effort Operation Warp Speed below the former Trump administration.

“The Centessa management team and board of directors were troubled to learn of yesterday’s news regarding Dr. Slaoui,” Centessa Pharmaceuticals CEO Dr. Saurabh Saha mentioned in an announcement.

“Centessa is absolutely committed to fostering a culture of respect that is free from harassment and discrimination of any kind and are steadfastly committed to maintaining a work environment that is reflective of our strong values as a company.”

CNBC has reached out for remark from Vaxcyte.

In an announcement Wednesday, GSK mentioned Slaoui’s dismissal got here a month after the corporate acquired a letter “containing allegations of sexual harassment and inappropriate conduct towards an employee of GSK by Dr. Slaoui.”

GSK mentioned Slaoui’s actions “represent an abuse of his leadership position, violate company policies, and are contrary to the strong values that define GSK’s culture.

Slaoui joined Massachusetts-based Centessa Pharmaceuticals in mid-February to advise its drug development programs, which focus on areas including hemophilia, cancer and kidney disease, Reuters reported. He had been a partner at Medicxi, the investment firm that founded Centessa, since 2017.

That was the year Slaoui joined Vaxcyte’s board, where he became chairman in May 2018.

Slaoui apologized Wednesday following the allegations, saying he was “deeply sorry.” He said he would take a leave of absence from roles at other health companies and a venture capital firm to focus on his family.

“I’d additionally wish to apologise to my spouse and household for the ache that is inflicting,” Slaoui said in a statement. “I’ll work arduous to redeem myself with all those who this example has impacted.”

— CNBC’s Dan Mangan contributed to this report.

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