By Flic Gabbay
It is with great sadness that we announce the news of the death of one of our most distinguished alumni, Richard Bax, who died on the 6th January 2022 after a long illness. Richard joined tranScrip in 2009 and remained a Senior Partner until retiring due to ill health in 2020.
Richard was a pharmaceutical physician who led the development of many life-saving antibiotics and supported the foundation of the specialty of pharmaceutical medicine from the mid-70s.
He was born in Kenya in 1946 and qualified, like his mother before him, at the Royal Free in London.
After training as a GP, inspired by the opportunity for improvement in therapeutics offered by the emerging pharma industry, Richard joined Glaxo, then a small company with ethical R&D aspirations.
He immediately joined forces with those raising standards in research and development of medicines and its regulation and became integral to the many multidisciplinary working parties on regulatory guidance’s on the development of antibiotics, jointly with academics, and regulators.
He was a board member of BSAC, ESCMID, served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, and was a reviewer for several other journals. He sat on many UK and global antimicrobial resistance (AMR) committees from the mid-90s onwards and gained many awards, including Fellowship of the London and Edinburgh Royal Colleges of Physicians, a Membership of Green College Oxford and a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at Kings.
Richard relentlessly published at conferences and in many journals, often reporting on and demanding ever more rigorous research programmes. He maintained his MRCGP throughout his career doing locums and research. As part of a BSAC, he was one of the first to warn of potential AMR from the increase in use of antibiotics by GPs. Subsequently he sat at many global committees on AMR.
Richard’s track record in development of antibiotics is unrivalled, spanning 4 decades and three big pharma’s, multiple biotech’s and not-for-profit organisations. There is no class of antibiotics that Richard’s hand did not touch on, either in big pharma, biotech or as a consultant.
As grandson of Sir Albert Cook (founder of Mengo Hospital in Kampala, Uganda), Richard had a rich family heritage of innovation in healthcare and infectious disease, was never content with the status quo and believed global health care could always be advanced. Pharmaceutical medicine owes him a huge debt and so does tranScrip, where he worked so hard to get the company established and had a significant hand in bringing more than half a dozen new antibiotics to be approved during his tenure and supported countless early development antibiotic programmes.
Richard leaves a wife and three successful sons, 6 grand daughters and an amazing legacy. He could be highly critical and driven but his impish sense of humour and utterly genuine belief in people and their ability to change the world will be truly missed by many for years to come.
Richard’s funeral is taking place on 4th February, limited numbers will be allowed but if you would like to join, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.