Anthony Johnson is Vice President, Early Clinical Development at AstraZeneca’s world-leading IMED Biotech Unit.

Anthony joined AstraZeneca in 2014, holding a wealth of experience in exploratory clinical development across the pharmaceutical industry and academia. In his role he has recruited world- leading MD.PhDs and significantly improved both translational clinical science and operations, such as clinical trial cycle times. He oversees the iDecide program including REACT which focuses on real time visualisation and analysis of clinical trial data, while incorporating patient perspectives. REACT allows AstraZeneca to improve clinical trial design and ultimately enables patients to receive medicines more quickly.

Anthony is a Fellow at Homerton College, University of Cambridge and, prior to AstraZeneca, was a Board Director for Cardioxyl (2012-2015) and Rgenix (2014-2015), and a Venture Partner at OrbiMed Advisors, a global healthcare-only investment firm (2012-2013). Preceding his life sciences investment experience, he led exploratory clinical development as Vice President, Discovery Medicine Clinical Pharmacology at Bristol-Myers Squibb (2006-2012) and served as Vice President on the executive team of the Center of Excellence for Drug Discovery responsible for multiple therapeutic areas at GlaxoSmithKline (2001-2006). Complementing his substantial healthcare industry leadership experience, Dr. Johnson has 18 years of broad clinical practice experience. In addition, Dr. Johnson has published extensively in and served as an external reviewer for several international, peer reviewed journals, has attracted national peer-reviewed research grant funding in multiple countries and has broad teaching experience including invited presentations at numerous scientific and medical meetings.


Anthony oversees the iDecide Collaboration between AstraZeneca and The Christie, Cancer Research UK, and The Manchester Cancer Research Centre, which includes REACT.

Board Director of Cardioxyl (2012-2015) and Rgenix (2014-2015)

Board member for two privately held biotechnology companies: Cardioxyl (acquired by BMS in 2015) and Rgenix (now a clinical stage cancer company)

VP Discovery Medicine Clinical Pharmacology, Bristol-Myers Squibb (2006-2012)

Delivered 20 positive proof of concept trials and contributed significantly to the approval of five differentiated medicines; drove both cost reduction and increased workload on a static budget ie a markedly improved cost effectiveness

VP Discovery Medicine for multiple therapeutic areas (2001-2006)

Completed the LpPLA2 inhibitor proof of concept data to underpin large scale clinical trials and contributed significantly to the Coreg CR approval

Featured publications

Regulatory effects of fenofibrate and atorvastatin on lipoprotein A-I and lipoprotein A-I:A-II kinetics in the metabolic syndrome.

Chan DC, Watts GF, Ooi EM, Rye KA, Ji J, Johnson AG, Barrett PH. Diabetes Care. 2009 Nov;32(11):2111-3. Epub 2009 Aug 3.

Activation of PPARdelta Promotes, Reversal of Multiple Metabolic Abnormalities, Reduces Oxidative Stress, and Increases Fatty Acid Oxidation in Moderately Obese Men.

Riserus, U., Sprecher, D., Johnson, T., Olson, E., Hirschber, S., Liu, A., Fang, Z., Hegde, P., Richards, D., Sarov-Blat, L., Strum, J., Basu, S., Cheeseman, J., Fielding, B., Humphryes, S., Danoff, T., Moore, N., Murgatroyd, P., O’Rahilly, S., Sutton, P., Willson, T., Hassall, D., Frayn, K., Karpe, F.: Diabetes. 2008, Feb. 57(2): 332-339.

Triglyceride high-density lipoprotein cholesterol effects in healthy subjects administered a peroxisome proliferator activated receptor delta agonist.

Sprecher DL, Massien C, Pearce G, Billin AN, Perlstein I, Willson TM, Hassall DG, Ancellin N, Patterson SD, Lobe DC, Johnson AG. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. 2007 Feb; 27(2): 359-365. Epub 2006 Nov 16.

Diverse origin of intimal cells: Smooth muscle cells, myofibroblasts, fibroblasts and beyond.

Zalewski A, Shi Y, Johnson A. Circ Res 2002;91:651-654.

Measurement of plasma renin activity by high performance liquid chromatography-electrospray-tandem mass spectrometry.

Fredline VF, Kovacs E, Taylor PJ, Johnson AG. Clinical Chemistry 1999; 45(5): 659-664.

Differential regulation of lipoprotein kinetics by atorvastatin and fenofibrate in subjects with the metabolic syndrome.

Watts GF, Barrett PHR, Juying JI, Serone AP, Chan DC, Ji J, Croft KD, Loeher F, Johnson AG. Diabetes 2003; 52: 803-811

Do Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) elevate blood pressure?

A meta-analysis. Johnson AG, Nguyen T, Day RO. Annals of Internal Medicine 1994; 121: 289-300.


Fellow Homerton College, Cambridge University


Rowden White Fellowship, Boston USA


National Health and Medical Research Council Scholarship

Translational clinical science is critical for defining and differentiating future medicines; I am really excited that this is enabled in AstraZeneca, a science-driven company focused on addressing major unmet medical need.

Anthony Johnson Vice President, Early Clinical Development, IMED Biotech Unit