Ralph E. (Chris) Christoffersen has left a position as senior vice president and director of research at SmithKline Beecham PLC in Philadelphia, one of the largest pharmaceutical corporations in the United States, to become president and CEO of one that is tiny by comparison, Ribozyme Pharmaceuticals Inc. (RPI). Christoffersen says, however, that despite the company's relatively small size, RPI offers no dearth of opportunities.

"I am really looking forward to being the leader of a research team," says Christoffersen, who assumed his new duties on June 3. "There are real exciting things about leading—helping to recruit new scientists, motivate people, and see products come out. What you do is multiply your effort by motivating others to work."

RPI was formed in February 1992 with $6 million in initial financing as a corporate offspring of U.S. Biochemical Corp. (USB), based in Cleveland.

RPI is now based in Cleveland, but within the...

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