President & CEO, Southern Research
Arthur J. Tipton, Ph.D., assumed the role of president and CEO of Southern Research on July 1, 2013. Previously, he worked in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries for 25 years, participating in the growth aspects of three start-up companies, one that went public and two acquired by public companies. The company he founded in 2005 as an SR spin-out company – Brookwood Pharmaceuticals – was acquired by SurModics in August 2007, then by Evonik in November 2011. At Evonik, Tipton served as senior vice president of the Birmingham division and also led the company’s global drug delivery program. As Brookwood CEO Tipton led the acquisition of the external supply business from Alkermes moving that operation from Cincinnati to Birmingham. The rapid growth of Brookwood, including a 4X revenue increase and expansion of technology and customer base, led to the acquisition in less than 3 years. The enterprise expanded rapidly to a second Birmingham site while part of SurModics, and remains a strong part of the life sciences sector as Evonik Birmingham.
From 1993 to 2004, Tipton worked in roles of increasing responsibility at Durect Corporation, including that of senior vice president of biodegradable systems, chief operating officer, vice president of its wholly-owned subsidiary Southern BioSystems, and president of Birmingham Polymers. While running the Birmingham enterprise he invented the SABER technology which is now covered by 17 US patents and was an instrumental valuation that led to the Durect acquisition in 2001. He was with Atrix Laboratories (now part of QLT Inc.) from 1988 until 1993, as manager of polymer science and senior polymer chemist and there was part of the team that drove multiple products into the clinic and now on the market for a novel technology. He holds 12 patents covering that technology.
Tipton serves on multiple boards including the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama Foundation, the Birmingham Business Alliance Executive Board, Innovation Depot and the external advisory Board to both the School of Business and the Biomedical Engineering Department at University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). His previous Executive Board Roles include President, Treasurer and Board Member of the Controlled Release Society, and Chairman and Board Member of Biotech Association of Alabama (BioAlabama). Board roles include the Society for Biomaterials, the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers, Southeastern Medical Device Association, TechBirmingham, the Birmingham Venture Club, and the corporate boards of Brookwood Pharmaceuticals and Southern BioSystems.
He has led or participated in multiple transactions, including sell-side and buy-side acquisitions and licenses. Tipton has 42 issued U.S. patents, 30 published U.S. patent applications, and numerous foreign equivalents, with more than 70 presentations and publications.
He was elected a fellow of American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers (the top 2% of medical and biological engineers) in 2008 and into the Inaugural College of Fellows of Controlled Release Society (CRS) in 2009 and was awarded the CRS Distinguished Service Award in 2012. In 2013, he was inducted as a fellow into the National Academy of Inventors. Tipton is a 2015 graduate of the FBI Citizens Academy.
Tipton was appointed to the Alabama Science and Technology Roadmap Steering Committee by Governor Bob Riley, and to the Alabama State Workforce Council by Governor Robert Bentley. He also serves on the Alabama committee on Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) and works closely within that group and the Alabama Department of Commerce to also drive science and innovation initiatives.
Tipton earned a doctorate in polymer science and engineering from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, and a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Spring Hill College.