Eastern expansion


Eastern expansion

27.04.2016 - Swedish nanoliter-scale immunoassay pioneer Gyros Protein Technologies, recently established by the merger of Gyros AB and Protein Technologies, Inc., starts expanding into the Asia-Pacific region. Peter Luk takes over as VP Asia-Pacific.

Luk has over 25 years of life science business experience in Asia. Before joining Gyros Protein Technologies, he was General Manager of ProteinSimple, Asia. Prior to that, Luk was VP Asia-Pacific of Molecular Devices, and he has also held various management roles at PerkinElmer, Packard Biosciences and Bio-Rad Laboratories. He holds an undergraduate degree in Biotechnology from the University of Leeds, UK, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the City University of Hong Kong.


25.04.2016 Acesion Pharma’s founding CEO Ulrik Sørensen is moving over for his successor. Seasoned business developer Frans Wuite has been appointed as CEO at the Danish company, which develops first-in-class drugs to treat atrial fibrillation.

© Acesion Pharma

Frans Wuite has more than 25 years pharmaceutical industry experience encompassing leadership roles in start-ups through to large, international companies. Prior to joining Acesion, Wuite led Finnish Oncos Therapeutics, a clinical stage cancer immunotherapy company which successfully merged with Targovax last year. He also led the commercial development and launch of Amgen’s anaemia therapy Aranesp in Europe. Wuite is a board director of Healthcap VII GP S.A. and Herantis Pharma Ltd. He holds an MBA in Business Administration from Tilburg University and an M.D. from the University of Groningen.

Founder Sørensen is taking over as Chief Operating Officer at Acesion.


20.04.2016 Sanofi has appointed Novartis’ ex- Global Head of Medical Affairs Ameet Nathwani as new member of the Executive Committee and Executive VP, Group Chief Medical Officer.

© Sanofi

Nathwani qualified in medicine in 1987 in London and  acquired a specialization in cardiology. He has a diploma in Pharmaceutical Medicine and an executive Masters in Business Administration.

Nathwani started his career in the pharmaceutical industry at Glaxo Group Research in 1994. He held R&D leadership roles in Glaxo, SmithKline Beecham and GlaxoSmithKline, both in Europe and US. From 2004 on, he held a number of positions at Novartis, including Global Development Head of the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Franchise, Global Head of the Critical Care Business Franchise, and Global Head of Medical Affairs.

At Sanofi, Nathwani will be responsible for enterprise-wide medical, patient safety and medical quality. He succeeds Paul Chew, who plans to retire. 


11.04.2016 French immunotherapy play TxCell has appointed its global Scientific Advisory Board. TChair will be the renowned immunologist Zelig Eshhar, from the Weizmann Institute of science in Rehovot and from the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in Israel.

© TxCell

Eshhar is widely known for his pioneering research on the Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) approach. He was the first scientist to demonstrate the therapeutic potential of Chimeric Antigen Receptor-engineered Regulatory T (CAR-Treg) cells in models of intestinal inflammation in mice. His achievements have been recognised by several international awards, including the CAR Pioneering award by the ATTACK European Consortium, the Teva and Massry prizes and, most recently, the Israel Prize in Life Sciences.

The first two other members of TxCell’s Scientific Advisory Board will be Professor Chiara Bonini from the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan, Italy, and Doctor Bernard Malissen from Marseille-Luminy Immunology Center in Marseille, France.


02.04.2016 The management board of the European Medicines Agency has elected Christa Wirthumer-Hoche as its chair for the next three years. She has already served as vice-chair of EMA’s Management Board since March 2015.

© BASG - Austrian Federal Office for Safety in Health Care

Wirthumer-Hoche, who holds a doctorate from the Technical University of Vienna and a diploma in chemistry and biochemistry, has headed the Austrian Medicines and Medical Devices Agency since 2013. She is also co-chair of the EU Network Training Centre that was launched in January 2015 and has served as chair of EMA’s Active Substance Master File Working Group.

Wirthumer-Hoche succeeds Sir Kent Woods, who stepped down as chair of the Board in December 2015.


30.03.2016 Cambridge Epigenetix, a developer of epigenetic sequencing technologies, today announced the appointment of Geoff Smith as CEO. Smith joins CEGX from Illumina, where he served most recently as site lead and VP of Product Development.

© Cambridge Epigenetix

Smith worked at Illumina for over 10 years after joining the company via the acquisition of Solexa. Prior to Solexa, he was head of research at Adprotech.

Smith holds a PhD from Cambridge University, and held postdoctoral research positions with HHMI at UT Southwestern, USA and MRC Cambridge, UK.

In conjunction with a US$21m fundraising, Tom Hulme, GV general partner, will join Cambridge Epigenetix’ board of directors and co-founder Bobby Yerramilli-Rao will assume the role of Chairman.


28.03.2016 Georges Tabary is taking over the lead of Paris-based BioAxial as CEO and president. BioAxial develops imaging instruments for fluorescence microscopy that allow extended imaging of live cells with a very high resolution.

© BioAxial / ALA

Tabary comes to BioAxial from Mauna Kea Technologies, where he was vice president of strategic accounts. Prior to that, he spent seven years with Leica Microsystems of Danaher Group, where he led the European surgical microscopy and histopathology businesses. He was also president of Leica Microsystèmes SAS, and before that, served as vice president and general manager for Intuitive Surgical Europe. 


23.03.2016 Renowned stem cell expert Fiona Watt has joined the board of the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, a UK organisation dedicated to the growth of the UK cell and gene therapy industry. In February, Watt had been announced as the winner of the 2016 FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award.

© King’s College London

Watt helped establish the Cancer Research UK (CRUK) Cambridge Research Institute and the Wellcome Trust Centre for Stem Cell Research in Cambridge. She served both as Deputy Director  until 2012, when she took over as Director of the Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine at King's College, London. She leads the UK Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Initiative. 

She is one of three new Non-Executive Directors on the Board of the UK organisation, the others being Susan Foden and Steven Chatfield. 


21.03.2016 The Board of Directors of ASEBIO, the Spanish Association of Biotechnology Companies, has appointed Ion Arocena Velez as its new General Managzer. Arocena is also a partner at AS Law Biotech Desk and a partner at Life Science VC company Suanfarma Biotech.


Arocena holds a bachelor degree in biology from Universidad Complutense de Madrid as well as an economy MBA from EOI Business School. He previously worked for Genoma España. He is on the board of Vivia Biotech. 


17.03.2016 The Brain Prize, the most valuable research prize for brain science, went to Edinburgh neuroscientist Richard Morris and two of his colleagues. Morris received the €1m award in recognition of his work to understand the mechanisms of memory.

© Centre for Cognitive and Neural Systems, University of Edinburgh

Morris shares the Brain Prize with fellow neuroscientists Tim Bliss and Graham Collingridge. Together, the researchers worked to understand the brain mechanisms that underpin our ability to learn and remember. Their discoveries have paved the way to better understanding of complex brain conditions such as autism, schizophrenia, depression, chronic pain, epilepsy and addiction.

Morris, who has received a number of prizes and awards, is professor of neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh as well as Honorary Associate of the Instituto de Neurociencias in Alicante. 

 Born 27 June 1948 in the United Kingdom, received his BA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge and his D.Phil from Sussex University. He is Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh and an Honorary Associate of the Instituto de Neurociencias in Alicante.


14.03.2016 Håkan Wickholm is taking over as CEO of Norwegian cancer immunotherapy specialist Lytix Biopharma. Wickholm succeeds Unni Hjelmaas, who had led the company for four years.

© Lytix Biopharma

Previously, Wickholm was Lytix’ head of Business Development, a role he will continue to hold. The appointment reflects the company’s plans to increase its focus on business development.

Before joining Lytix, Wickholm worked at AstraZeneca, where he last held the position of Regional Business Development for Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. He holds a BSc in Businss Administration and Economics from Uppsala University and a Postgraduate diploma in Business Management and Finance from Warwick Business School, UK.

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