New at the business helm

New at the business helm

23.03.2015 - Business authority Paul Wallace joins the helm of Cambridge-based MISSION Therapeutics’ as Chief Business Officer. MISSION specialises on the discovery and development of elucidating and targeting the ubiquitin pathway to treat cancers and other diseases. Among other projects, Paul will formulate its future business strategy in the exploration of development partnerships.

Paul’s abundance of experience in drug discovery development spans almost 20 years. Most recently, he was Executive Vice President and Head of Business Development at Medivir AB, where he was also a member of the Executive Management Team responsible for strategic and operational leadership, R&D portfolio management and investment planning. Prior to his roles in business development, Paul enjoyed a career in pharmaceutical research and undertook his PhD and post-doctoral studies at the University of Cambridge.

“With MISSION currently embarking on the preclinical development of its lead molecules, Paul’s extensive business development experience will be invaluable in helping us find the right strategic partnerships to fully realise the potential of these assets. Our core focus is cancer, but our platform discovery approach has yielded highly promising molecules for other indications, such as Parkinson’s disease. We see partnering as an attractive option for taking these non-core projects forward,” commented Anker Lundemose, MISSION Chief Executive Officer.

18.03.2015 Neovacs strengthens its top tier this month as it names Therese Croughs as its new Chief Medical Officer. She brings over 20 years’ of drug development and regulatory affairs experience to the Paris-based biotech, which focuses on immunotherapies for the treatment of autoimmune diseases.

© Neovacs

Therese has garnered her experience in different sized companies in various stages of clinical development across Europe, American and Asia. Beginning her career in the pharma industry at Bayer, she worked there for ten years on the design implementation and oversight of clinical trials and product registrations. After leaving Bayer, she joined Novo Nordisk as international medical adviser for EU clinical developments. She entered the biotech industry in 2004 as Director of Adhesive Technology and New Projects Business Units of BioAlliance Pharma. Prior to joining Neovacs, Therese was Chief Medical Officer at Cytheris for over six years.

“Her expertise in immunology and oncology, and extensive experience in defining worldwide clinical development programmes for immunotherapies and biologics will be instrumental for Neovacs at such a critical time in our clinical development,” announced Jean-Jacques Bertrand, Chairman of Neovacs.

Therese will lead the clinical development programmes for IFNα-Kinoid in lupus and dermatomyositis, as well as preparing the launch of the VEGF-Kinoid development programme.

11.03.2015 Now that Jonathan Emms’ new duties at Pfizer will be taking him out of the UK and across to the US, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has appointed John Kearney as their next President.


Kearney has been working in the pharmaceutical industry for the last 35 years. He is currently General Manager UK and Ireland at drug developer Amgen, where he has worked since 2007.

Prior to that, the economics graduate has held executive roles at GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer, and has been on the Board of the ABPI since 2008. The ABPI works on behalf of the UK’s research-based biopharmaceutical industry.

“I am delighted to be building on the recent leadership of Jonathan Emms, at a time when the pharmaceutical industry as a whole is delivering such a high quality and quantity of new science and treatment innovations. I look forward to playing my part in ensuring those innovations are able to make a real difference in the funding and provision of health services, in the outstanding work of healthcare professionals in the UK, and – ultimately – to patients," said John on his new position.

Kearney will take office on 24 April.

11.03.2015 Holger Zimmermann is taking over the helm of German infectious disease specialist Aicuris.

© Aicuris

His predecessor of nine years, Helga Rübsamen-Schaeff, will continue on at Aicuris as chairman of the advisory committee. New CEO Zimmermann has been with the company since its establishment in 2006, most recently as Chief Scientific Officer.

Prior to Aicuris, the biologist worked at Bayer Health Care as Laboratory Head and virology project lead. Zimmermann has published dozens of papers and is named inventor in more than 20 patent applications. He is a committee member of the International Society on Antiviral Research as well as the German Society of Virology.

11.03.2015 Monoclonal antibodies developer Kymab has appointed financial expert Anne Hyland as its new Chief Financial Officer. Anne, who has over 25 years’ experience in the biopharma sector, joined the Cambridge-based biotech on 1 March.

© Anne Hyland

Anne’s wealth of financial experience in biopharma comes from her past positions at both public and private companies. Prior to moving to Kymab, Anne served as Chief Financial Officer of BBI Diagnostics Group plc. Before moving to BBI, Anne was Chief Financial Officer and board member of Vectura Group plc for 11 years. The FTSE listed company provides therapies focused on treating respiratory illnesses such as asthma. Previous to Vectura Anne held a number of senior finance positions, including Director of Corporate Finance at Celltech Group plc, Medeva plc and KPMG.

“I am very pleased to welcome Anneto Kymab’s senior management team. Anne is an experienced CFO with a successful track record of creating value and growth for both public and private companies. Anne’s strong skill set will be invaluable as we build Kymab into a substantial biopharmaceutical company,” said David Chiswell, Chairman and interim CEO of Kymab.

Anne is registered as a Chartered Accountant and a Corporate Tax Adviser and holds a degree in Business Studies from Trinity College, Dublin. 

10.03.2015 German biotech Rigontec GmbH has a new top man. In January, the Bonn-based company appointed life science maven Christian Schetter as its new CEO.

© Rigontec

Schetter moves to Rigontec from Neovii Biotech GmbH, previously Fresenius Biotech GmbH, where he was President and CEO for the past six years. He accompanied the transition of the company to Neovii Biotech after its sale to the Neopharm Group in late June 2013. Prior to joining Fresenius, Christian was Senior Vice President, European Operations and Managing Director of all European activities at Coley Pharmaceuticals. Schetter studied molecular biology and virology at the University of Cologne, where he also received his PhD. He went on to do postdoctoral research in oncology and virology at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California.

26.02.2015 When Olivier Brandicourt leaves Bayer Health Care at the end of March, Werner Baumann will take over as the company’s Chairman of the Board of Management.

© Bayer

Baumann has been working for Bayer since he joined the company in 1988. He held leading positions since 2002 and was actively involved in the Schering AG integration into Bayer after its acquisition in 2006.

Baumann will remain a member of the Board of Management of Bayer AG, of which he has been a member since 2010. He will also continue on as Chief Strategy and Portfolio Officer responsible for Corporate Development and Mergers & Acquisitions as well as the Europe region. Before taking over this responsibility, Baumann served as Bayer AG’s Chief Financial Officer.

Brandicourt, meanwhile, will take over as Sanofi’s new CEO.

20.02.2015 After Christopher Vieh­bacher’s unceremonious ousting last year, Sanofi has been on the lookout for a new CEO. Now, pharma veteran Olivier Brandicourt has agreed to fill the position.

© Bayer

Brandicourt had been Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Management of German Bayer HealthCare AG since 2013. Before that, he was a member of the executive leadership team of Pfizer Inc. in New York, and where he led Pfizer’s Emerging Markets and Established Products business unit as president and general manager. At Sanofi, he will take over from interim CEO and Chairman Serge Weinberg, who has headed the Paris-based drugmaker since October.

19.02.2015 Pfizer’s Global Innovative Pharmaceutical business UK has a new head: Erik Nordkamp is taking over the position from Jonathan Emms, who switched to the pharma giant’s global business unit.

© Pfizer UK

Nordkamp has been working for Pfizer since 2010. He was head of strategy for Primary Care Europe and Canada, and, for the last year, he has been responsible for the company’s Greece, Cyprus and Malta business.

16.02.2015 Jean-Christophe Tellier has taken over the role of UCB's CEO from Roch Doliveux, who had led the Belgian biopharmaceutical company for the last ten years.


Tellier joined the company in 2011 and was instrumental in establishing the company’s current strategy. Previously, the rheumatologist by trade he held leadership roles at Ipsen and Macrogenics. He spent almost 20 years working at Novartis, most notably as CEO Novartis Pharma France and Belgium. Tellier is also Chairman of UCB’s Executive Committee and member of the Board of Directors.

11.02.2015 Eliot Forster has taken over the lead of British biologics specialist Immunocore Limited. The new CEO succeeds founder James Noble who stood down to become full-time CEO of sister company Adaptimmune.

© Immunocore

Forster is joining from Italian biotech Creabilis, where he also held the role of CEO since 2010. Prior to that, he worked in leading roles at Solace Pharmaceuticals, Pfizer and Glaxosmithkline. Forster is also Chairman of the MedCity project, launched last year to grow a world-leading life sciences cluster in and around London.

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