Second time around


Second time around

26.11.2015 - Guido Rasi has once again taken office as Executive Director of the European Medicines Agency’s Management Board on 16 November.

Rasi already held this position from 2011 until 2014, when he was forced to step down due to irregularities during the selection process. 

The professor of microbiology was Director-General of the Italian Medicines Agency from 2008 to 2011. Before that, he was the Director of the Institute of Molecular Medicine of the National Research Council in Rome. For twelve years, he worked as a physician in hospital, research and private practice before switching to the Institute for Experimental Medicine of Italy’s National Research Council.

Rasi has authored more than 100 scientific publications.


23.11.2015 French antibody specialist Biomunex Pharmaceuticals has hired Eugene Zhukovsky as Chief Scientific Officer. The US biotherapeutics research and development scientist joins Biomunex from German Affimed Therapeutics where he was CSO and head of research.

© Biomunex

In 2013, a survey commissioned by Total BioPharma selected Zhukovsky as one of the Top 50 Global Antibody Industry Influencers. He was a Senior Research Fellow in the Biotherapeutics Department at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and leading development of antibody therapeutics and an Associate Director at Xencor, Inc. Prior to that, Zhukovsky worked developing genomics technologies at Lynx Therapeutics (now Illumina, Inc.). He started his professional career at Neurex Corporation (now Perrigo Company).


18.11.2015 The EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has reelected Tomas Salmonson as its Chair in September. Salmonson will serve his second three-year term.


Salmonson has worked at the Swedish Medical Products Agency since 1986, where he currently holds the position of Senior Scientific Advisor. In parallel, he was Regulatory Therapeutic Area Head at SmithKline Beecham between 1994 and 1995. Salmonson holds a PhD in Internal Medicine from Uppsala University.


18.11.2015 In October, Polish pharma group Polpharma appointed Maurice Chagnaud as its new CEO. The doctor of medicine has worked in upper management positions in the European pharmaceutical industry for the last 20 years.

© Polpharma

In the past, Chagnaud worked for Merck Generics (Merck KgAa) for twelve years, responsible for its all commercial operations in France and as General Manager of Merck Generics Italia. Over the next seven years, he held several positions at TEVA: he was General Manager of TEVA and Ivax France, Chief Commercial Officer of TEVA Europe, and Senior Vice President in Central and Eastern Europe, running several acquisitions and integrations of companies. Most recently, he served as President Europe – Russia & CIS and Global Head of Inhalation Strategy at Swiss company Lupin, where he was in charge of a European strategy. 

Chagnaud succeeded Markus Sieger, who will remain a Member of Polpharma’s Supervisory Board.


16.11.2015 Pharma longtimer Martin Austin has taken over as Business Development Director at A1M Pharma. He has been on the board of the Swedish specialist for the endogenous protein A1M since March.

© A1M Pharma

Austin has held several senior positions, among others he was Head of Business Development for pharmaceuticals at Roche. He is also a board member of several growth companies, Board advisor to a number of companies and investment funds and an expert at the Centre for Executive Leadership for the Pharmaceutical Industry in Brussels. He has advised over 100 companies, and is the author of two books on business development in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry.


10.11.2015 Norwegian drug developer Serodus ASA appointed Nikolai C. Brun as Vice President Drug Development in October. Brun joins from Genmab, where he held the position of VP Medical department.

© Serodus

Educated as MD, Brun has gathered experience in all phases of clinical development within the pharma and biotech industry. He has previously been Project VP at Novo Nordisk and Senior Medical Director at Genzyme.


10.11.2015 In September, French biotech Abivax appointed Jean-Marc Steens as its Chief Medical Officer. Steens will be responsible for the ongoing development of Abivax’ clinical-stage product candidates ABX464 for the treatment of HIV/AIDS and ABX203 for hepatitis B.

© Abivax

The physician began his career at Sandoz in Belgium and subsequently switched to Glaxo (later GlaxoSmithKline) where he remained for the next 20 years. In 2009, Steens was appointed to the post of Vice President and International Medical Director of ViiV Healthcare. Since 2013, Dr. Steens has consulted to various Biopharmaceutical companies, including Novartis. Also, Dr. Steens is a member of the HIV advisory boards and steering committees of several global and national healthcare organizations such as the WHO and the National Institutes of Health.


10.11.2015 There is a new CEO on board the Dutch molecular diagnostics company Agendia NV. Mark Straley has taken over the lead of the company in August.

© Agendia

Most recently he served as President, Anatomical Pathology of Thermo Fisher Scientific. Prior to this position he was President and CEO of Metamark Genetics, a Cambridge-based biotech company focusing on the development of prognostic and predictive diagnostic tests for personalised treatment of cancer patients. From 2005 to 2010, Straley held positions at Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, a J&J company, first as Worldwide Vice President of Marketing and then as Worldwide President. Before that, he worked for Bayer Healthcare and Abbott Laboratories.


04.11.2015 Researcher Henrique Veiga-Fernandes, the coordinator of the Immunobiology group at the Institute of Molecular Medicine (IMM) in Lisbon, has received a special honour. In summer, he was named commander of the order Comendador da Ordem Militar de Sant'Iago de Espada by Aníbal Cavaco Silva, the Portuguese President.


The order is intended to distinguish literary, artistic or scientific merit. Veiga-Fernandes was honoured for his contribution to science and internationalisation. 

Commander is the third of six classes within the order. The recipients wear the star of the Order in silver.


02.11.2015 Sahlgrenska Science Park has recruited business development and investment expert Charlotta Gummeson as its new CEO. With the move, the Gothenburg cluster is aiming to strengthen its standing and prospects in the life sciences.

© Sahlgrenska Science Park

Gummeson is on the board of Life Genomics AB as well as Laccure AB, Lumina Adhesives and Tveklyftan AB. She has been Investment Manager at Almi Invest AB since 2013. She has previously held the same position in the Innovation Bridge AB and also has a background as head of the Swedish operations in the Japanese pharmaceutical company Astellas Pharma and as Marketing Manager and Hospital Portfolio Manager at GlaxoSmithKline.

Gummeson will start at Sahlgrenska in January 2016.


29.10.2015 Stockholm-based BioLamina AB, a manufacturer of primary cell culture based on human recombinant laminins, has engaged Stephen Minger as its Scientific Advisor. The cell technology expert has been a prominent figure in stem cell researcher in the UK.

© BioLamina

Minger held the position of GE Healthcare’s Global Director for Research and Development for Cell Technologies for more than three years and is still working as a scientific consultant for the company in the fields of Cellular Sciences and Regenerative Medicine. He earned a PhD in pathology from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. For ten years, Minger worked as a lecturer in Biomolecular Sciences at King's College London.

In 2002, Minger’s research group was among the first to deposit a human embryonic stem cell line into the UK Stem Cell Bank. He was actively involved with the UK Department of Health and with the Minister for Public Health in the consultation with both Houses of Parliament that led to the passage of the Human Embryo Bill of 2009 and the inclusion of new forms of animal-human embryos within primary legislation. Stephen was the Stem Cell Expert and a Member of the UK Gene Therapy Advisory Committee (GTAC) at the Department of Health from 2006-2012 and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Canadian Centre for the Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine.

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