Young blood


Young blood

03.08.2015 - Finnish health tech group Revenio Group Corporation, listed on NASDAQ OMX Helsinki, has a new Chief Financial Officer. Robin Pulkkinen joins Revenio from his previous position as Symbio Inc.’s VP of Finance.

Prior to Symbio, Pulkkinen held several management positions both in Finland and in Canada. He holds a Master of Economics from Helsinki School of Economics. Pulkkinen has joined Revenio as of July 15, 2015 and reports to the Revenio Group's President and CEO Olli-Pekka Salovaara.


25.07.2015 US-Belgian cancer Dx specialist MDxHealth SA has appointed Philip J. Ginsburg as its new Chief Medical Officer. In this role, Ginsburg will have responsibility for the clinical strategy of the Herstal-based company that provides actionable epigenetic information to personalise the diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

© MDxHealth SA

Before joining MDxHealth, Ginsburg worked as CMO at Toma Biosciences and as President at Arista, a personalised medicine division of Iris International, Inc. later acquired by Beckman. Prior to that, he was CEO and co-founder of molecular Dx lab AlliedPath, which was ultimately acquired by Iris. Ginsburg also served as Senior Medical Director at Gen-Probe, Inc. Dr. Ginsburg earned his medical degree at the University of Pretoria School of Medicine, South Africa, and later specialised in clinical pathology at the University of Witwatersrand and the South African Institute of Medical Research.


28.07.2015 British cancer Dx developer 14M Genomics, a spin-out of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, has appointed Alan Schafer as CEO.

© 14M Genomics

He most recently served as CEO of Population Genetics Technologies, an infectious molecular disease diagnostic company. Previously, he was Global VP of Technology Development at pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline. He co-founded Hexagen, a functional genomics company that was acquired by Incyte where he subsequently served as VP of Genetics. He has also served as Director of Science Funding at the Wellcome Trust.


22.07.2015 June Raine has been confirmed as Chair of the European Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC). At its July 2015 meeting, the committee of the European Medicines Agency voted to prolong the mandate of Raine by another three years.


Raine’s colleague Álmath Spooner was also confirmed as co-chair. Raine holds a PhD and undertook postgraduate research leading to an MSc in pharmacology. Today, she is Director of Vigilance and Risk Management of Medicines at the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) of the UK. She has served as chair of the PRAC since September 2012.

Her key priorities for the future of the PRAC are: to evaluate the outcome of its pharmacovigilance activities and decisions in terms of measurable public health benefit; to ensure pharmacovigilance and risk management systems are key enablers of earlier access for patients to innovative medicines; and to continue to progress the way in which the PRAC engages with healthcare professionals, patients and the public to deliver regulatory decisions.


15.07.2015 French clinical stage biotech GenSight Biologics has appointed Thomas Gidoin as Chief Financial Officer. The Paris-based company discovers and develops novel therapies for diseases of the eye. In his new role, Gidoin will be responsible for the company’s future corporate and financial development strategies and operations.

© Thomas Gidoin

Gidoin brings long years of corporate finance and leadership experience to GenSight Biologics SA. From October 2012 to July 2015, he led the Corporate Finance team at DBV Technologies as Vice President Finance. At DBV, he participated in public offerings and private placements, including the dual listing of the company on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.

Prior to that, Gidoin worked at Ipsen, biotech pharma, from 2008 to 2011, as a Senior Financial Analyst and later as UK Operations Controller in London. He holds Master’s degrees in International Finance and in International Management. 


13.07.2015 Gert W. Munthe has replaced Knut Eidissen as Lytix Biopharma’s new Chairman of the Board. Knut Eidissen will remain a member of the Norwegian biopharma’s board and remains the largest shareholder in Lytix.

© Lytix Biopharma AS

Gert W. Munthe is the founder and Managing Partner of Nordic private equity player, Herkules. At Herkules, he was responsible for Pronova investments, which is now one of the world’s leading suppliers of Omega 3-based drugs. Munthe has over 20 years’ experience as a senior executive from both Norwegian and international business in addition to extensive board experience. From 1998 to 2000, he was CEO of US Alpharma Inc., which is listed on the NYSE. Previous to this, he was at the helm of NetCom as CEO from 1993 to 1998, leading the company to profitability four years after its commercial launch. Munthe graduated from the University of Oslo in Economics and Statistics. 


08.07.2015 French biopharma Poxel SA has appointed Yohjiro Itoh to lead the company’s regulatory and clinical operations in Asia.

© MacDougall Biomedical Communications

With over 30 years of Life Science industry experience with a focus on regulatory affairs, Itoh’s expertise and knowledge of the Japanese regulatory environment is meant to help Poxel expand in Asia. Previous to joining Poxel, Itoh served as Head of the Regulatory and Consulting Department at Tokyo-based CRO Mediscience Planning Inc. He has held key positions in regulatory affairs and clinical research at Bayer Yakuhin, RPR Gencell and has a broad knowledge in the fields of oncology and immunology, cardiovascular diseases, medical devices as well as gene therapy. He holds a PhD in Molecular Biology and Immunology from Okayama University in Japan.

Poxel focuses on the development of drugs to treat diabetes. Its lead drug candidate Imeglimin, a new chemical class of anti-diabetic agents, has already completed phase 2 clinical trials in diabetes type 2 patients in the US and EU. The appointment of Itoh is a critical step in Poxel’s strategic focus on the Japanese market for the further development of Imeglimin.


01.07.2015 Laura van't Veer, co-founder and Chief Research Officer of Agendia, has won the European Inventor Award in the SME category. The Dutch molecular biologist and geneticist is the co-inventor of Agendia’s FDA-approved breast cancer test.

van't Veer with her award © B3C newswire

Agendia B.V. is a Dutch and US-American molecular diagnostics company that was co-founded by van’t Veer, who received her PhD on the study of Oncogene Activation and Tumorigenesis at the University of Leiden, in Amsterdam in 2003. She initially served as its Chief Operating Officer until mid 2007, after which she became the company’s Chief Research Officer. Agendia has developed a genetic diagnostic test, MammaPrint, used for breast cancer patients, which estimates the risk of recurrence up to 20 years into the future. van’t Veer’s award recognises the fundamental way in which she has changed breast cancer care with her invention of MammaPrint.

The prestigious innovation award, presented by the European Patent Office (EPO) took place on 11 June in Paris. Now in its 10th year, the accolade honours outstanding inventors who have made an exceptional contribution to social development, technological progress and economic growth. 


29.06.2015 Ex-Sanofi-CEO Christopher Viehbacher has been named Managing Partner of Waypoint Capital’s Gurnet Point Capital fund worth US$2bn.

© Sanofi

Waypoint Capital is the business enterprise for investments associated with the Bertarelli family. The fund managed by Viehbacher will have an initial allocation of US$2bn (€1.8bn) of capital to invest, with a mandate to lead its global healthcare investment strategy.

“We have considerable capital to invest, but to succeed in the healthcare market requires more than money; it requires the experience, ability and relationships to create successful partnerships; the development and regulatory competency; and the know-how to create value from individual molecules, devices or technologies,” commented Ernesto Bertarelli, Chairman of Waypoint. “[Viehbacher] has these qualities in abundance.”

Viehbacher was abruptly removed from his role of Sanofi’s Chief Executive Officer by the board of directors on 29 October last year. He had been at the helm of the French drugmaker for six years, and had frequently clashed with the board of directors. 

With his dismissal at Sanofi, he also laid down his roles as chairman of Genzyme and, shortly after, his position as president of pharmaceutical business association EFPIA. 


29.06.2015 Poxel has appointed Noah D. Beerman as its new Executive Vice President, Business Development and President of the company’s US Operations. Beerman will be instrumental in expanding Poxel, a French biopharmaceutical that develops drugs to treat type 2 diabetes, in the US.

© MacDougall Biomedical Communications

During his career, Beerman has amassed a wealth of experience in designing partnerships and corporate transactions between several biotech and pharma companies and building up corporations. Beerman, who holds an MBA in High Technology and a BS in molecular genetics, has been an executive in the biopharma industry for over 25 years. From 2009-2011, Beerman was president, CEO and Director of RXI Pharmaceuticals (now Galena BioPharma), and until 2013, Executive Vice President and COO at Coronado Biosciences. Beerman will be based in Boston and will be responsible for leading Lyon-based Poxel’s global business development efforts.


19.06.2015 Mihael Furjan has been appointed as Management Board President of Croatian Pliva Hrvatska d.o.o., a member of the Teva Group.

© Pliva Hrvatska

With over 15 years’ experience in the sector, Furjan began and developed his career from 1997 to 2009 at Pliva, starting as business analyst in Economic Affairs and later went on to hold a number of international positions in the pharma industry. He later returned to Croatia to contribute his knowledge to the Croatian pharma market. Now back at Pliva, Furjan will assume responsibility for commercial operations in Croatia and Southeast Europe.

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