Breathing space

Breathing space

15.03.2012 - British drug delivery specialist Prosonix plc (Oxford) has appointed Dr. Geoff Down as its new CMO.

The expert for respiratory drug development will oversee the clinical development of Prosonix’s product pipeline, including PSX1001 (inhaled fluticasone propionate monotherapy), PSX1002 (inhaled glycopyrrolate monotherapy) and PSX2000 (inhaled combination therapies) as treatment for asthma and COPD.

26.03.2012 Turku-based Biotie Therapies Corp has named Panu Mietinnen as its new Chief Financial Officer.

Mietinnen brings in extensive expertise in finance, strategy, investor relations, and M&A. The Finn previously worked as CFO at Elektrobit Corporation. Before joining that company, Panu was a management consultant at Accenture and KPMG Consulting.

23.04.2012 The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), a €600m public-private partnership between 26 global pharma players and the European Commission, has a new Chairman.

At the beginning of March, Roch Doliveux, CEO of Brussels-headquartered UCB S.A., agreed to take the post. The Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) is an industry-led pre-competitive joint project aimed at overcoming current bottle­necks in the drug development process. Before joining UCB in 2003 and becoming the company’s CEO in 2005, Doliveux worked for Ciba-Geigy and Schering-Plough.

16.04.2012 API developer and manufacturer Hovione FarmaCiencia SA (Loures, Portugal) has named Colin Minchom VP of its Particle Design business.

The pharmacist, who is coming in from Patheon Inc., will be responsible for innovating drug formulations, especially for poorly bioavailable substances. Colin Minchom brings in 29 years of experience in drug development, with an emphasis on dosage forms and drug delivery at Cerebrus Ltd, Eli Lilly and E.R. Squibb.

09.04.2012 Dr. Iris-Tatjana Kolassa (33) received the ”Janet Taylor Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions”, which is awarded by the Association for Psychological Science.

The psychologist, who received her PhD from the University of Jena, was honoured for her contributions to linking the psychology of post-traumatic stress disorder to genetics. Since 2010, Kolassa has been in charge of Clinical and Biological Psychology at the University of Ulm.

02.04.2012 Belgian specialist for single-chain antibodies from camelidae Ablynx NV (Ghent) has strengthened its management with the appointment of Dr. Andreas Menrad as CSO.

Menrad is an expert for the progression of lead candidates into the clinic, and will closely collaborate with Ablynx CMO Josefin-Beate Holz, who is responsible for the firm's clinical Nanobody® programmes in hematological (ALX 0081/ALX0681) and immunological (ALX0061m ATN103)m ATN192) disorders as well as in oncology (ALX141, ALX651). Currently, Ablynx has five partnered preclinical drug programmes with Merck KGaA, while one Nanobody candidate is being developed with Novartis. Additionally, four preclinical programmes against undisclosed targets are being pursued in collaboration with Boehringer Ingelheim. Menrad will be responsible for the ongoing development of the Nanobody® platform, and will identify and prioritise new therapeutic programmes that Ablynx will pursue either on its own or with partners. The new CSO arrives from Genzyme, where he held the position of General Manager and Vice President of Antibody Therapeutics. Before joining Genzyme in 2007 Andreas Menrad worked with German Schering AG.

29.03.2012 For the third time in a year, RNAi therapeutics specialist Silence Therapeutics has named a new CEO.

After US firm Intradigm left the merger, Thomas Christély, who is now stepping down for ”personal reasons”, took over from Philipp Haworth. He will be replaced by Dr Tony Sedgwick. He joined Silence in September 2011 to lead a new business development team. He has extensive experience from European life science companies including more than fifteen years at Roche. Prior to joining Silence, Sedgwick was CEO of Novacta and Chairman of the Norwegian biotech company Plastid AS. He was also previously CEO of  Daniolabs Ltd. and Cambridge Biotechnology Ltd.

19.03.2012 Swiss-headquartered automation specialist Tecan AG (Männedorf) has hired Dr. David Martyr as its new Chief Executive Officer.

David Matyr, who has played a string of successful leadership roles in the last 13 years within the Life Sciences sector, will join Tecan from Leica Microsystems. There he helped boost annual sales from US$500m to over US$1.2bn in the last four years. Martyr will join Tecan as soon as his current contractual obligations permit. Tecan’s former CEO Thomas Bachmann will leave the firm immediately. In the meantime, Gérard Vaillant will act as interim acting CEO. 

22.03.2012 Physiologist Prof. Barbara Cannon is to head the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences for the next three years.

Her tenure begins on 1 July 2012. The former Chairwoman of the Nobel Committee (2009-2011) said she will focus the Academy's work not only on the short-term benefits of applied science and technology transfer, but will also keep an eye on “the unexpected benefit” of science, ”which is simply to provide us with greater understanding of the nature of matter.” Barbara Cannon is currently Director of the Wenner-Gren Institute at Stockholm University. 

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