Genetic services

Genetic services

29.05.2012 - Alan Schafer is to head British biomarker specialist Population Genetics Technologies Ltd.

The firm's new CEO has a track record in research, Big Pharma management and building new businesses. The former Wellcome Trust’s Director of Science Funding is currently an Adjunct Professor of Innovation at the Imperial College London. He has also served as Global Vice-President of Technology Development at GlaxoSmithKline, and co-founded the functional genomics firm Hexagen.

28.09.2012 Dutch Mucosis B.V. (Groningen) has named Thomas Johnston as its new Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect.

The vaccine developer's former CBO succeeds Govert Schouten, who founded an Internet start-up. Johnston joined Mucosis from Novavax Inc. in 2011, where he served as Vice President of Strategy. Prior to Novavax, Johnston was a consultant in various industries, including biotech.

24.09.2012 Belgian chondrocyte therapy specialist TiGenix BV (Leuven) has named Jean Stéphenne as its Independent Director and new Chairman of the Board.

Previously, Stéphenne was a member of the executive team at GlaxoSmithKline, and Chairman and President of GSK Biologicals in Wavre (Belgium). He currently serves as Chairman of BESIX, IBA & BioWin, and Vesalius Biocapital.

12.09.2012 Oslo-based Photocure ASA has named Erik Dahl as its new CFO.

The specialist for photodynamic skin and cancer therapy brings more than 20 years of experience in senior level financial management roles in both international public and private companies. He has a strong track record in corporate finance, legal and financial restructurings, M&A, IPOs and other capital market transactions.

14.09.2012 French-US non-statistical clinical data analyses provider Ariana Pharma has hired Dr. Mariana Kuras as its Chief Technology Officer.

From 2004–2012, Kuras led research at Bio-systems International, where she was responsible for the development and validation of biomarker platform technologies with the help of anti-body array technologies. Previously, she worked at Pfizer Global Research and Development (Fresnes, France). Kuras holds a PhD in biophysics and computational biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the US.

18.09.2012 German oncology expert Wilex AG has altered its executive management board. Dr. Jan Schmidt-Brand, who arrived from Wilex daughter Heidelberg Pharma, stepped into the CFO role at Wilex at the beginning of September.

Schmidt-Brandt was Managing Director at Heidelberg Pharma, which develops antibody-drug conjugates, until that firm was taken over by Wilex in November 2010. From 1997-2001, the trained lawyer was Managing Director of the Austrian BASF-Pharma subsidiary EBEWE Arznei-mittel GmbH, where his responsibilities included finance and controlling. Prior to that, he held several positions at the BASF Group over a period of eight years. In his final position there he was an executive in the chemical giant's central tax department. At the beginning of August, the firm announced that current CFO Peter Llewellyn-Davies would be stepping down when his six-year contract expired. Wilex announced that he is planning to pursue new activities, but will continue to act for the company in an advisory capacity.

29.08.2012 Dr Decio L. Eizirik, Director at the University libre de Brussels (ULB), has been awarded the 2012 Albert Renold Prize of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD).

The prize is the most important international award in the field of pancreatic islets, and recognises "an individual's outstanding contribution to the advancement of knowledge in the field of research in the islets of Langerhans". Professor Eizirik and his colleagues at the Laboratory of Experimental Medicine at ULB have been investigating the molecular pathways involved in immune-induced beta cell impairment and apoptosis in type 1 diabetes (T1D). His research led to fundamental concepts such as the dialogue between the immune system and beta cells that trigger and amplify islet inflammation (insulitis) and progressive beta cell death by apoptosis. By using functional genomics and bioinformatics tools he and his group have clarified the cytokine-regulated gene networks that define beta cell outcome, including the recent discoveries of the role of endoplasmic reticulum stress and alternative splicing in this process, and the identification of the mitochondrial pathways that ultimately trigger beta cellapoptosis.By proposing that the beta cell is an active player in processes leading to its survival or death in T1D, Dr Eizirik changed the prevailing view in the field and identified several potential targets for therapy aiming at protecting beta cells in early diabetes.

31.08.2012 Swiss drug giant Roche AG has filled the leadership gap at its pharma division after its former head Pascal Soriot left the company to become CEO of British-Swedish pharma major AstraZeneca.

From 1 September, Daniel O’Day, currently COO at Roche Diagnostics, will step in. O’Day will be succeeded by Roland Diggelmann, currently Head of the Asia-Pacific Region within Roche Diagnostics who has been appointed as a new member of the Executive Committee by the Board of Directors. Daniel O’Day began his career in 1987 at Roche in the U.S. Pharmaceuticals organisation in Sales and Marketing. Following that, he held various positions in Roche Pharma in Switzerland, Japan, and Denmark. In 2006, O’Day joined Roche Diagnostics and became Head of the business area „Molecular Diagnostics“. On January 1 2010 he was appointed Chief Operating Officer for Roche’s global diagnostics business.

04.09.2012 Portuguese API specialist Hovione (Loures) has named Dr. Conrad Winters as new Drug Product Development Director.

Dr Winters was previously with Merck in the USA and Canada and most recently with Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc., where he held the position of Senior Director, Compound Properties Group. The pharmacist brings 18 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry with a focus on managing the development of compounds from lead candidate optimisation to NDA submission and commercialisation. He has extensive experience in rational formulation design, based on fundamental understanding of material properties and the adaptation of particle properties to effect improved bioperformance. Winters has led cross functional global teams charged with the development of priority new chemical entities. He has contributed to and prepared documentation in support of many successful regulatory submissions.

17.08.2012 Dr. Ilka Diester has received the prestigious Boehringer Ingelheim FENS Research Award. The Frankfurt-based neurobiologist got a price money of €25,000 at the Forum of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies in Barcelona.

The award was dedicated to her research at Ernst-Strüngmann-Institut where she and her team analyse sensomotoric circuits with help of optogenetic and electrophysiological tools. Their research aims at developing neuroprotheses which can compensate neuronal functional disorders. The price is sponsored by the FENS and Boehringer.

21.08.2012 Horizon Discovery appointed Richard Vellacott as its new Chief Financial Officer. Vellacott has over 15 years’ experience in working with life sciences companies, from start-ups to global pharmaceuticals.

Prior to joining Horizon, he was Vice President Finance at CSR plc. During his time at CSR, Vellacott had worldwide responsibility for finance, making significant contributions to the transformational acquisition and integration of NASDAQ-listed Zoran Corp., product portfolio management, R&D budgeting and business investment. Before this, he was a Director in Deloitte’s life sciences practice, where he specialised in capital market transactions including IPOs, M&A and fundraising on both the UK and the US markets. Horizon Discovery Limited (“Horizon”) is a leading provider of research tools to support the development of personalised medicines. 

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