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Vaccine leader

11.02.2016 - Swiss immunooncology player Maxivax has appointed Dimitrios Goundis as its Chief Executive Officer. Before joining Maxivax, Goundis worked for The Medicines Company in various roles, among them Business Development and Global Head of R&D.

Previously, the biochemist held the position of Chief Operating Officer, and also worked in project management and research scientist position at F. Hoffman-La Roche, in the fields of immunology, oncology and CNS. Goundis holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Oxford, a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry and Biochemistry from the University of London, and a certificate in investment management from the London Business School.


04.01.2016 Martinsried-based Medigene AG has appointed current CSO Doloris Schendes to take over as new CEO of the Frankfurt-listed company. Medigene’s erstwhile CEO Frank Mathias is to be nominated for the Supervisory Board. The changes are taking effect 1 February, 2016.

© Medigene

Schendel holds a PhD in Genetics from the University of Wisconsin and is the author of more than 200 scientific publications. She has been a member of the scientific review board in several research organisations, among them the German Research Foundation, German Cancer Aid and the European Research Council.

Schendel joined Medigene in 2014 when the company acquired Trianta Immunotherapy. At Trianta, Schendel held the position of Managing Director. Prior to this, she was Director of the Institute of Molecular Immunology of the German Research Center for Environmental Health at the Helmholtz Center in Munich, and before that, she served as a University Professor for Immunology at Ludwig Maximilian University.


28.12.2015 Since December, clinical immunologist Robert K. Zeldin is leading the global clinical development, regulatory and medical affairs activities of Belgian biopharma company Ablynx.

© Ablynx

The newly appointed Chief Medical Officer earned his M.D. from the Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston and has held senior level clinical development positions at pharmaceutical companies, among them Merck and Novartis.

In his previous roles, Zeldin headed teams in immunology, respiratory, dermatology and cardiovascular disease where he was responsible for clinical development through to commercialisation and life cycle management. 

Zeldin replaces Dominique Tersago as CMO.


23.12.2015 There are a number of new faces at Polish pharma company Polpharma. Newest addition is Federico Pollano, who took over as Director Contract Manufacturing and Business Development in October.

© F. Pollano

Before switching to Polpharma, Pollano spent eight years as CEO and Managing Director of German company Richter-Helm BioLogics GmbH & Co. KG. He started out at the company as Executive Manager of the pharmaceutical division. Previously, he headed the Business Development unit of BioGeneriX AG.


21.12.2015 James Bradner is set to take over the lead of the Novartis Institutes for Bio­medical Research (NIBR) in March. He has also been appointed a member of the Executive Committee of Novartis and will be based at the NIBR headquarters in Cambridge, US.

© Novartis

Bradner, a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Chicago Medical School, leads a discovery chemistry lab at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and is an investigator in Dana-Farber’s Department of Medical Oncology as well as a a member of the affiliated faculty at Harvard Stem Cell Institute of Harvard University. As an avid proponent of open-source drug discovery, Bradner has innovated a drug discovery model, which gives researchers unrestricted access to first-in-class drugs.


17.12.2015 Silence Therapeutics plc, developer of novel RNAi therapeutics, has appointed Alistair Gray as Non-Executive Director. He will also chair the Audit Committee.

© Silence

Having trained as an accountant, Gray’s early career was in senior management positions with Unilever and John Wood Group PLC. He was a Director of Arthur Young (now Ernst and Young) Management Consultants and PA Consulting Group.

Later, Gray founded Genesis Consulting and, most recently, Renaissance & Company. He is currently Chairman of Edrington's Pension Trustees, responsible for management of a major private pension fund and also Chair of the trading division of John Hogg & Company. He chaired the Audit and Remuneration committees of AorTech International PLC and Highland Distillers PLC, as well as the Pension Trustee Board. Gray also served as a Fellow of the Institute of Directors and Institute of Consultants.


14.12.2015 In mid-September, Pierre Moulien took up his duties as Executive Director of the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI). He previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of a not-for-profit organisation Genome Canada.


Moulien, who holds a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Edinburgh, came to Genome Canada in 2010 from Genome British Columbia, where he held the position of Chief Scientific Officer. Before that, he was founding CEO of the Dublin Molecular Medicine Centre (now Molecular Medicine Ireland).


10.12.2015 Together with its radically new brand, Merck KGaA is also bringing in a new Chair. After nine years at the helm of Merck, Karl-Ludwig Kley is retiring and making way for his successor Stefan Oschmann.

© Merck

Oschmann, currently Deputy Chairman of the Executive Board and Deputy CEO of Merck, has been a member of the Board since 2011. He switched to the German company from US competitor MSD Merck Sharp & Dohme, where he held the position of President of Emerging Markets. He is president of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations and Vice President of European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations.


09.12.2015 GFBiochemicals, a producer of levulinic acid from biomass, has hired Alexander Krapivin as its Global Business Development Manager.

© GFBiochemicals

The Russian business economist first started his career in market research and business development as an intern with Shell and Dow Chemical in Moscow. He then joined Dow Corning Russia’s sales and business development division and relocated to the US company’s Brussels office four years later. He will work from GFBiochemicals’ Dutch office in Geleen.


07.12.2015 The British BioIndustries Association has announced Jane Osbourn, Vice President, R&D for MedImmune's biosuperiors portfolio, as its new Chair. She is also R&D Site Leader of MedImmune’s Cambridge, UK-based site.


Osbourn joined Medimmune (then still named CAT) after completing her PhD at the John Innes Centre for Plant Science Research in Norwich and working as a virology and gene expression researcher at Rutgers University, New Jersey and Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

Osbourn is a member of the UK Medical Research Council Industry Grant award assessment panel and an editor of both Mab Journal and Protein Engineering Design and Selection. 

Her predecessor, Edward Hodgkin, CEO of Autolus will remain on the Board. The BIA also appointed four new corporate members of the board: Darrin Disley, David Hipkiss, Andrew Lightfoot and Neil Murray. 


03.12.2015 Danish small molecule drug discovery biotech company Nuevolution A/S has hired inflammatory diseases expert Mark Genovese as its scientific advisor.

© Stanford Health Care

Genovese serves as a Professor of Medicine and is Co-Chief of the Division of Immunology and Rheumatology at Stanford University Medical Center. He established a clinical research program at Stanford University that is focused on bench-to-bedside translational medicine in autoimmune diseases and has designed and participated in many trials investigating novel therapies and therapeutic strategies for the treatment of autoimmune disease and arthritis.

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