Eastern expansion


Eastern expansion

27.04.2016 - Swedish nanoliter-scale immunoassay pioneer Gyros Protein Technologies, recently established by the merger of Gyros AB and Protein Technologies, Inc., starts expanding into the Asia-Pacific region. Peter Luk takes over as VP Asia-Pacific.

Luk has over 25 years of life science business experience in Asia. Before joining Gyros Protein Technologies, he was General Manager of ProteinSimple, Asia. Prior to that, Luk was VP Asia-Pacific of Molecular Devices, and he has also held various management roles at PerkinElmer, Packard Biosciences and Bio-Rad Laboratories. He holds an undergraduate degree in Biotechnology from the University of Leeds, UK, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the City University of Hong Kong.


10.03.2016 Orphan drug developer Onxeo has elected Joseph Zakrzewski Chairman of the Board of Directors. He also sits on the Board publicly held companies Acceleron Pharmaceuticals, Amarin Pharmaceuticals and Insulet Corporation.

© Onxeo

Zakrzewksi has worked in the pharma industry for almost two decades. He was Chairman and CEO of US-Irish Amarin Pharmaceuticals, which develops cardiovascular drugs based on Omega 3. He also served as a Venture Partner with healthcare investment firm Orbimed and was CEO and President of Xcellerex, a company focusing on commercialising its proprietary manufacturing tech for biotherapeutics and vaccines. Zakrzewski received a BS in Chemical Engineering in 1986, an MS in Biochemical Engineering from Drexel University in 1988, and an MBA in Finance in 1992 from Indiana University.

Zakrzewski replaced Patrick Langlois, who resigned. Onxeo also appointed oncology experts Jean-Pierre Kinet and Jean-Pierre Bizzari Observers to the Board of Directors.


07.03.2016 Belgian cell therapy developer Celyad has appointed Richard Mountfield as as Vice President of Global Regulatory Affairs in early February. Mountfield has an extensive experience in regulatory affairs and drug development.

© Celyad

Before joining Celyad, Mountfield held positions in Europe and the US, working for notable companies such as Novartis, Roche, Novo Nordisk and Boehringer Ingelheim. Most recently, he was the global regulatory lead responsible for developing and implementing strategies for a multi-indication oncology programme within Novartis. He holds a biochemistry PhD from Aberystwyth University. 


03.03.2016 Having spent the almost 30 years of her working life with the Swiss pharma giant, Roche’s Head of Group Human Resources Silvia Ayyoubi is retiring. She held this position and was also a member of the Corporate Executive Committee since 2008.

© Roche

Ayyoubi joined Roche in 1987 as Public Relations Manager and advanced through the ranks in Public Relations and later Human Resources. Before Roche, Ayyoubi worked at the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as Effifreight. She holds a diploma in commercial economics.

Roche has appointed Cristina Wilbur to succeed Silvia Ayyoubi as Head of Group Human Resources and member of the Corporate Executive Committee.


01.03.2016 Acclaimed cardiologist and geneticist Sekar Kathiresan is taking over the chair of the newly established Scientific Advisory Board of Genomics plc. The Oxford-based company develops algorithms and analytical software to analyse and interpret genomic data.

© Genomics

Kathiresan, who received his M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1997, is now the director of preventive cardiology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Heart Center. He is also an associate member in the Broad Institute’s Programme in Medical and Population Genetics, and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is part of an expert panel that was formed to assist US president Barrack Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative.


29.02.2016 Systems biology pioneer Jens Nielsen is the recipient of this year’s Novozymes Prize. The Novo Nordisk Foundation annually donates DKK3m (€400.000) to the awardee of the prize, which aims to raise awareness of basic and applied biotechnology research.

© Novo Nordisk Foundation

Nielsen is a professor at Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg, Sweden and Chief Scientific Officer of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability in Hørsholm, Denmark.

Nielsen receives the award for his “outstanding efforts over many years in developing systems biology.” Søren Molin, chair of the Novozymes Prize Committee, said: “Jens Nielsen has unique knowledge of the most important aspects of the new systems biology – mathematics, reaction and fermentation science, data integration and modern microbial genetics. He has been able to combine and use this knowledge creatively and intuitively to contribute massively to the basic understanding of the physiology of microorganisms and how this is regulated.”


25.02.2016 Chaim Hurvitz, who was president of Teva International Group from 2002 until 2010, joins the board of directors of Genoscience Pharma. The Marseille-based company develops cancer treatments.

© Genoscience Pharma

Hurvitz serves as the Chief Executive Officer of venture capital firm CH Health and has just taken over as chair of the board of Israeli clinical-stage specialty pharmaceutical company PolyPid Ltd. He is also been on the board of directors of Teva Pharmaceuticals since 2011.

Dr. Mahkam Zanganeh, Robert Duggan and Manmeet Soni, respectively the former chief operating officer, chief executive officer and chief financial officer of Pharmacyclics, are joining the board along with Hurvitz. Their arrival is accompanied by an undisclosed increase in capital.


17.02.2016 The Weizmann Institute has honoured Merck’s CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board Karl-Ludwig Kley with the prestigious Weizmann Award in the Sciences and Humanities.

© Merck

“Throughout your career, you have expressed support and encouragement for Israel science and scientists; have been an exceptional friend to the Weizmann Institute; and have spearheaded and advanced the technology transfer relationship between the Institute and  Merck with the goal of improving the lives of many people through better medical therapies,” Daniel Zajfman, President of the Weizmann Institute, explained the decision. Merck and the Weizmann Institute have been collaborating since 1978. 

The Weizmann Award in the Sciences and Humanities has been given out since 1966; notable awardees include Margaret Thatcher and Jacques Chirac. 


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.

© Maxivax

Previously, the biochemist held the position of Chief Operating Officer at Speedel, 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.


10.02.2016 Barcelona-based orphan disease specialist Minoryx Therapeutics has appointed Khalid Islam as the new chairman of its board of directors. Until 2014, Islam served as chairman and CEO of Gentium S.p.A., an Italian manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients.

© Minoryx

Before taking over at Gentium, Islam was president and CEO Arpida AG, where he was instrumental in listing the of Swiss biopharma company on SWX. Before that, he worked in academia at University of London’s Imperial College and at Milan University. He has published more than 85 scientific articles and sits on the editorial board of Current Drug Discovery and Technologies. Islam is currently the chairman of US company Fennec and a member of the board of directors at Swedish Karolinska Development, Italian Molmed and Swedish OxThera. 


03.02.2016 Swedish CDMO Recipharm has appointed Anke Mollowitz as Key Account Director Europe. Mollowitz joins from German contract manufacturer Aenova Group, where she was Head of Customer Service.

© Recipharm

Mollowitz, who originally trained as translator and interpreter, worked in the machine manufacturing sector before joining Haupt Pharma Wülfing, an Aenova company, in 2005. After working as sales representative and project manager, she took the position as Head of Customer Service in 2013. Among other tasks she was responsible for acquisitions and business development within the Haupt Group.

At Recipharm, Mollowitz will be responsible for coordinating customer management and commercial aspects within the business management team.

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