Strategic foresight


Strategic foresight

26.08.2015 - In August, Thomas Bachmann has taken over the role of CEO at Eppendorf Group. Bachmann has been a member of the Supervisory Board of the German laboratory product and service provider since 2013.

Bachmann has been active in the Life Sciences for ten years. Before switching to Eppendorf, he was President of the Bruker BioSpin Group. Prior to that, he was responsible for the Switzerland-based Tecan Group.


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.


16.06.2015 Frank Ubags had been named CEO of Cevec Pharmaceuticals GmbH, a provider of novel human cell expression systems. Ubags joined Cevec as COO and Managing Director last September to lead its new CMO initiative.

© Cevec Pharmaceuticals GmbH

With over 35 years’ of leadership experience, Ubags has successfully turned around projects and initiated and executed major M&A transactions in both acquiring and selling companies. As CFO of Rhein Biotech GmbH, he led the 1999 IPO and was responsible for its transformation into a vaccines company followed by a trade sale to Berna Biotech. He inititated the trade sale of Halle-based Scil Proteins to Wacker Biotech. As CEO, Ubags will use his operational and strategic record to execute Cevec’s financing and growth strategies.


12.06.2015 Danish pharma Lundbeck A/S has appointed Novo Nordisk’s former COO Kåre Schultz as its new president and CEO.

© Lundbeck

Schultz, who had been Novo Nordisk’s executive vice president since 2002, and president and COO since January 2014, was hotly tipped to take the CEO chair. After spending 26 years at Novo Nordisk, where he began his career as an economist in Health Care, Economy and Planning, managerial changes at the multinational Danish pharma saw Schultz pushed out of his position of COO. Not wanting to miss the chance, Lundbeck snapped up the exec, who brings extensive commercial and operational pharma experience to the company. Lund­beck focuses on developing treatments for CNS disorders such as depression, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease.


02.06.2015 Basel-based CRISPR Therapeutics AG goes stateside with the appointment of Alexion’s Bill Lundberg as its CSO to spearhead the creation of its R&D operations in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

© CRISPR Therapeutics

Lundberg has a long track record in biopharmaceuticals. At Alexion Pharmaceuticals, he was Vice President and Head of Translational Medicine and oversaw the progression of several compounds from early research to clinicial proof-of-concept. Prior to Alexion, the trained onocologist held senior positions at Taligen Therapeutics, Genzyme and Wyeth (now Pfizer) and led development programmes in various disease areas. Lundberg will accelerate R&D programmes both sides of the Atlantic. In May, the Swiss biopharma start-up raised US$64m (€57m) to hurry the new genome editing technology CRISPR/Cas9 to the clinic.


02.06.2015 The management team of Vetter Pharma International GmbH is complete once again after the appointment of Oliver Albrecht in April.

© Vetter Pharma

Albrecht has stepped in as Managing Director and CFO of the German contract development and manufacturing organisation, which specialises in aseptic manufacturing. Albrecht will direct the two divisions Finance, Controlling & IT and Corporate Development, Legal & Corporate Compliance. He has more than 20 years’ of experience managing international mid-sized public companies, and most recently held the position of CFO for SHW AG in Aalen, Germany.

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No liability assumed, Date: 28.08.2015

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