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From executive to financier

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From executive to financier

29.06.2015 - Ex-Sanofi-CEO Christopher Viehbacher has been named Managing Partner of Waypoint Capital’s Gurnet Point Capital fund worth US$2bn.

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. 

http://www.european-biotechnology-news.com/people/bio-people/2015/chris-viehbacher.html

23.01.2015 Filipe Gaspar has been appointed Vice President of Research and Development at the Portuguese pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturer Hovione.

© Hovione

The chemical engineer has worked at Hovione for the last eleven years, mostly in particle engineering, but most recently in a business development role. Gaspar is co-author and co-inventor of numerous publications, scientific presentations and patents.

“For the last 10 years Filipe has been the driving force behind our Particle Engineering, and if we have four new drugs today on the market it is because he and his team made sure we had the right capabilities, knowhow and ability to deliver,” commented Hovione CEO Guy Villax.

21.01.2015 Fredrik Lindgren is the new CEO and president of Swedish clinical stage drug development company Hansa Medical.

© Hansa Medical

He replaces Emanuel Björne, who has led the company since it was established and takes over the role of Corporate Development Director. Lindgren, who holds a law degree from Lund University, has previously held the position of CEO at Karo Bio and Biolin Scientific. He is chairman and member of the board of Prostalund, Larodan Fine Chemicals and Exini Diagnostics.

19.01.2015 Slovenian chemist Tina Trdan Lušin has been honoured with the Pregl Award for outstanding doctoral work, a price annually conferred by the National Institute of Chemistry Slovenia.

© Pliva

Lušin, a researcher at the Sandoz Development Center, studied pharmacogenetic aspects of metabolism and transport of selective estrogen receptor modulators. With her work, the award committee said, Lušin "established the reason for inter-individual variability in the response to selective estrogen receptor modulators and thereby gained new information for treatment, which could be used in clinical practice."

15.01.2015 On 15 December 2014 Moberg Pharma AB welcomed Jeff Vernimb as its new General Manager for its US operations. He also became a member of the Swedish pharmaceutical company’s Management Team.

© Moberg Pharma

With more than 25 years of experience in consumer health products marketing and sales across multi-national and smaller entrepreneurial businesses, Jeff will help increase the Stockholm-based company’s US business. Prior to joining Moberg, Jeff was Vice President of sales and a member of the senior management team with Insight Pharmaceuticals. In addition to his position at Insight, he has held senior level positions at Dynova Laboratories, Cardinal Health, Novartis Consumer and Pfizer/Warner Lambert.

“It is a pleasure to welcome Jeff to the Management Team at Moberg. I look forward to working together to continue driving the growth of our US business,” said Peter Wolpert, CEO of Moberg Pharma AB.

13.01.2014 French biopharma Pharnext has nominated pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry executive Michel de Rosen to its Board of Directors as it sets its sights on expanding the company’s new therapeutics development, both nationally and internationally.

© Pharnext

Michel de Rosen has a wealth of experience in the sector, holding various executive positions for nearly 25 years at Rhone-Poulenc, in particular its pharmaceutical subsidiary Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, now known as Sanofi. While at Rhone-Poulenc, from 1983 to 1999, Michel served as president and CEO of Pharmuka, Rhone-Poulenc Fibers and Polymers, and then Rhone-Poulenc in the US. Post Rhone-Poulenc, he was CEO of ViroPharma, which was bought by Shire in 2014. After 15 years in the States, Michel returned to France and has been CEO of Eutelsat Communications since 2009.

“Michel de Rosen’s nomination to our board falls within our wish to accelerate Pharnext’s development both in France and abroad. His international expertise will prove valuable to us in our development dynamics,” said Daniel Cohen, chairman and CEO of Pharnext.

06.01.2014 Belgian Biotech FlandersBio has appointed Erwin Blomsma as its new chairman to continue the development of the company’s new strategy, which it intends to roll out both locally and globally.

© Okapi

Erwin started his career after a post-doctoral study at the University of Leuven in Belgium at Janssen Pharmaceutica in 1996 as Technology Manager. In 2000, he co-founded a contract research organisation Crystallice, which was later absorbed by another CRO, Avantium Technologies, where he became VP Technology in 2001 and COO in 2004. In 2007, Dr Blomsma co-founded and became CEO of Okapi Sciences, a company focused on animal health. Okapi Sciences developed a healthy pipeline of veterinary drugs, one of which was licensed to Novartis Animal Health in 2013. Since March 2014, he has been the general manager of Aratana Therapeutics NV in Leuven and VP of Aratana Therapeutics Inc.

“I am honoured to take up the task to lead FlandersBio into a next stage of growth and expansion,” said Erwin. “We will fully continue to develop the synergies with micro-electronics, ICT, medical technology and novel industrial and food applications in this further growth.”

29.12.2014 Chemist-by-training Sue Harris has been appointed as a non-Executive Director on the board of Abcam plc, a UK-based biotech company.

© Abcam plc

Harris has over 30 years of experience in financial and commercial roles. She held senior executive roles at Marks & Spencer, Standard Life and most recently worked as Finance Director at Lloyds Banking Group. Sue is a Member of the Audit and Assurance Council of the Financial Reporting Council and previously was a Non-Executive Director on the Board of St. James’s Place and a Member of the Audit and Remuneration Committee of the British Bankers’ Association.

19.12.2014 Gil Beyen has been appointed independent director of Belgian biotech Novadip Biosciences, a spin-off from Louvain University and Saint-Luc University Hospital active in skeletal regenerative medicine.

© Novadip Biosciences

Beyen is currently CEO and chairman of Erytech Pharma. Before that he served as CEO of French biotech Tigenix, which he also co-founded. In this capacity, he led the development and regulatory approval of ChondroCelect, the first Advanced Therapy Medicinal Product in Europe. He was also instrumental in the listing of the company and the subsequent merger with Cellerix. Beyen holds an MSc in Bio-Engineering from the University of Leuven and obtained an MBA from the University of Chicago in 1990.

09.12.2014 Belgian Ablynx NV welcomed Johan Heylen as its new Chief Commercial Officer. The Flemish drug developer announced the cast in mid-November.

© Ablynx

Heylen will assume responsibility for all commercial activities. Having more than 20 years of experience in global biopharmaceutical sales, marketing and business development at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Servier and Wyeth, he most recently was Executive Director, Global Commercial Lead, Cancer Immunotherapeutics, at pharma heavyweight GSK. At GSK, Heylen was responsible for the development and implementation of the launch strategy for GSK’s cancer immunotherapeutics portfolio. Prior to that, Heylen led and launched the successful global commercial and marketing efforts for three of GSK’s paediatric vaccines, Rotarix, Priorix and Varilrix, which together achieved sales of more than €1.5bn. "He will also bring valuable expertise to our business development team as we seek to develop our relationships with pharmaceutical companies around the world,” expects Edwin Moses, CEO of Ablynx. 

With Heylen at the steering wheel, Ablynx is now ready to board the market with its nanobodies. This summer, the antibody specialist managed to raise €41.7m through a private placement of new shares.

08.12.2014 Clinical stage biopharma firm Intercept Pharmaceuticals, focused on therapeutics to treat chronic liver and intestinal diseases, has appointed Lisa Bright as Senior Vice President and Head of Europe.

© Lazar Partners

The NASDAQ-listed company announced the news in mid-November when the appointment became effective. Bright will be a member of the Intercept senior management team and will spearhead Intercept's European operations based in London. She brings in more than 25 years of biotech and pharmaceutical industry experience – and she has all the necessary knowledge about liver diseases. As a Vice President at Gilead Sciences she was in charge of the Launch Planning for Europe, Asia, Middle East and Australasia of hepatitis drug Sovaldi. At Gilead, she held positions of increasing responsibility, including Vice President Northern Europe and Vice President Head Government Affairs for Europe, Middle East and Australasia. Bright's leadership of Sovaldi's European launch contributed to the most successful product launch in pharmaceutical history, Intercept pronounced.

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