Minister of Life Sciences

Minister of Life Sciences

29.07.2014 - The UK government has named George Freeman, MP, as minister for life sciences. The position has been newly created and is aimed to bridge the departments of health and business.

Freeman has extensive background as a biotech venture capitalist. Before being elected to Parliament in 2010, he was Founder and Chairman of 4D Biomedical Ltd, a specialist translational medicine consultancy. Before that, he was CEO of Cambridge-based start-up Amedis Pharmaceuticals and Director of Early Stage Ventures at Merlin Biosciences.

Freeman served as Government Life Science Advisor from 2011 to 2013 to the Minister of State for Universities and Science. In this capacity, he supported the coordination of the Prime Minister's Life Science Strategy. He is involved in the UK Government department UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to promote the UK Life Science sector including representing the UK Government on trade missions to the USA and Sweden.

27.02.2014 Ramin Ronny Amirsehhi, founder of Amirsehhi Intellectual Property Law, has moved his office from San Francisco to the innovation and start-up center for biotechnology (IZB) in Martinsried.

Amirsehhi has more than ten years of patent prosecution experience. Prior to founding Amirsehhi Intellectual Property Law three years ago, he worked at Kenyon & Kenyon LLP in New York and Bird & Bird in Munich. In addition, he has served as in-house intellectual property counsel to Epigenomics AG in Berlin. Amirsehhi is earning his PhD in intellectual propetry law, his certificates in Pharmacogenomics and Nanobiotechnology. He received his master degree in Intellectual Property Law from Munich Intellectual Property Law Center partnering with the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law, the University of Augsburg, the Technische Universität München, and the George Washington University Law School in Washington, D.C. (USA). He studied Bioengineering with focus on biochemistry, organic chemistry, and molecular biology at University of California-San Diego. Armirsehhi represents clients in examination and opposition proceedings before the European Patent Office and the United States Patent and Trademark Office. His technical focus is in the field of biotechnology, biosimilars, nanomedicine, and pharmaceutical chemistry.

25.02.2014 The European biotechnology industry association EuropaBio has named Beat Spaeth as its new Director of Agricultural Biotechnology.

He is assuming the post in mid-February. The German and Swiss national has been working for the association as its Public Affairs Manager and Senior Manager in the agri-biotech team since 2011, and has many years of experience in European public affairs. Spaeth is taking over from Carel du Marchie Sarvaas, who has led EuropeBio’s agricultural biotech team for the past four years.

21.02.2014 British drug developer Heptares Therapeutics named Dr. Tim Tasker Chief Medical Officer and VP of Development in January.

The physician, who brings in 30 years of clinical experience from senior positions at GlaxoSmithKline and Evotec, will lead the company's programmes of novel GPCR-targeted agents in multiple therapeutic areas. He takes over from Dr. David McGibney, who is returning to his role as a senior clinical advisor.

20.02.2014 Swiss allergy vaccine developer Anergis SA has brought in some outside expertise by appointing Dr. Dino Dina to its Board of Directors.


Dina brings Anergis extensive experience in R&D of vaccines for allergy, cancer and infectious diseases, as well as in building successful US biopharma companies. He served as the CEO of vaccine specialist Dynavax Technologies Corporation, and previously worked in positions with increasing responsibility at Chiron Corp.

11.02.2014 Amgen has named Michael Kelly as interim chief financial officer after Jonathan Peacock resigned the position in January. Kelly will be responsible for the finance and investor relations operations of the biotech company.


Kelly joined Amgen in 2003 and has been in the same position in May 2010. Back then, he was named acting CFO after Robert Bradway was promoted to president and chief operating officer. Kelly most recently served as CFO for international commercial operations. Since 2005, he also served for five years as chief accounting officer.

11.02.2014 Dr. Constance Hoefer has been named the chief development officer of pharmaceutical company Priaxon where she will be responsible for non-clinical and early clinical development projects.


Before joining the Munich-based firm, Hoefer was vice-president and head of non-clinical development at Medigene. She has more than 20 years of international non-clinical development and management experience in academic and regulatory as well as industry roles in pharmaceutical and biotech companies. 

10.02.2014 Merck Serono has appointed Dr. Steven Hildemann as Global Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and Head of Global Medical and Safety.


Hildemann will be responsible for Global Medical Affairs, Global Drug Safety and External Scientific Affairs for Merck Serono, biopharmaceutical division of Merck. He will also become a member of the R&D Executive Leadership Team. In addition, Hildemann will be responsible for medical governance, chairing the Medical Safety and Ethics Board and the Bioethics Committee.

Prior to joining Merck Serono, Hildemann was Associate Vice President, Global Clinical Trial Operations Europe, MSD. Hildemann succeeds Dr. Florian Bieber who left the company in December 2013 to pursue other opportunities.

04.02.2014 Dr. Ursula Redeker has joined the executive board of Roche Diagnostic GmbH. She also replaces Thomas Schmid as spokesperson of Roche Deutschland Holding GmbH, the German branch of Swiss biotech giant Roche.


Redeker, who gained her doctorate in organic chemistry, has worked for Roche since 1994. Her last position was that of head of Technical Development Biologics Europe, Technical Operations. Before that, she was lead on the technical development of therapeutical proteins in Europe and contributed to the development of several prominent products, such as therapies for breast cancer and leukaemia.

03.02.2014 Epistem has appointed Dr. Allan Brown as Chief Operation Officer of their Diagnostics division. With the appointment, Manchester-based Epistem reacts to the increasing influence of diagnostics and personalised medicine in their portfolio.


Before Dr. Brown joined Epistem, he worked for Qiagen Ltd. and managed the final development and launch of the company’s first FDA-approved products. Prior to that, he spent 17 years  at Tepnel Life Sciences, latterly as Divisional Managing Director.

31.01.2014 Thomas Broeer, managing director of Kent Pharmaceuticals, has taken over the role of chair at the British Generic Manufacturers Association (BGMA). The association has appointed him for the next two years.

Thomas Broeer

He replaces Kim Innes, who will continue to act as vice-chair for another year. Broeer has worked in the pharmaceutical business for more than 20 years – both within the generic and branded industries. Before his switch to Kent in 2013, he held senior management roles with Mylan in the UK and in Germany.

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