Second time around


Second time around

26.11.2015 - Guido Rasi has once again taken office as Executive Director of the European Medicines Agency’s Management Board on 16 November.

Rasi already held this position from 2011 until 2014, when he was forced to step down due to irregularities during the selection process. 

The professor of microbiology was Director-General of the Italian Medicines Agency from 2008 to 2011. Before that, he was the Director of the Institute of Molecular Medicine of the National Research Council in Rome. For twelve years, he worked as a physician in hospital, research and private practice before switching to the Institute for Experimental Medicine of Italy’s National Research Council.

Rasi has authored more than 100 scientific publications.


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.


02.06.2015 Belgian-medtech Pepric has appointed Bone Therapeutics CEO Enrico Bastianelli as its independent non-executive Board member. Bastianelli has headed Belgium biotech Bone Therapeutics since 2006.

© Bone Therapeutics

Bastianelli sports a wealth of experience in the cell and pharmaceutical industry. Before joining Bone Therapeutics, which focuses on cell therapy for bone fracture repair and prevention. Before he founded the company in 2006 as a spin-off from Université Libre de Bruxelles, Bastianelli was Vice President from 2002 to 2006, in Corporate Development at Paris-based pharma ProStrakan (formerly ProSkelia). Bastianelli also garnered his experience at Procter and Gamble Pharmaceuticals, McKinsey & Co. Pepric develops and commercialises instrumentation for quantitative cell imaging and molecular imaging. As a member of Pepric’s board, Bastianelli will help develop instrumentation for cell and particle detection and imaging. “I’m pleased to join Pepric offering new solutions for targeted molecular imaging and longitudinal cell detection. I’m looking forward to contribute to its business strategy to maximize the potential of its innovative instruments,” commented Bastianelli on his new appointment.

12.05.2015 London-based Biomedical and healthcare technology group NetScientific has announced the appointment of biotech stalwart François Regis Martelet as its new CEO and Board Director. He will join the Group on 8 June taking over from Sir Richard Sykes, who will revert to his position as Non-Executive Chairman.

© NetScientific

From April 2013 – October 2014, François served as senior advisor to the CEO and Interim SVP at Stallergenes SA where he was responsible for international commercial strategies. Prior to SVP, he was CEO at Topotarget A/S, a publicly traded European biotech company specialising in oncology therapeutics, which François successfully transformed from a research based organisation into a late-stage clinical development company ready for a European exit. He also headed US-based biotech Avax Technologies Inc. as CEO, which focuses on therapeutic oncology vaccines. During François’ rich and long career, he has also held several senior commercial positions at Merck & Co, Inc, Novartis Pharma, Schering-Plough and Eli Lily. François holds a PhD in Medicine and a Masters degree in Business.

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