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AIMM Therapeutics appoints former Novartis VP Jan de Vries as CEO

Joined by John Womelsdorf who is appointed VP business development

Jan De Vries, AIMM TherapeuticsAIMM Therapeutics has appointed former VP and head of the Novartis Research Institutes for Biomedical Research Jan de Vries (pictured) as its new CEO.

He is joined at the Amsterdam-based biotech company by John Womelsdorf, who becomes the antibody specialist's VP of business development.

Their appointments signal AIMM's intention to build on its antibody programmes, which already include collaborations with large pharma companies in infectious diseases, and expand its partnership efforts into both cancer and autoimmune conditions.

Tom Schwarz, AIMM's chair, said: “Jan de Vries has deep experience in drug discovery and early development and was involved in developing many successful, currently marketed drugs. We are pleased to have attracted him to lead AIMM Therapeutics, as the company transitions to become one of the major players in the next-generation antibody space.”

During his time at Novartis, de Vries led the discovery and early development of several drugs including Elidel (pimecrolimus) for eczema, Ilaris (canakunimab) for cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes, Gilenya (fingolimod) for multiple sclerosis and secukinumab for several inflammatory conditions. 

Prior to joining Novartis, de Vries worked at the DNAX Research Institute for Molecular Biological Research following a spell as co-director of the Schering–Plough Institute for Immunological Research in Lyon, France.

He entered the pharma industry having spent several years in academic positions at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, where he was Head of the Immunology Department.

Meanwhile, Womelsdorf has more than 16 years' experience in senior business development roles at several companies, including Optimer Pharmaceuticals, Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals, J&J, Roche, and Baxter International.

12th November 2012

From: Research

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