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Pharma appointments, June 2012

Recent high-profile moves in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industriesThis month they include Pfizer's Dr Olivier Brandicourt, who has been promoted to president and general manager of its emerging markets and established products business units.

 Olivier Brandicourt, Pfizer


Pfizer has promoted president and general manager of its primary care business unit, Dr Olivier Brandicourt, to president and general manager of its emerging markets and established products business units. He took up his new position on June 1, replacing the departing David Simmons who becomes chair and CEO of contract research organisation Pharmaceutical Product Development. Previously at Pfizer, Brandicourt has held country and regional management roles in Latin America, Europe, Canada, the UK and the US. He is also a member of the company's executive leadership team. He has more than 20 years of global experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Taking Brandicourt's recent position is John Young, who has spent 25 years with Pfizer, including senior commercial roles in Australia/New Zealand and in the UK.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has appointed James Shannon as its new chief medical officer. He takes over from Ellen Strahlman who, after four years in the post, becomes global head of neglected tropical diseases. Shannon spent nearly 14 years heading Novartis' global pharmaceutical development until 2008 and since then has served on the boards of companies including Mannkind, Crucell and Biotie Therapies. He also served as president and CEO of US biopharmaceutical company Cerimon. Shannon will have responsibility for matters of patient safety, general medical governance, medical ethics and integrity, medical information and investigations involving human subjects relating to any GSK product in development and on the market.

James Shannon, GSK

Neil Weir, ABPI

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has announced UCB's Dr Neil Weir as chair of its innovation board. Dr Weir, who is senior VP of discovery at UCB, replaces Dr John Stageman who retired in April, 2012. At UCB, Dr Weir heads the company's discovery projects, overseeing a portfolio of investigational small molecule and antibody therapies in immunology and neurology. He is a member of the research directors group of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA). In the UK, Dr Weir is also a member of the Medical Research Council's (MRC) translational research group and the HealthTech and Medicines Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN) steering board.

Dr Esteban Pombo-Villar has left Novartis after 24 years to become chief operations officer of Oxford BioTherapeutics (OBT). Dr Pombo-Villar will oversee the UK-based biotech's newly created clinical development operations in Basel, Switzerland.At Novartis he held several roles, most recently as head of alliance management at the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research (NIBR). He initially joined Sandoz Neuroscience Research in 1988 and remained at the company following Sandoz's merger with Ciba-Geigy in 1996 to form Novartis.

 Esteban Pombo-Villar, Novartis

Michael Hayden, Teva Pharmaceutical

Teva Pharmaceutical has appointed genetics expert Dr Michael Hayden as its first president of global R&D and chief scientific officer to lead the development of both branded and generic medicines. He is currently Killam Professor of Medical Genetics at the University of British Columbia, Canada, and Canada research chair in human genetics and molecular medicine. He is also the founder and director of the centre for molecular medicine and therapeutics at the University of British Columbia. In addition, Dr Hayden founded the biotech companies NeuroVir, Aspreva Pharmaceuticals and Xenon Genetics. The company has also re-elected Dr Phillip Frost as chair for three years, subject to shareholder approval.

Dr Philippe Calais has joined German biopharma Antisense Pharma as CEO. Dr Calais replaces interim CEO Dr Hubert Heinrichs, who has held the position in addition to his role as chief medical officer since July, 2011. During his career he has worked at Roche, where he was business unit head strategic marketing, and ICI Pharmaceuticals. Other previous roles include CEO and president of Ambrilia Biopharma, president of global business at Neurochem and general manager at Servier Canada. Most recently he was president and CEO of Canada-based Univalor.

Philippe Calais, Antisense Pharma

Graham Walker, Idea Pharma

Dr Graham Walker has joined product design consultants Idea Pharma in its Ideation team. He spent two years at AstraZeneca between 2009 and 2010 as therapy area physician – oncology, leaving to join Napp Pharmaceuticals to work on respiratory products. Previously, Dr Walker served in the clinical environment at several UK hospitals and was also director of his own technology company, HealthTrade.

Penn Pharma has announced Craig Collingwood as its director of finance. The UK-based company recently announced it was expanding its facility in Wales and Collingwood would provide support in further growth plans. Previously he was audit manager at KPMG, director of finance and operational excellence at Cardinal Health and group finance director at Catalent Pharma Solutions.

Craig Colingwood, Penn Pharma

Nicky & Sarah, Red Door Comms

Red Door Communications has made two senior appointments, promoting Nicky Walsby to deputy managing director and appointing Sarah Aldridge to account director. Walsby has been with the UK-based consultancy for almost a decade. Sarah Aldridge returns after two years in her native Australia at Cube PR. Prior to working for Cube, Alridge spent three years at Red Door Communications where she rose to senior account manager.

Novo Nordisk has appointed Robert Clark as vice president of regulatory affairs in a role that will see him lead the Danish pharma company's US regulatory team. Clark joined the company on May 14 from Pfizer, where he was US regulatory strategy head, leading or supporting approvals of new cardiovascular, endocrine, women's health and anti-infective medicines. He has 27 years of experience and knowledge of the global and US regulatory environment.

Lundbeck's executive vice president of commercial operations Marie-Laure Pochon has resigned after five years with the Danish company. She had only held the post of VP of commercial operations since September 2011 and exits just three months after Lundbeck reorganised its European operations into two regional units. She leaves 'for family and private reasons'. Senior vice president Ole Chrintz takes responsibility for European commercial operations, in addition to his current international role. Pochon joined Lundbeck in 2007 and has served as chief executive of Lundbeck France and regional vice president for France, Belgium, UK, Spain, Italy, Turkey and Germany.

Thomas Moriarty has joined Celgene as general counsel and corporate secretary. He will lead global legal strategy at the US biopharma, as well as serving on the company's management committee. His background includes 12 years at Medco Health Solutions from 2000 to 2012, the last four years as general counsel and corporate secretary. He has also been assistant general counsel - pharma and North America for Merial Ltd, a Merck & Co and Aventis company, and a senior attorney for Merck.

Icon has appointed former Boehringer Ingelheim director Dr Susan Anton to head its epidemiology and risk management practice. The move is one of two senior appointments at the contract research organisation (CRO), which also sees Dr Pui Leung join as a senior clinical research physician. Dr Anton has more than 25 years of experience leading market access initiatives. Most recently she was director of US medical outcomes research and registries at Boehringer Ingelheim and prior to that directed health economic, epidemiologic and outcomes research at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Dr Leung, who will be based at Icon's clinical pharmacology unit in Manchester, UK, has 10 years' experience as a senior phase I clinical research physician in two UK CROs.

Ross Ullman has joined Boehringer Ingelheim's US operations as executive director, marketing for its consumer healthcare division. He joins from Reckitt Benckiser, where he spent 14 years, spearheading the company's first social marketing brand platform, leveraging Facebook, bloggers and targeted community social sites to strengthen consumer engagement and sales.

Watson has appointed Marc Lehnen to lead its new Global Integration Management Office, set up to support its €4.3bn acquisition of Swiss generics company Actavis. Lehnen will join the US company on July 1 from McKinsey, where he spent 10 years. Taking the newly-created position of senior vice president of global integration management, Lehnen will plan and implement the integration of Actavis. Watson expects the deal to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

Synthetic Biologics has split the roles of chair and CEO and appointed Jeffrey Kraws as independent, non-executive chair of the board. Previously the position was held by current CEO and president Jeffrey Riley, but the US biotech has made the change in order to allow Riley and the management team to focus on operations. Kraws has served on the board at Synthetic since January 2006 and is also CEO and co-founder of Crystal Research Associates. Prior to that, Kraws was co-president of The Investor Relations Group and managing director of healthcare research for Ryan Beck & Co. Synthetic has also appointed Dr Carol Reed as senior VP of clinical and regulatory affairs. Her previous experience includes six years as chief medical officer at Clinical Data, which was acquired by Forest Laboratories. Dr Reed was associate medical director in pulmonary medical research at Bayer Pharmaceuticals, having moved into industry from a clinical position.

Verona Pharma has announced Dr Sven Jan-Anders Karlsson as CEO. He replaces Michael Walker, one of the UK company's co-founders, who is stepping down but who will remain as a senior scientific advisor to the board. Dr Karlsson was most recently a director of biotech S*BIO. Prior to that he was executive VP of Pharma Global Research at Bayer Healthcare and held senior positions at Rhone-Poulenc Rorer (now Sanofi) and Astra (now AstraZeneca).

Medivir has appointed Actelion's Henric Juserius to head its commercial activities and join its management team. Juserius will move to the Swedish speciality pharma company in August  from Actelion, where he was commercial director for the Nordic region. He has more than 20 years' experience in pharmaceutical marketing and sales, gained from Astra, GlaxoWellcome, Pfizer, Serono and Actelion.

Absynth Biologics, the UK-based developer of vaccines and antibodies for bacterial infections, has appointed Dr James Mond as chief medical officer. Dr Mond's previous experience in the vaccination industry includes working as a consultant to Virion Systems. Most recently, Dr Mond was executive vice president and chief scientific officer of Biosynexus.

Chair of the UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Sir Alasdair Breckenridge, has been appointed chair of the Emerging Science and Bioethics Advisory Committee at the country's Department of Health (DH). In addition to his MHRA experience, Sir Alasdair's previous roles include serving as a member of the Adverse Reactions Group and the Subcommittee on Adverse Reactions to Vaccines and Immunisation of the MHRA precursor, the Committee on Safety of Medicines. Between 1992 and 1996 he was a member of the Medical Research Council and he has worked on programmes of the European Union, the World Health Organisation and the International Union of Pharmacology. He will hold the role for two years in parallel with working for the MHRA.

Fleishman-Hillard has appointed Anne de Schweinitz to lead its healthcare group. As senior vice president, senior partner and managing director of healthcare she replaces Michael Rinaldo, who recently left. De Schweinitz has over 15 years' experience in the healthcare industry and relocates from New York to the London office. She will report directly to John Saunders, president of the agency's EMEA regions. Before joining Fleishman-Hillard in 2011, de Schweinitz held leadership positions at Hill & Knowlton, Manning Selvage & Lee and Big Arrow Group.


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