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People, July, 2011

Recent high-profile moves in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industriesMover of the month is Guido Rasi who has been elected as the executive director of the European Medicines Agency (EMA)

Mover of the month

 Guido Rasi

Guido Rasi, the head of the Italian Medicines Agency, has been elected as the executive director of the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Rasi has been director general of the Italian Medicines Agency since 2008, and member of the EMA's management board since 2010. Previously he worked in research at the Institute for Experimental Medicine of the National Research Council in Rome, directing the molecular medicine section from 2002 to 2005 and the Tor Vegata section from 2005 to 2008.


Eli Lilly and Company has appointed Andrew Hotchkiss as president for the Australia, Canada and Europe region. He has been with the company for 25 years, most recently working as vice president and international business unit leader for Lilly Oncology. 

Andrew Hotchkiss

Kent Woods  

Prof Kent Woods, chief executive of the UK drugs regulator Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has been elected to chair the management board of the EMA. He takes over from Pat O'Mahony, chief executive of the Irish Medicines Board. Woods was also was knighted in the UK Queen's Birthday Honours List.

The Pharmaceutical Group of the European Union has elected French pharmacist association head Isabelle Adenot as its president, replacing the current incumbent Heinz-Guenter Wolf on January 1, 2012.

 Isabelle Adenot

Stephan Tanda

EuropaBio has formally appointed Stephan Tanda, member of the managing board of DSM, as chair at its Annual General Assembly. Tanda succeeds Andrea Rappagliosi, who has completed his mandate and will continue to represent GlaxoSmithKline as a member of the EuropaBio Board. Tanda previously acted as treasurer of EuropaBio.

The organisation also confirmed the appointment of Lars Christian Hansen (Novozymes) as chair of the Industrial Biotechnology Council; Thomas Bols (Merck Serono) was re-elected chair of the Healthcare Biotechnology Council; Serge Zybach (Syngenta) remains chair of the Agriculture Biotechnology Council, Jan Wisse (the Netherlands' Biotechnology Industry Association) was re-elected as chair of the National Associations Council and Tom Saylor (Arecor) remains as chair of the SME Platform.

David Mackenzie has joined GfK HealthCare as global head of country strategic development. Mackenzie will be responsible for the support and development of healthcare departments within GfK Custom Research companies.

David MacKenzie



Beverly Stainsby

Beverly Stainsby has been appointed international account director for Networks in Health, the international physician alliance recently launched by Stainsby will be responsible for the delivery and management of international engagement campaigns for pharmaceutical clients of Networks in Health. She joined from IMSHealth, where she was client services director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Swiss firm Actelion has promoted Otto Schwarz to chief operating officer. Schwarz joined the company in 2008 as head of business strategy & operations. In addition to commercial operations and business strategy, he assumes responsibility for corporate services, global quality management and corporate communications.

Otto Schwarz

Mark Duckham

Adventis Health has appointed Mark Duckham as client services director with a brief to review and enhance the agency's account handling team. He was managing director of research at KantarHealth and previously MD of Grey Healthcare.


E-Therapeutics has named Daniel Elger as chief financial officer and has added him to its board. Elger previously served as vice president for marketing and communications at Antisoma, where he played active roles in corporate strategy, fundraisings and the acquisition of two US biotech companies.

UK-based Xceleron has appointed Dr David Roblin to its board of directors in a non-executive capacity. Meanwhile Dr Stuart Best has joined as senior director of operations. Roblin joins from Pfizer Global R&D where he was senior vice president of R&D, research head and site director. Best joined from Merck, Scotland where he was head of bioanalysis.

Stig Løkke Pedersen has resigned from H. Lundbeck, where he was executive vice president for commercial operations, to pursue new opportunities. Pedersen will remain available to Lundbeck following his resignation.

Medgenics, which has offices in Israel, has appointed Isaac Blech. Blech, who is already a member of the company's strategic advisory board, is a major investor in Medgenics.

PharmaVentures has chosen Ping Shek as senior director of its transactions division of corporate advisory working on a number of key M&A and divestment mandates in the healthcare business sector. Shek has previously worked with investment bankers Morgan Stanley International, Lazard Brothers, JP Morgan, Monitor Group and the Anglo Chinese Group.

Addex Pharmaceuticals' Dr Vincent Mutel has stepped down from his position as chief executive of the Addex group. André J. Mueller, chairman of the board of Switzerland-based Addex, will act as executive chairman and lead an operational subcommittee of directors to manage the transition until a replacement is appointed.


Amit MakwanaAmit Makwana, managing director of Astellas UK, has died. Makwana, who had worked in the industry for 20 years, will be remembered for his passion and his ability to inspire others. His unexpected death in June 2011 has come as a huge blow to colleagues and his many friends in the industry and beyond.

Makwana started his career with Eli Lilly, which he joined as a sales representative in 1989 to support the launch of Prozac, the first of many international brands to benefit from his expertise. He moved on to take up several increasingly senior roles within multinational organisations. His resourcefulness and ability to rise to any challenge led him to pursue a broad range of opportunities spanning both commercial and medical functions and national and international marketing positions. He was responsible for launching several major brands including Plavix and Vesicare.

He joined the Astellas legacy organisation Yamanouchi in 1999 and went on to a number of marketing roles in the UK and Europe before returning in 2005 to take a leading role in the UK affiliate. He was appointed sales director before becoming managing director in 2007. His leadership and drive led to the rapid growth of the organisation, increasing turnover from £78m in 2007 to £142m in March 2011 and enabling it to become one of the fastest growing companies in the UK. In spite of this achievement, he never lost his focus on the importance of people as the driving factor in the success of the organisation and was proud of the culture of positivity and innovation which he created.

Makwana leaves a wife and two children.

Claudio Cavazza, founder and president of Sigma-Tau Group, has died at the age of 77. Entrepreneur Cavazza, who graduated with a degree in pharmaceutical chemistry, founded Sigma-Tau Group in 1957. His entrepreneurial breakthrough into the pharmaceutical sector happened in the mid-1960s, thanks to the launch of Rekord B12, which soon became one of the highest selling medicines in Italy and elsewhere. Sigma-Tau Group broadened its presence internationally with branches in France, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Portugal, Germany and the UK, as well as in India and the US, with production plants in Spain and the US.

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