Ablynx today announced the appointment of Robert Friesen, PhD, as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO), effective 1 March 2018.
Dr Friesen will lead the Company’s scientific, research and technology activities and become a member of the Executive Committee. He succeeds Dr Antonin de Fougerolles, Ablynx’s previous CSO, who left the Company last year to become Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Evox Therapeutics.
Dr Friesen has more than 20 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, leading multiple Research and Development (R&D) organisations. Dr Friesen joins Ablynx from ProQR Therapeutics, a clinical stage biotechnology company, where he is currently Senior Vice President, heading the Science and Early Development division. Prior to joining ProQR Therapeutics, Dr Friesen worked at Janssen BioTherapeutics, a Johnson & Johnson Company as Global Head of Biologics Research, where he established an efficient R&D organisation of more than 200 scientists and professionals located in Europe and US; and at the Crucell Vaccine Institute, a Johnson & Johnson Company, as Vice President Preclinical and Clinical Research where he led the team responsible for discovery, production and preclinical development of monoclonal antibodies. Before Crucell Vaccine Institute, he was Head of Preclinical & Early Clinical Development at MorphoSys.
Dr Friesen holds a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Texas and performed postdoctoral research at the University of Groningen.
Welcoming Dr Friesen to the team, Dr Edwin Moses, CEO of Ablynx, said:
“Robert brings an extensive track record of successfully initiating and executing new drug discovery programmes as well as building strong research organisations. We are pleased to have him join our team and lead our company’s research activities at such an important and exciting time for Ablynx. We will be able to leverage his critical expertise and proven leadership capabilities as we expand our proprietary Nanobody product pipeline and execute on our multiple strategic collaborations with major pharmaceutical companies. We look forward to welcoming Robert as we continue to advance our leading Nanobody platform to deliver meaningful products to patients around the world, and create substantial value for Ablynx’s shareholders.”
Commenting on his appointment, Dr Friesen added:
“I have long admired Ablynx and am excited to join the Company at such an important time. With Ablynx’s upside potential, I look forward to meaningfully contributing to Ablynx’s momentum and advancing our leading Nanobody platform to help drive forward the Company’s strategy of becoming a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company. With Ablynx’s strong pipeline, platform and technology, I am confident that our talented team will continue to deliver novel products to patients that address unmet medical needs where there are currently limited or no therapeutic options.”
Echosens, a high-technology company offering liver diagnostic solutions, and Novo Nordisk A/S, a leading global healthcare company, announced a partnership to advance early diagnosis of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and increase awareness of the disease among patients, healthcare providers and other stakeholders.
Positive opinion based on Phase 3 ADAPT trial showing efgartigimod provided clinically meaningful improvements in strength and quality of life measures. If approved, efgartigimod will be the first neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) blocker for the treatment of adults in Europe living with rare neuromuscular disease generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG).
Galapagos CEO Paul Stoffels, M.D., has finally taken the plunge on M&A. The newly minted chief executive has signed not one but two deals in an attempt to right the ship, bringing two small biotechs aboard for a combined 239 million euros ($251.4 million).