Circassia, Affibody, Actavis, Sigma-Aldrich, and Abraxis BioScience - People on the move
have all had people on the move in the world of pharmaceutical
Sir Richard Sykes has been named chairman of Circassia, a UK-based speciality biopharmaceutical company. Currently the rector of Imperial College London, Sir Richard was a former chairman of GlaxoSmithKline and chief executive of Glaxo Wellcome before that. Sir Richard replaces Charles Swingland, who will remain with Circassia as deputy chairman. Swingland said: "[Sir Richard] brings an incomparable wealth of experience and strategic vision to the business having led one of the world's largest pharmaceutical companies for many years." Sir Richard said: "Having spent many years promoting UK science and technology, I am extremely pleased to join Circassia, which I believe has the potential to transform the treatment of conditions resulting from immune system dysfunction. "Based on my familiarity with the Circassia technology developed originally at Imperial, I believe the company's prospects are excellent. I look forward to working with the team over the coming years to build a broad-based, world class company." Circassia is a spin-out company of Imperial Innovations Group, which is based at Imperial College and specialises in commercialising technology developed by the university. Meanwhile, Erik Wallden has been appointed chief executive of Swedish biotech company Affibody, which develops oncology products. He succeeds Ulf Boberg who assumes a new position as senior vice president of clinical development and business development. Affibody chairman Hakan Astrom said: "I am extremely pleased that we have managed to attract a chief executive with such an extensive experience from the biotech supply industry. Erik Walden's primary task will be to further advance and commercialise the company's R&D portfolio focusing on molecular imaging and targeted therapeutics." Iceland-headquartered generic pharmaceutical company Actavis has announced Thomas Heinemann will be joining the ranks as managing director of the firm in Germany where he will help drive Actavis' expansion in the German market. Prior to Actavis, Heinemann was managing director of sales and marketing at CT Arzneimittel. In the past he has also held several positions at German generics manufacturer Azupharma, which was taken over by Novartis and renamed Sandoz. Actavis president and chief executive Robert Wessman said: "I am delighted that Thomas has agreed to run our operations in Germany. His experience of the German market will be a great asset for us and support our strategy, to become a leading player in Germany." Sigma-Aldrich has promoted David Smoller to president of its research biotech business unit from his position of vice president of research and development. He replaces Shaf Yousaf who has left the company to pursue other interests. Last week, US-PharmaTechnologist.com reported that Abraxis BioScience was separating into two independent public companies - its hospital-based product business called Abraxis Pharmaceutical Products (APP) and its proprietary product business, Abraxis Oncology and Abraxis Research, which becomes the new Abraxis BioScience. The move sees Patrick Soon-Shiong remaining as chairman and will serve as chief executive of APP and Abraxis BioScience. The operating management team that lead to the growth of APP and the executive committee of Abraxis BioScience will also stay. Thomas H. Silberg will continue to lead APP as president. Frank Harmon will remain as executive vice president and chief operating officer of APP. Key executive officer positions, as well as the board of directors for both companies, will be named prior to, or at the time of, the close of the transaction, expected in the fourth quarter of this year.