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10 April, 2019 - 12:17 By Tony Quested

Pharma industry veteran takes chief executive role at Kymab

Pharma industry veteran Simon Sturge has stepped into the vacant CEO position at Kymab in Cambridge following David Chiswell’s retirement from the role.

Sturge has a stellar CV with more than 30 years of international leadership experience in both the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. He joins from Merck KGaA, where he was executive VP for Global Strategy, Business Development & Global Operations. 

Previously, he was chief operating officer of Merck Healthcare, responsible for the company’s global commercial and manufacturing operations. Over the past five years, he has been responsible for the continued growth in global sales at Merck KGaA, as well as the commercial launches of BAVENCIO® (anti-PD-L1 avelumab) in solid tumours and MAVENCLAD® (cladribine) for relapsing multiple sclerosis. 

Prior to joining Merck KGaA, he was corporate senior vice-president, biopharmaceuticals at Boehringer Ingelheim, where he had responsibility for the research, development and commercialisation of the company’s global biosimilar portfolio. 

Before that, he held CEO roles at a number of healthcare companies including Celltech Biologics, and served as founder and CEO of Ribotargets, which was acquired by British Biotech and subsequently renamed Vernalis.

Kymab is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing antibody-based therapeutics.

IGEM Therapeutics, an immuno-oncology company developing novel immunoglobulin E antibodies to treat cancer, says Dr Chiswell has joined as non-executive chairman effective immediately. He will continue to act as a scientific adviser to Kymab.

IGEM’s current chairman, Peter Finan of Epidarex Capital, will remain on the board as an NED.

Dr Tim Wilson, CEO of King’s College London spin-out IGEM, said: “We are thrilled to have Dr Chiswell joining our board. His in-depth knowledge of therapeutic antibody discovery and development as well as his extensive experience leading the growth of early-stage biotechnology companies will make him an invaluable member of our team.”

Dr Chiswell, added: “IGEM’s management team has a strong vision for the future and I look forward to working with them to evolve it further as they develop their exciting pipeline of immunoglobulin E antibodies to address a number of significantly unmet areas in oncology.”

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