Publication date: 24/01/2018
Ablynx [Euronext Brussels and Nasdaq: ABLX] 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."
Ablynx is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development of Nanobodies, proprietary therapeutic proteins based on single-domain antibody fragments, which combine the advantages of conventional antibody drugs with some of the features of small-molecule drugs. Ablynx is dedicated to creating new medicines which will make a real difference to society. Today, the Company has more than 45 proprietary and partnered programmes in development in various therapeutic areas including inflammation, haematology, immuno-oncology, oncology and respiratory disease. The Company has collaborations with multiple pharmaceutical companies including AbbVie; Boehringer Ingelheim; Eddingpharm; Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, New Jersey, USA; Merck KGaA; Novartis; Novo Nordisk; Sanofi and Taisho Pharmaceuticals. The Company is headquartered in Ghent, Belgium. More information can be found on www.ablynx.com.