1 May 2012 - London, UK - Verona Pharma plc (AIM: VRP.L), the Company focused on discovering and developing first-in-class drugs for respiratory disease, today announced the appointment of Dr Sven Jan-Anders Karlsson (aged 57) as Chief Executive Officer with effect from 1 June 2012.
Dr Karlsson has broad pharmaceutical and biotechnology R&D and corporate experience. He was formerly the CEO at S*BIO, a Singapore and US based biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of novel small molecule anti-cancer drugs. Before S*BIO, Dr Karlsson was Executive Vice President of Pharma Global Research at Bayer Healthcare after holding senior leadership positions at Rhone-Poulenc Rorer (now Sanofi) and Astra (now AstraZeneca).
The current CEO, Michael Walker, was one of the co-founders of Verona Pharma. Under his leadership the Company acquired and rapidly progressed two novel drug candidates through five successful Phase II clinical trials. Michael will work closely with Jan-Anders to ensure a successful handover of the CEO position and will continue to serve the Company as a Senior Scientific Advisor to the Board.
Professor Clive Page, Chairman of Verona Pharma, said: “Michael and I have worked together on various projects for many years including the founding of Verona Pharma. Michael has brought considerable scientific and commercial experience to the Company and we are delighted that he will continue to contribute as a scientific advisor following the appointment of Dr Karlsson.”
“We have taken time to identify and recruit the right person to take over from Michael after he had notified the Board of his intention to step down. We believe Jan-Anders’ experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector will be invaluable to Verona Pharma as we move our clinical programs forward, and continue to grow and expand the Company. We very much look forward to working with him.”
Dr Karlsson said: “Verona Pharma is developing drugs for patients with respiratory diseases where the medicines are either inadequate or failing to meet patients’ needs. The Company has innovative products that have the potential to be first-in-class and I look forward to working with the team and contributing to the future successes of Verona Pharma.”
About Verona Pharma
Verona Pharma is a biotechnology company dedicated to discovering new drugs for the treatment of chronic respiratory diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, allergic rhinitis (hay fever) and cough. The Company has three drug projects under development, all aimed at the substantial respiratory and inflammatory disease markets: RPL554, Verona’s lead product is in Phase II clinical studies; VRP700, a novel treatment for chronic cough is also in Phase II clinical studies; and novel anti-inflammatory polysaccharides (NAIPs) are in preclinical experimental studies as potential treatments for a wide range of respiratory and inflammatory diseases.
Further information about Jan-Anders Karlsson
Jan-Anders Karlsson was from January 2005 until September 2011 a director of S*BIO Pte Limited, a company incorporated in Singapore. There are no further disclosures required under schedule 2(g) of the AIM rules for Companies.
For more information please contact:
Verona Pharma plc
Clive Page, Chairman
Michael Walker, CEO
Tel: 020 7863 3300
WH Ireland Group Plc
Tel: 020 7220 1650
Melanie Toyne Sewell
Tel: 020 7457 2020