APEIRON Biologics AG, a company focused on cancer immunotherapy, today announced that Dr. Hans Loibner retired as of July 15, 2018 as Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Peter Llewellyn-Davies, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Business Officer (CFO/CBO) of APEIRON, is appointed CEO. Dr. Loibner will continue to support APEIRON in an advisory capacity.
As the first CEO to run APEIRON, Dr. Loibner had a long and distinguished career at the Company, including the establishment, successful development and strategic orientation following its foundation by the well-known Austrian molecular biologist, Prof. Josef Penninger. A major milestone of Dr. Loibner's illustrious service to the Company was the launch of APEIRON’s immuno-oncological development activities. Furthermore, Dr. Loibner oversaw the out-licensing of two important development projects with large pharmaceutical companies, and the approval of Qarziba®, an immunotherapeutic drug to treat neuroblastoma, a type of cancer that mainly occurs in children. Qarziba® is based on the monoclonal antibody ch14.18/CHO and marketed by Apeiron’s worldwide and exclusive licensee EUSA Pharma. As a result of this exceptional success in Austria and APEIRON’s broad portfolio of promising development candidates, the Company is recognised as one of the leading immuno-oncological biotech companies.
Dr. Loibner’s successor, Peter Llewellyn-Davies, joined APEIRON’s Management Board in October 2017. Mr. Llewellyn-Davies has over 25 years of international experience in leading management positions, especially in the biotechnology sector. Most recently, he worked for publicly listed cancer immunotherapy companies Medigene AG and Wilex AG, now Heidelberg Pharma AG.
“Hans Loibner achieved great success as an entrepreneur and scientist. He led APEIRON to the very top of the international immuno-oncology field through extraordinary research achievements and convincing clinical development, and we thank him deeply for his vision and dedication to APEIRON,” said Josef Penninger, founder and member APEIRON’s Supervisory Board, as well as the former long-term Managing Director of the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA).
Manfred Reichl, Chairman of APEIRON’s Supervisory Board added, “A highlight of Dr. Loibner’s leadership was the European marketing approval of a drug for the treatment of a rare pediatric cancer. He hands over a company with a promising and innovative clinical development pipeline in the field of cancer immunotherapies. The Supervisory Board, employees and investors are very grateful for Hans Loibner’s tireless commitment. We are delighted that he will continue to support us in an advisory capacity.”
Manfred Reichl added, “Peter Llewellyn-Davies is the preferred candidate of the Supervisory Board and is highly respected by Hans Loibner. In the last 9 months, his engagement was exceptional and he has already set important standards and objectives for the company.”
Dr. Hans Loibner said: “My sincere thanks for the many years of cooperation and loyalty of all those involved in the success of APEIRON, including the investors, the Supervisory Board, which has accompanied our work since 2009, and above all the employees, without whom APEIRON’s success would not have been possible. I am pleased to remain associated with APEIRON in an advisory capacity. I would like to thank Peter Llewellyn-Davies for his dedicated work as a member of the Management Board and am convinced that he will be an excellent successor.”
Peter Llewellyn-Davies commented: “I thank Hans Loibner and the Board for their full support and look forward to the challenge of further building on the Company’s outstanding potential, with the support of APEIRON’s experienced teams. We plan to accomplish this by extensively advancing our programs as well as extending the development portfolio. We will expand our headquarters in Vienna and at the same time further strengthen our international activities and partnerships.”
About APEIRON Biologics AG
APEIRON is a private biotech company based in Vienna, Austria, engaged in innovative projects in immuno-oncology. The company is developing immunotherapies, predominantly in clinical stage, based either on targeted, tumor-specific approaches or on the stimulation of the immune system via novel and proprietary modes of action (unique checkpoint blockade mechanisms) to fight cancer by engaging the human body’s natural defence mechanisms. For additional information please go to www.apeiron-biologics.com and follow us on Twitter @apeironbio.