APEIRON Biologics AG, a privately held biotechnology company developing novel immunotherapies for cancer and respiratory diseases, today announced changes to the Company's Management and Supervisory Boards.
In order to meet the Company's growth requirements, the Supervisory Board has decided to expand the Management Board and strengthen the Company's Supervisory Board and Scientific Advisory Board. Romana Gugenberger, PhD, previously Head of Research & Development at APEIRON Biologics, will be entrusted with the new Management Board role of Chief Medical & Scientific Officer (CMSO) effective 1 June 2021. Andreas Gerber, PhD, previously Site Head & Executive Director Biologics and Vaccines Formulation at Merck Sharpe & Dohme, will be appointed Chief Operating Officer (COO) as of the same date.
Prof. Josef Penninger, founder and long-standing member of the Supervisory Board of APEIRON Biologics AG, will move to the newly created Scientific Advisory Board, which he will build up and lead as Chairman. As a new member of the Supervisory Board, the Company proposes Ulrich Granzer, PhD, founder and managing director of the consulting firm Granzer Regulatory Consulting & Services, who will stand for election at the Annual General Meeting on 21 June 2021.
Dr. Manfred Reichl, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of APEIRON Biologics, commented, "The APEIRON team around CEO Peter Llewellyn-Davies has achieved tremendous progress in the development of several innovative cancer therapeutics and a COVID-19 drug in recent years. With the expansion of the Board, the Company is now preparing for its next clinical and commercial growth steps. We welcome Romana Gugenberger in her new role; as Head of Research & Development at APEIRON, she has already impressively demonstrated her scientific expertise and leadership skills. We are also very pleased to bring Andreas Gerber on board, who will bring his many years of operational leadership experience in development and commercialization in international pharmaceutical companies."
Prof. Josef Penninger, founder of APEIRON and Chairman of the new Scientific Advisory Board, says: "I am proud of the great achievements APEIRON has reached over the last months and years. To further strengthen the scientific acumen of the Company, an Advisory Board will be established that will be composed of high caliber global experts from different areas of biopharmaceutical research and development. As Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board, I will work with the panel to provide our combined scientific expertise and development experience."
Peter Llewellyn-Davies, CEO of APEIRON Biologics AG, explains: "I am delighted to welcome Romana Gugenberger and Andreas Gerber to the Management Board. The strengthening of the team and the addition of the new Scientific Advisory Board around Josef Penninger represents a logical further development step for APEIRON and an important reinforcement for our advanced and innovative projects. Likewise, the expertise of Ulrich Granzer will be of increasing importance to our progressing therapies, particularly in regulatory affairs. Together with the APEIRON team, I am very much looking forward to working together."
As previously announced, Rainer Burian will step down from the APEIRON Supervisory Board at the end of his term of office on 21 June 2021. In his place, the Annual General Meeting had elected Edward Charles, Managing Director of the investment company Franklin Road, to the Supervisory Board in October 2020.
Dr. Manfred Reichl: "The Supervisory Board and the Management Board would like to express their sincere thanks to Josef Penninger and Rainer Burian for their outstanding contribution to APEIRON Biologics over many years as members of the Supervisory Board. We highly appreciate that Prof. Penninger, with his world-leading expertise and networking in the field of the ACE2 enzyme and innovative cancer therapies, will continue to be on board in a key advisory role. We would also like to welcome Ulrich Granzer and Ed Charles with their proven experience to the Supervisory Board. We believe that the Management and Supervisory Boards, with their international focus and profound expertise, are now very well positioned to continue APEIRON’s success."
The Company’s Annual General Meeting will be held as an online event on 21 June 2021.
The new members of the Management Board and Supervisory Board:
Romana Gugenberger, PhD, has headed the Research & Development department at APEIRON Biologics since 2020. She has been with the Company for 12 years, leading nonclinical and clinical projects, including in particular the autologous cell therapy APN401. Romana Gugenberger received her PhD in molecular biology from the University of Vienna and worked for several years at the Medical University of Vienna in the field of cardiovascular research and tumor biology.
Andreas Gerber, PhD, has multiple years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Before joining APEIRON Biologics, he served as Site Head & Executive Director Biologics and Vaccines Formulation at Merck Sharpe & Dohme. Previously, he was responsible for the development of various active pharmaceutical ingredients and their production at Novartis Austria and managed a production site for biologics in Kundl, Austria. Andreas received his PhD from the University of Basel with a thesis on solid phase peptide synthesis and an Executive MBA from the University of St. Gallen
Ulrich Granzer, PhD, has been running a leading European regulatory affairs and clinical development consultancy in Munich since 2002. He has an excellent overview of current drug development programs as well as detailed insights into the requirements of key regulatory authorities. Previously, he was responsible for regulatory affairs worldwide at Bayer AG and BASF Pharma Knoll. Granzer began his career at Glaxo Wellcome. He received his PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Tübingen, Germany.
About APEIRON Biologics AG
APEIRON Biologics is a privately held European biotech company based in Vienna, Austria, focused on the discovery and development of treatments for respiratory diseases and novel cancer immunotherapies.
APEIRON received EU marketing approval for APN311 (dinutuximab beta, Qarziba®) in 2017 for the treatment of pediatric neuroblastoma patients and out-licensed global, exclusive rights for this product to EUSA Pharma Ltd.
Apeiron is developing a promising drug for Covid-19: APN01 (rhsACE2, alunacedase alfa), a soluble recombinant version of the SARS-CoV-2 cell entry receptor ACE2. APN01 has three distinct potential clinical benefits for COVID-19 and has completed a double blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 trial in Europe and Russia. Based on promising results, APN01 was selected for a publicly funded, large-scale study in COVID-19 funded by the U.S. government which is scheduled to start in Q2 2021.
APN401´s proprietary cellular therapy process brings in a paradigm change in cancer treatment to fight hematological and solid tumors. The clinical program is a first-in-class ambulatory autologous transient therapy to strengthen immune reactivity via an intracellular master checkpoint inhibitor, Cbl-b.
APEIRON Biologics´ projects and technologies are based on a strong patent portfolio and partnerships with leading pharmaceutical companies and academic institutions.
Forward looking statements
Information set forth in this press release contains forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the judgement of APEIRON Biologics as of the date of this press release. Such forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. We expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statements to reflect any change in our expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.