• Senior Biotech Executive brings over 25 years of drug development expertise
EPALINGES, Switzerland, June 2, 2015 – Anergis, a company developing novel and proprietary ultra-fast allergy immunotherapeutics, today announced the appointment of Kim Simonsen, MD, as Chief Development Officer. Mr. Simonsen will head Anergis' global product development from preclinical development to registration, including CMC, clinical development, regulatory affairs and global project management.
Kim Simonsen joins Anergis from Ablynx NV, where he was Chief Operations Officer. Prior to that, he was Senior Director, Global Clinical Development, at ALK Abello A/S, where he led the clinical development of Grazax®, the first marketed grass pollen allergy immunotherapy tablet. From 2000 to 2005, Mr. Simonsen was Chief Executive Officer of the CRO Medicon A/S after having held various clinical development roles at big pharmaceutical companies, e.g. as Medical Director of Novartis Healthcare A/S, Director of Clinical Operations at Novo Nordisk A/S, and as Medical Director and Clinical Expert at Sandoz A/S.
Prior to joining the biopharmaceutical industry in 1986, Mr. Simonsen trained as an MD at Copenhagen University and worked for five years at two different clinics in the Copenhagen area, focusing on internal medicine (gastroenterology, respiratory, cardiology). During his career, Mr. Simonsen has gained extensive experience in clinical drug development, including regulatory affairs, clinical pharmacology, and the design and management of clinical trials and pharmacovigilance. His expertise covers an extensive range of disease indications, incl. allergy immunotherapy, immunology, oncology, rheumatology, and cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases.
"We are delighted that Kim Simonsen is joining our team as Chief Development Officer," said Vincent Charlon, Chief Executive Officer of Anergis. "With our lead-product due to enter Phase III next year and with several novel COP allergy immunotherapeutics reaching clinical stages shortly, Mr. Simonsen´s outstanding track record will be a critical asset for Anergis."
"Anergis has built an exceptional pipeline of ultra-fast allergy immunotherapeutics and has already reported highly promising clinical data with its lead product," said Kim Simonsen. "I am looking forward to supporting and accelerating the global development of Anergis' innovative product pipeline."
Anergis SA is a Swiss-based biopharmaceutical company specializing in the discovery and development of novel, proprietary allergy immunotherapeutics that target commercially attractive indications. Anergis´ long-peptide immunotherapeutics are based on its IP-protected Contiguous Overlapping Peptide (COP) technology. Allergies are the most prevalent and fastest growing chronic conditions in the industrialized world affecting over 500 million people. Anergis' lead-product AllerT for patients with birch pollen allergy is due to enter Phase III clinical development. Two additional allergy immunotherapy product candidates against ragweed pollen allergy (AllerR) and house dust mite allergy (AllerDM) are in preclinical development and expected to reach clinical testing in 2016/2017.
Anergis has raised CHF 47 million to date from private and institutional investors, including BioMedInvest, Renaissance PME, Sunstone Capital, and WJFS, Inc.
About Anergis´ COP Technology
The only curative therapy of allergies available today, known as "desensitization" or conventional "Allergy Immunotherapy" (AIT), is the process of inducing tolerance to the allergen. It requires 3-5 years of treatment and exposes patients to the risk of immediate (<30 min) anaphylactic reactions, which can be life-threatening. With its ultra-fast COP allergy immunotherapy, Anergis is shaping the future of allergy treatment. Anergis' long-peptide immunotherapeutics are based on COPs, which reproduce the complete amino acid sequence of the allergen in separate synthetic long peptides. COP allergy immunotherapeutics do not cross-react with IgE, the antibody class responsible for eliciting allergic hypersensitivity. Therefore, COPs can be administered safely independent of MHC restriction and at high doses to induce tolerance to the allergen after only a few injections. This enables desensitization in 2 months as opposed to 3 years. Studies of COPs targeting bee venom and birch pollen allergies in both animals and humans have established the proof of concept of Anergis COP allergy immunotherapeutics in terms of safety (i.e. no immediate allergic reaction), immunogenicity (production of specific antibodies and cytokines against the original allergen and establishment of a long-term immune memory) and clinical efficacy (reduction of clinical allergy symptoms during at least two natural pollen seasons) after a single 2-month course of treatment.
Vincent Charlon, CEO
Dr. Ludger Wess, Ines-Regina Buth
Tel. +49 40 88165964 or +49 30 2363 2768