Clavis Pharma appoints Olav Hellebø as Chief Executive Officer
Internationally experienced pharmaceutical executive will join Clavis Pharma on February 1, 2010 from UCB Pharma.
Oslo, Norway, January 8, 2010 -Clavis Pharma ASA (OSE: CLAVIS), the Norwegian cancer drug development company, announced today that it has appointed Olav Hellebø as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO). Mr Hellebø, who joins Clavis Pharma from UCB Pharma, has significant senior management experience in the pharmaceutical industry and has been appointed to lead the Company as it embarks on a new phase of international clinical and commercial development. Mr Hellebø will take up his position on 1st February 2010.
Olav Hellebø (age 44) is an experienced pharmaceutical executive who has held senior positions in the pharmaceutical industry in both Europe and the USA. He joins Clavis Pharma from UCB, the global biopharmaceutical company where he was Senior Vice President, UCB Pharma and President of Immunology Operations. In this position he built and led the global organization responsible for the successful registration and launch of Cimzia®, UCB's new antibody drug for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease. From 2003 to 2004 Mr Hellebø was Chief Operating Officer of Novartis UK and prior to that held a series of senior international roles at Schering Plough, the last as head of Schering Plough's Oncology Biotech Division in the USA. Mr Hellebø graduated in business studies from Hofstra University, New York and received an MBA from IESE, Barcelona.
"I am delighted to welcome Olav Hellebø to Clavis Pharma," said Keith McCullagh, Clavis Pharma's Chairman. "He is an entrepreneurial business leader who has succeeded in building winning teams and delivered strong performance wherever he has worked. Most recently he took responsibility at UCB for building a 500-person global team to achieve successful international marketing approvals and launch of Cimzia®, UCB-Celltech's new anti-inflammatory medicine. I am confident he will be equally successful in establishing Clavis Pharma as a leading company in the field of novel anti-cancer medicines."
Olav Hellebø commented: "I look forward to joining Clavis Pharma at a time of great potential. The Company has achieved promising clinical data with elacytarabine in acute myeloid leukaemia and I believe this new investigational medicine can be brought successfully to market on an international basis. The recent partnership with Clovis Oncology for CP-4126, Clavis Pharma's second pipeline product, demonstrates the potential of the Company's Lipid Vector Technology to generate exciting new and improved versions of existing oncology drugs. One of my key objectives at Clavis will be to build on the successes of Geir Christian Melen and his team and to further expand the clinical pipeline. I believe my commercial pharmaceutical experience will help us to establish and implement a winning international business strategy as we seek to improve outcomes for cancer patients worldwide".
Geir Christian Melen, Clavis Pharma's current CEO will hand over to Olav Hellebø on 1st February 2010 and will continue with the Company as an adviser for a transition period expected to last until end of June.
"I would like to thank Geir Christian Melen for the strong contribution he has made to Clavis Pharma's development over the past two years," said Keith McCullagh. "In 2009, he achieved a successful refinancing of the Company and established a $380 million strategic partnership with Clovis Oncology laying the foundations for our future success. As Clavis Pharma enters a new phase of international clinical and commercial development, the Board believes the Company requires a CEO with significant international pharmaceutical industry experience to deliver our corporate ambitions. We would like to thank Geir Christian for his leadership to date and wish him every success as he seeks new opportunities for the future."