After leading MYR to $1.5B exit via Gilead, finance chief Christély takes the helm at MetrioPharm

After helping lead MYR Pharmaceuticals to a €1.15 billion exit to Gilead Sciences last December, Thomas Christély is ready for his next challenge as the new CEO of MetrioPharm.

Christély joins the chronic inflammatory biotech on Oct. 1. Current CEO Wolfgang Brysch, M.D., will instead focus on his chief scientific and chief medical officer roles. Brysch is also co-founder and co-owner of MetrioPharm.

"As CSO and CMO, I will be able to fully focus on the scientific strategy and medical development of our lead compound in the future," Brysch said in a statement.

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The new CEO will handle business development and financing of the 14-year-old Swiss biotech, which lost its CFO Sven Zimmermann to Inotrem in March. Christély has experience in this arena, having served in the role and as managing director of MYR until the sale to Gilead.

Christély led more than 20 collaboration and licensing agreements with Big Pharmas like Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Novartis through his time at MYR and also as CEO of Arcadus Pharma and Silence Therapeutics.

MetrioPharm appointed the new leader as a phase 2a trial gets underway for a COVID-19 therapeutic using lead compound MP1032, which has been tested in phase 2 trials for psoriasis.

RELATED: MetrioPharm advances psoriasis drug after phase 2 readout

Preclinical studies showed the therapy has the potential to slow the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus and alleviate COVID-19 symptoms, the biotech said last November. The therapy is slated to begin a phase 2a trial in 120 patients this month, with an estimated completion date next March, according to the federal clinical trials database.

Aside from psoriasis and COVID-19, MetrioPharm's pipeline includes phase 1 studies in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, preclinical work in multiple sclerosis, COPD and inflammatory bowel disease.