Polyphor Appoints Michael Altorfer As New CEO And Strengthens Executive Management Team

Allschwil, Switzerland, March 17, 2015 - Polyphor Ltd, a privately held Swiss pharmaceutical company specializing in the discovery and development of macrocycle drugs, today announced the appointment of Michael Altorfer as new CEO and successor of Jean-Pierre Obrecht as of March 31, 2015. Jean-Pierre Obrecht will continue to support the company in his role as a Member of the Board of Directors.

Michael Altorfer joined Polyphor in 2001. He has served Polyphor in various functions, first as Head of the Small Molecule Service Business, then as Chief Financial Officer and Head of Corporate Development, and was Chief Operating Officer since 2014.

The company also announced that it recently appointed Leon Hooftman, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer and Adesh Kaul as Head Corporate Development to complement Polyphor's executive management team.

"I am very happy about the appointment of Michael Altorfer," said Jean-Pierre Obrecht. "I have been working very closely with Michael for the last 15 years. He has been instrumental to all we have achieved with Polyphor so far. He is the right man to lead the company through the next phase of its development, which offers exciting opportunities. I am convinced that he will succeed in fulfilling our mission and create significant benefit for patients in need of novel treatments."

Jerry Karabelas, Chairman of the Board, commented: "In the name of the entire Board I would like to express my gratitude to Jean-Pierre for his leadership and relentless dedication to drive and guide the development of Polyphor over almost two decades. During this period he successfully transformed Polyphor into a clinical stage pharmaceutical company and a global leader in the discovery and development of macrocycle drugs."

Michael Altorfer added: "I look forward to working closely with the board and management to bring innovative macrocycle drugs to market in diseases of high unmet medical need. It is our hope that these products will have a meaningful impact on patients' lives."

- ENDS -

Notes To Editors

About Michael Altorfer

Michael Altorfer started his career as a scientist in pharmaceutical research at Sandoz, Ciba-Geigy (Summit, NJ, USA), and Roche. From 1996 to 2001 he held program management and line management roles at the investment bank UBS Warburg. Michael Altorfer studied Natural Sciences at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, with the main focus on chemistry, toxicology, and immunology. He obtained his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1996 under the supervision of Prof. Dr. H.-J. Hansen (University of Zurich) and Prof. Dr. K. Müller (Roche) and an MBA degree from the University of Rochester, NY, USA.

About Adesh Kaul

Adesh Kaul, Head Coporate Development. He has extensive experience in the area of corporate- and business development in the Pharma and Biotech industry. Since 2009 he worked at Basilea Pharmaceutica AG, from 2010 as Head Business Development & Investor Relations, from 2009 to 2010 as Head Public Relations & Corporate Communications. In previous positions Mr. Kaul was Senior Financial Analyst at Neue Züricher Bank; and held several senior executive positions in general management and sales & marketing at Genedata AG. Adesh Kaul holds master degrees both in biochemistry (1998) and economics (2001) from the University of Basel, and he received an Executive MBA from HSG St. Gallen in 2006.

About Leon Hooftman

Leon Hooftman, M.D., Chief Medical Officer (CMO). He is an accomplished pharmaceutical physician with more than 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical drug development in the areas of immunology, haematology and oncology, and has several New Drug Applications to his credit. Before joining Polyphor Dr. Hooftman was CMO of Synthon BV. Previously he was CMO at Chroma Therapeutics Ltd, where he moved after having been Head of Clinical Development at Celltech. Prior to that he was Clinical Science Director Oncology and Immunology in global drug development at Roche for several years. Dr. Hooftman holds an M.D. and B.Sc. in medical sciences of Utrecht University and is a registered medical practitioner in the UK and the Netherlands

About Polyphor Ltd

Polyphor is a Swiss Pharma company focusing on the discovery and development of macrocycle drugs addressing high unmet medical needs. Macrocycles represent a new drug class complementary to traditional small molecules and large biopharmaceuticals. Polyphor leverages its unique and proprietary technology platforms to develop its own product portfolio and to pursue licensing and collaboration opportunities with industry partners. The company's lead drug candidates include POL6326, a CXCR4 antagonist, with ongoing and upcoming Phase II clinical trials for stem cell transplantation, tissue repair and combination treatments in oncology; POL7080, a highly specific antibiotic with a novel mode of action to treat Pseudomonas infections (Phase II) which is licensed to Roche; and POL6014, an inhaled inhibitor of neutrophil elastase for the treatment of Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, Cystic Fibrosis, and other lung diseases (Phase I planned to start in 2015).

Polyphor is a privately held company with about 110 employees, headquartered in Allschwil, near Basel. For additional information, please visit www.polyphor.com

For more information please contact:

Adesh Kaul
Head Corporate Development
Polyphor Ltd
t: +41 61 567 16 00
e: [email protected] 

Suggested Articles

All 12 members of an FDA advisory committee voted to recommend the approval of teprotumumab for a rare, autoimmune eye disease.

Early data out of former Fierce 15 winner Gritstone Oncology have been heralded as a big win for the early-stage biotech by analysts.

Biogen will drop work on gosuranemab in progressive supranuclear palsy but continue on in Alzheimer's.