Nouscom, an oncology company developing patient specific cancer vaccines based on a clinically validated genetic vaccine platform, has announced the appointment of Dr Marina Udier Blagovic as Chief Operating Officer (COO).
The new position has been created to drive all aspects of business operations and business development. The company also announces the appointment of new Board Directors who will join Dr Guido Magni and Joachim Rothe: Dr Jean-Paul Prieels will join as Non-Executive Director; Dr Vincent Brichard and Dr Gianni Gromo will join as Board Observers.
Riccardo Cortese, CEO and Chairman of Nouscom, said: “I am delighted to welcome Marina to our executive team. Her experience at Novartis will be essential in supporting Nouscom’s development of patient specific cancer vaccines. I am also proud to welcome industry veterans Drs Prieels, Brichard and Gromo to the Board. Their expertise and in-depth knowledge of research and clinical development in vaccines will be invaluable to Nouscom.”
Dr Marina Udier Blagovic, PhD, joins Nouscom from Versant Ventures where she was an Operating Principal. Prior to Versant, she was the Global Head of Neurodegeneration at Novartis where she managed blockbuster brands. Her experience in oncology includes the development of a companion diagnostics. Prior to that, Marina worked in the healthcare sector of McKinsey & Company in Chicago. She has a PhD in organic chemistry from Yale University.
Dr Jean-Paul Prieels, PhD, served as a Senior Vice President of Research and Development at GSK Biologicals (now GSK Vaccines) until January 2011. Dr Prieels joined GSK Biologicals in 1987 and progressed in roles of increasing responsibility to eventually lead the global vaccine R&D development activities in Rixensart, Belgium. Dr Prieels was instrumental in developing several commercially available vaccines, such as rotavirus, human papilloma virus (HPV) and pneumococcal conjugates. He serves as a Director of Vaximm AG and is on the independent Advisory Board of Curevac. Since 2007, he also has been a Member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Singapore Bioprocessing Technology Institute.
Dr Vincent Brichard, PhD, has more than 25 years of experience in oncology and immunology, including 15 years at GSK where he was Senior Vice President in R&D responsible for the Immunotherapeutics Business Unit and was a member of the Board of Directors at GSK Biologicals. Dr Brichard, a physician by training, holds a PhD in tumour immunology and has authored more than 100 publications in peer-reviewed journals. He currently serves on several Scientific Councils and Boards of Directors. He also holds an executive MBA from Harvard Business School.
Dr Gianni Gromo, MD, PhD, is a Partner with Versant Ventures, and a former Senior Executive with several pharmaceutical companies, most recently Hoffmann-La Roche, where he was the Research Head of Global Cardiovascular and Metabolic Research and the Head of the Roche China R&D centre in Shanghai. Prior to Roche, Dr Gromo was an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota; Research Director at Italfarmaco SpA, Milano, Italy; and Director of Biology-Cardiovascular at Lilly Research Laboratories. He serves as a Scientific Adviser to multiple companies and University Boards in Europe, North America, Australia and the Middle East. Dr Gromo received his MD and PhD in clinical and experimental haematology at the University of Milano, Italy.