Liege, Belgium, 16 July 2019 – 7 :30 CEST – Mithra (Euronext Brussels: MITRA), a company dedicated to Women’s Health, announces it has strengthened its CDMO1 Management team with the appointments of Dr Graham Dixon as Chief Scientific Officer and Mr Renaat Baes as Plant Manager.
Graham Dixon joins Mithra as Chief Scientific Officer, succeeding Mrs Valérie Gordenne who will continue to work for Mithra as a consultant. Dr Dixon has a 27 year international career in the pharmaceutical industry, with a strong track record in R&D across many therapeutic areas. He also has solid leadership experience having worked across a number of R&D management positions at AstraZeneca plc and in C-level management positions in several biotech companies: Entomed SA; Galapagos NV (AMS:GLPG); Addex Therapeutics SA (SWX:ADXN); Sensorion SA (EPA:ALSEN) and Onxeo SA (EPA:ONXEO). Dr Dixon has also held leadership roles in successful programmes spanning the whole continuum of R&D, including clinical proof-of-concepts and regulatory approvals. On the business side, he has held executive roles in two successful IPOs (Galapagos & Sensorion) and 10 clinical stage licensing deals. He has also held several non-executive director positions in the biotech sector and acted as an advisor to several venture capital organisations and their portfolio companies. Dr Dixon obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Bradford, UK and a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Swansea, UK.
Renaat Baes joins Mithra as Plant Manager of the Mithra CDMO. Mr Baes has over twenty years of experience in pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Supply Chain Operations. He joins Mithra from Takeda, where he held different Project, Process and Production positions gaining a broad experience in different technologies (e.g. hormones, solid dosage, sterile manufacturing). As Plant Director for 8 years in the Brussels Manufacturing site, Renaat led several strategic site divestments for Takeda. Most recently he was responsible for the Global Business Process Redesign Project from a manufacturing and supply chain perspective, involving change management in several production sites. Renaat holds a Master in Pharmacy including post-graduate degrees in Industrial Pharmacy from Gent University and Business Management from KUL, Belgium.
These two key appointments are an integral part of the global development plan to consolidate the R&D and production teams to execute the Mithra CDMO strategy. Since the beginning of 2019, the number of staff has increased significantly from 190 to 250 ( 30%), and further job creation is expected in the coming months.
François Fornieri, CEO of Mithra Women’s Health, commented: “We are delighted to welcome Graham and Renaat to the management team of our fast growing CDMO. Their large pharma industry experience in the whole continuum of R&D and Supply Chain Operations will be instrumental in the successful transition of Mithra’s production plant into a fully operational and agile CDMO facility, in support of Mithra’s business objectives and growth.
Thanks to the work of our teams, we successfully accelerated our development programs for our three potential blockbusters. For Donesta® and PeriNesta®, we are ahead of planning and are already ready to start the Phase III studies, pending approval from the agencies. Also with Estelle®, we have made significant progress for the filing with U.S. and European agencies planned by the end of 2019 and have begun the clinical validation batches.
Thanks to its tripled production capacity, Mithra CDMO will also soon begin the second production cycle for the commercialization of its vaginal ring, Myring™. The procedure to register Myring™ in 15 new European countries has been positively closed and we are now proceeding with the national closing phases. We expect to obtain these 15 Marketing Authorizations in the coming months.”
1 Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization
Mithra (Euronext: MITRA) is dedicated to providing innovation and choice in Women’s Health, with a particular focus on contraception and menopause. Mithra’s goal is to develop new and improved products that meet women’s needs for better safety and convenience. Its three lead development candidates – a fifth generation oral contraceptive Estelle®, the first complete oral treatment for perimenopause PeriNesta® and next-generation hormone therapy Donesta® - are built on Mithra’s unique native estrogen platform, E4 (Estetrol). Mithra also develops and manufactures complex therapeutics and offers partners a complete spectrum of research, development and specialist manufacturing at its CDMO. Mithra was founded in 1999 as a spin-off from the University of Liège by François Fornieri and Prof. Dr. Jean-Michel Foidart. Mithra is headquartered in Liège, Belgium. Further information can be found at www.mithra.com
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