– Sarah Holland, Ph.D., will serve as Chief Business Officer bringing deep dealmaking expertise across a range of transaction types from discovery collaborations to M&A
– Aditya Venugopal Ph.D., will serve as VP of Business Development and brings extensive corporate strategy and business development experience with a focus on rare diseases and gastroenterology
BASEL, Switzerland, November 04, 2020 — VectivBio AG, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing transformational medicines for patients with serious rare diseases, today announced the appointments of Sarah Holland, Ph.D., as Chief Business Officer and Aditya Venugopal, Ph.D., as Vice President of Business Development. Dr. Holland will be based in Switzerland and Dr. Venugopal will be based in the U.S., further expanding the company’s global reach.
“We are truly fortunate to have Sarah and Aditya on our team. Their complementary expertise will enhance our ability to expand our pipeline as we continue to build our company to become a global rare disease leader,” said Luca Santarelli, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of VectivBio. “Sarah’s impressive track record of dealmaking speaks to her incredible leadership and drive, essential for this role, while Aditya is highly skilled in search and evaluation.”
Dr. Holland has a strong track record of leadership. Most recently, she served as Global Head of licensing at Lonza AG where she built the new licensing business unit, led research and development and drove the spin-off of Affinia Therapeutics. Prior to Lonza, she led External Science and Partnering across the globe for Sanofi R&D. Before that, Dr. Holland served at Roche for over a decade in positions of increasing responsibility, culminating as Life Cycle Leader for ALECENSA® (alectinib). She led many deals for Roche Partnering, including licensing ZELBORAF® (vemurafenib) from Plexxikon and establishing a key CNS partnership with PTC Therapeutics. She built the team responsible for championing and integrating company acquisitions and drove the Roche strategy for rare diseases. Dr. Holland earned an M.A. and D.Phil. in chemistry from the University of Oxford and an MBA from Manchester Business School.
“I was drawn to VectivBio because of its impressive team with a proven track record of value creation,” said Dr. Holland. “In particular, I appreciated the team’s rigorous, well-designed development strategies and success in securing funding for their plans. I am eager to work with the VectivBio team to create a leading portfolio in rare diseases with high unmet need. I look forward to engaging with innovators and investors to explore new pipeline opportunities.”
Dr. Venugopal was most recently an Executive Director at Intercept Pharmaceuticals, where he held roles leading corporate strategic planning and business development (BD). While at Intercept, he drove BD expansion efforts in hepatology and gastroenterology. Previously, he was an Associate Director at Navigant Life Science Consulting where he led global cross-functional teams focused on business development and licensing assessments in immunology, oncology and rare diseases. Dr. Venugopal earned a Ph.D. in immunology and microbiology from Cornell University Medical College and a B.E. in biotechnology from Anna University in India.
Apraglutide is intended to increase the intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients and minimize the burden of parenteral support, thereby improving patients’ quality of life and their ability to thrive. It is a next-generation, GLP-2 analog, rationally designed to achieve an extended half-life with a synthetic manufacturing process. Apraglutide has successfully completed Phase II studies and is expected to begin Phase III in the near future. Based on preclinical and clinical data to date, apraglutide has the potential to be a best-in-class treatment for SBS, with once-weekly dosing and the potential to address the needs of patients across the anatomical disease spectrum that characterizes the disease.
VectivBio is a global, clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing transformational therapeutics for patients living with serious, rare diseases. The company is committed to pursuing rare diseases with well-defined biology that can be targeted with best-in-disease therapies that have the potential to meaningfully transform and improve the lives of patients and their families, not just provide an incremental improvement over the standard-of-care. VectivBio’s lead investigational program, apraglutide, is a next-generation GLP-2 analog for the treatment of short bowel syndrome (SBS). Follow us on LinkedIn.
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