New board member joins AFFiRiS AG
Vienna, 9. September 2014, AFFiRiS AG today announced the appointment of Oliver Siegel as a new member of the Executive Management Board. He will take over responsibility for Business Development, Finance and Administration. The appointment of the international experienced transaction expert extends the know-how of the board with a focus on partnering and business operations. Oliver Siegel will expend his experience gained at leading international investment banks to focus on the partnering of the AFFiRiS programs, whose clinical data have been published in the last few months.
Oliver Siegel has been appointed as the new Chief Operating Officer (COO) of AFFiRiS AG. In this position, he is responsible for the company’s business development and its administrative functions. Oliver Siegel has handled over 100 corporate acquisitions and disposals, cooperation agreements, IPOs as well as other capital markets transactions for the pharmaceutical, biotech and health care industry and is considered as one of its most experienced experts.
Before starting at AFFiRiS, Oliver Siegel headed the pharma practice at Rothschild investment bank in London, where he previously worked as Head of European Pharmaceutical Sector. He advised Roche in various M&A and finance transactions, such as the acquisition of Genentech. Furthermore, he advised on several IPOs of high-profile biotech companies like Serono or Speedel. Prior to this, he was Head of Healthcare Investment Banking at HSBC plc. in London.
The expert on M&A and Corporate Finance comments on his new role: “In the industry, AFFiRiS is one of the leading companies in the field of therapeutic vaccines – this is without a doubt one of the most exciting treatment approaches for chronic diseases existing at the moment. I am delighted to contribute my years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry to help finding new partners for the further development of AFFiRiS programs.”
AFFiRiS recently published phase II data of an Alzheimer’s drug candidate in clinical development and phase I data of a Parkinson’s vaccine candidate, the first substance targeted at α-synuclein, that has successfully finished a phase I trial. Α-synuclein is a protein that is attributed to playing a key role in the pathogenic progress of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s. The development of AFFiRiS Parkinson’s vaccines enjoys the continuing support of the renowned Michael J. Fox Foundation.
Walter Schmidt, CEO and co-founder of AFFiRiS, on these successes and its significance for the company: “Our success in the development of therapeutic vaccines for diseases with unmet medical needs and attractive market volumes leads to a constantly increasing interest of the pharmaceutical industry. The extensive knowledge of Oliver Siegel will allow us to leverage this interest for our corporate strategy and to accelerate the development of life-enhancing treatments. I am very pleased to have him join our Executive Board of Management.”
On the basis of its proprietary patented AFFITOME®-technology, AFFiRiS develops tailor-made therapeutic peptide vaccines against chronic diseases. Currently, there are 3 drug candidates against Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and MSA in clinical development. Further vaccine candidates against Lipid Lowering respectively Atherosclerosis, Diabetes, Psoriasis, Allergies, Asthma as well as for Huntington’s are in preclinical development. Thus far, AFFiRiS has been able to attract funding of close to € 100m, especially from its main investors MIG AG from Munich/Germany and Santo VC, the family office of the Strüngmann-family. AFFiRiS currently employs 85 highly qualified staff at the Campus Vienna Biocenter in Vienna, Austria (www.affiris.com)
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