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Leiden, The Netherlands, 18 June 2021
Pharming Group N.V. (“Pharming” or “the Company”) (Euronext Amsterdam: PHARM/Nasdaq: PHAR) announces the appointment of Anurag Relan as Chief Medical Officer (CMO), effective immediately, and Robert Friesen as Chief Scientific Officer, effective from 1 August 2021. Anurag and Robert will be the successors of Bruno Giannetti, who was Chief Operating Officer (2006 - 2019) and Chief Medical Officer from 2019. Bruno announced his retirement from the Executive Committee at Pharming’s recent Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, Bruno will stay with the company on a consultancy basis.
Anurag Relan is currently Vice President, Clinical Research and Medical Affairs at Pharming, having held a number of roles within the Company during the past 15 years. During his tenure, he led the clinical development and subsequent US and European approval of RUCONEST® for the treatment of acute attacks of hereditary angioedema. More recently, he was instrumental in establishing Pharming’s US medical affairs organization and plays an important role in the evaluation of in-licensing and acquisition projects. Prior to his work at Pharming, he was in clinical practice while also teaching medical residents/students. Anurag holds an MD and MPH from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.
Robert Friesen brings more than 20 years of experience in drug discovery and development across a number of listed biotech companies. Robert is currently CSO of Kiadis Pharma, which was acquired by Sanofi in April 2021, and was previously CSO of Ablynx, which was acquired by Sanofi in June 2018. During his career, he has successfully led the discovery and early-stage development of more than 40 antibodies, peptides, enzymes and cell and gene therapies in the fields of immunology, oncology, infectious diseases, metabolic diseases, ophthalmology and CNS diseases. Prior to Ablynx, Robert was Senior Vice President of Research at ProQR Therapeutics and Vice President and Head of Biologics Research within Janssen R&D, a Johnson & Johnsen company. Before joining Janssen R&D, Robert held senior R&D positions at AM-Pharma, MorphoSys and Crucell. Robert earned a M.S. in Biology from the University of Utrecht, and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, at the University of Texas Medical Branch.
Sijmen de Vries, Chief Executive Officer of Pharming, commented:
“We welcome both Anurag and Robert to our executive committee. Anurag brings an extensive knowledge of rare disease drug development, regulatory activities, and medical affairs. Robert’s significant experience and proven track record in drug discovery and development from some of Europe’s leading biotech businesses will be invaluable as we continue to develop our pipeline. Both appointments will also be crucial as we remain focused on our ambitious growth strategy, including expanding our pipeline of opportunities.”
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