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Dezima Pharma Appoints Seasoned New CEO

Published: Thursday, June 13, 2013
Last Updated: Wednesday, June 12, 2013
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Appointment of Rob de Ree as Company’s new Chief Executive Officer.

Dezima Pharma has announced that it has appointed Rob de Ree as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Mr. de Ree has over 20 years of experience in sales & marketing, business development and general management in Pharma and Medtech, including Medtronic, Crucell and the cardiovascular franchise of Byk Gulden.

Most recently he held the CEO position at Amsterdam-based cardiovascular monitoring company, BMEYE BV, which was successfully sold to Edwards Lifesciences in 2012 under his leadership. He holds a degree in Pharmacy.

Dezima was founded in 2012 by Prof. John Kastelein, Professor of Medicine at the Department of Vascular Medicine at the Academic Medical Center of the University of Amsterdam, and focuses on the development of novel products to treat dyslipidemic patients suffering from cardiovascular disease.

Its lead program involves the development of the CETP inhibitor DEZ-001 (previously TA-8995) which was in-licensed from Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation.

The Company has recently raised a total of €14.2 million and is fully financed to execute a phase III enabling study in dyslipidemia. This phase II study “TULIP” is scheduled to start in Q3 2013.

Mr. de Ree commented, “The treatment of dyslipidemia requires novel drugs to further improve patient care. Dezima’s ambition is to seek new solutions to treat this disease, of which our lead program, DEZ-001, a CETP inhibitor, is a potential best-in-class. This is a great opportunity for me to take on the role of CEO of Dezima and to work with such an experienced team.”

Managing Partner of Forbion and Chairman of Dezima’s board, Sander Slootweg added, "Rob brings a wealth of experience to Dezima as he knows the cardiovascular field inside out. Besides his operational strength, Rob will also spearhead our business development activities as we have the only later-stage, unencumbered asset in a commercially attractive field, the evolving CETP space.”

Mr. de Ree is taking over from Dezima’s interim CEO and General Partner of Forbion Capital Partners, Sander van Deventer, who has stepped down from the role, but will remain closely involved with the Company by joining the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).

The SAB also includes world-leading experts in the dyslipidemia space such as Dr Philip Barter, Professor at The Heart Research Institute, Sydney, Australia, and Dr Bryan Brewer, Senior Research Consultant of Lipoprotein and Atherosclerosis Research at the Medstar Research Institute, Washington DC, USA.

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