Novozymes has announced it has separated its biopharma activities into an independent company called Albumedix. The new company will be fully owned by Novozymes.
“Over the past nine years, our work in albumin has resulted in a series of new discoveries and technologies, which have led to agreements with major pharmaceutical and biotech companies,” says Thomas Videbæk, Executive Vice President for Business Development at Novozymes. “The business is in good shape with great prospects to make a real difference for patients all over the world. We believe it is now ready to be developed further outside Novozymes, where it will have the best possible growth conditions.”
Albumedix to accelerate Veltis® for half-life extension
Albumedix will continue to develop its market leading position within recombinant albumin-based products and technologies. Albumin is a naturally occurring protein that can be found in human blood.
Named Recombumin®, Albumedix’s recombinant albumins are used in the pharmaceutical industry to stabilize drugs and vaccines. For example, since 2006,Merck has used Albumedix’s solutions to produce two vaccines used to treat millions of children worldwide against measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox.
Albumin can also be used to extend the half-life of pharmaceuticals to prolong the drugs’ effect and Albumedix offers a first and second generation version of this drug delivery technology under the name Veltis. In 2014, Veltis got its commercial breakthrough when GlaxoSmithKline launched a diabetes drug that utilizes the technology, allowing patients to dose weekly instead of daily. Today, Albumedix has a growing pipeline of partner-driven drug candidates evaluating Veltis.
In addition to providing albumin-based solutions to the pharmaceutical industry, Albumedix will initiate the exploration of early stage clinical drug development based on its Veltis technology and relevant drug candidates.
Experienced management team and board
Albumedix will be led by CEO Peter Rosholm, who previously headed Novozymes’ Biopharma business. The leadership team will report to an independent board consisting of three directors from the pharmaceutical industry and two representatives from Novozymes.
The Chairman of the Board, Don deBethizy, brings more than 15 years of experience in managing and financing life science related technologies, and has played a key role in building and advising several life science companies.
“I see a promising future for Albumedix, and together with Don deBethizy and the rest of the team I look forward to expanding our role in the pharmaceutical industry. With our heritage, expertise in albumin, and skilled employees, we have a strong foundation for developing superior biotherapeutics for patients,” says Peter Rosholm.
Albumedix will be headquartered in Lyngby, Denmark, with R&D and production facilities in Nottingham, UK. The company will employ approximately 100 people.
Novozymes retains full ownership of Albumedix and the newly created company’s financial results will continue to be consolidated into Novozymes’ reporting. The formation of Albumedix is not expected to impact Novozymes’ financial results for 2016.
Albumedix CEO and Chairman of the Board
Peter Rosholm, CEO
Peter Rosholm has extensive international experience in business management with several expatriations to Asia and Europe. He joined Novo Nordisk’s enzyme division in 1990 and has since then held a number of managerial positions within marketing and sales, before Peter Rosholm in 2006 was appointed Vice President of Novozymes’ Biopharma division, now Albumedix. Peter Rosholm holds a M.Sc. and an EMBA.
Besides Peter Rosholm, Albumedix’s management team will consist of Svend Erik Licht, Chief Commercial Officer, Klavs Kirk, Chief Operations Officer and Darrell Sleep, Chief Scientific Officer. All three have worked at Novozymes a number of years.
Don deBethizy, Chairman
Dr. Don deBethizy has many years of experience from R&D intensive industries, including over 15 years in executive positions in the biopharmaceutical industry. In those positions, Dr. deBethizy has managed large private as well as public biotech financing. He currently serves on a number of international biotech boards. Don deBethizy holds M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in toxicology from Utah State University.