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ThromboGenics’ Founder Prof Desire Collen Retiring as Chairman

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ThromboGenics NV has announced that Prof Désiré Collen has decided to retire as Chairman and board member. Dr Staf Van Reet, currently a member of the ThromboGenics Board and a seasoned biopharma veteran, has been appointed Chairman of ThromboGenics.

Prof Collen, Founder and Chairman of ThromboGenics, said: “As the founder and a key member of the ThromboGenics team for more than 20 years, I’ve decided it is time for me to take a step back and to stand down from my current role as ThromboGenics’ Chairman. I believe that this is an appropriate time to hand over to my successor.

“Recognizing a number of challenges, I believe that the Company has a clear strategy to optimize the US sales of JETREA® and in the rest of the world via its partner Alcon. I remain confident that JETREA® will find its way forward as part of a new standard of care for the treatment of symptomatic VMA/VMT, particularly for earlier stage patients.”

Prof Collen, a world renowned scientist, has played an instrumental role in ThromboGenics’ development and subsequent success since he founded the Company in 1991.

During his tenure as CEO of ThromboGenics, the company started its research on JETREA® (ocriplasmin) and advanced it through its early clinical development for the treatment of symptomatic vitreomacular adhesion (VMA)/ vitreomacular traction (VMT). He was appointed ThromboGenics’ Chairman at the founding of the company.

Prof Collen has had an extensive and prominent career in drug development. Before the successful development of JETREA®, Prof Collen led the research and development of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a key product for Genentech in the late 1980s and 1990s. This product revolutionized the treatment of acute myocardial infarction and stroke when it was introduced.

Prof Collen has been recognized as a leading figure in the life sciences industry. He has won numerous awards, including two recent lifetime achievement awards as recognition of his excellent services to the global industry. He has co-authored more than 650 scientific publications, and has co-invented over 20 issued patents and patent applications.

During his career, he has proved a successful biotech entrepreneur and investor. In 1998 he set up Life Sciences Research Partners, which invests in emerging life sciences companies and promotes scientific research through grants, scholarships and related activities.

ThromboGenics has appointed Dr Staf Van Reet, currently on the ThromboGenics Board of Directors, as the company’s new Chairman.

Dr Van Reet was previously Head of R&D at Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and was co-founder of Movetis N.V. and Chairman of its Board of Directors until November 2010, when the company was acquired by Shire S.a.r.l.

Currently, he is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Actogenix N.V. and Okapi Sciences N.V. and a director of Biocartis S.A., Therasolve N.V. and VIB (the Flemish Institute of Biotechnology).

Dr Staf Van Reet said: “Desire has made a huge contribution to the growth of ThromboGenics and the successful development of JETREA®. On behalf of the entire ThromboGenics team, I am extremely grateful for his dedication and commitment to the Company, which is now a leader in the European biotech industry. I look forward to continuing his record and to ensure the successful growth trajectory of JETREA® and further development of ThromboGenics’ emerging portfolio of therapies for the treatment of diabetes-related retinal diseases.”