Maxygen, Inc. has announced that its President, Dr. Simba Gill, will be leaving the Company to become a Venture Partner and Entrepreneur in Residence at the Texas Pacific Group (TPG), a private investment firm.
Dr. Gill's departure will become effective at the end of the year. He will remain a special advisor to the Company.
Maxygen also announced the leadership team that will drive its next phase of growth effective January 1, 2006.
Dr. Elliot Goldstein will be appointed Chief Operating Officer, reporting to Dr. Russell Howard, Chief Executive Officer of Maxygen.
Dr. Torben Lauesgaard Nissen will be promoted to Senior Vice President and will lead the Company's Danish operations and global Project Management.
Grant Yonehiro will be promoted to Senior Vice President and will lead U.S. operations and global Business Development.
Larry Briscoe will continue to lead the finance function as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, and Dr. Michael Rabson will continue in his role as Senior Vice President and General Counsel.
"Simba has made a great contribution to Maxygen's success, reflected in our broad strategic relationship with Roche, our strong financial position and a strong product pipeline including three potential blockbuster drug candidates," said Dr. Howard.
"Simba has mentored a group of strong leaders in Elliot, Torben and Grant who are well positioned to continue to build upon the excellent foundation he has helped put in place. We wish Simba the very best for his future."
Continued Dr. Howard, "Today, Maxygen is a product-focused company with multiple programs advancing rapidly towards clinical development."
"We have a solid pipeline of exciting drug candidates each with multi-billion dollar potential and an experienced, accomplished and committed senior management team."
"Elliot is an experienced pharmaceutical executive who is well qualified to lead our global operations and clinical development."
"Grant and Torben have been instrumental in establishing and managing our strategic alliances and key development programs."
"Their combined energy, enthusiasm, and expertise will help us develop our pipeline of product candidates and establish our company as a leader in protein therapeutics."
Said Dr. Gill, "I am proud of what Maxygen has achieved during my time at the Company."
"It has been a privilege to work with the many talented and dedicated people of Maxygen, and to have contributed to the growth and development of what I believe is one of the most promising development stage biotech companies."
"I am now looking forward to working at TPG Ventures with a particular focus on life science activities in the fast growing Asian markets."
Dr. Goldstein joined Maxygen in February 2003 as Senior Vice President, Clinical Development and Denmark Operations.
Prior to joining Maxygen, Dr. Goldstein held a number of senior executive positions in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, including Chief Executive Officer of British Biotech, and Senior Vice President, Worldwide Strategic Product Development at SmithKline Beecham (now GlaxoSmithKline).
Before his tenure at SmithKline Beecham, Dr. Goldstein held a variety of senior level positions at Sandoz Inc. including Vice President, Clinical Research and Development at Sandoz Research Institute. Dr. Goldstein obtained his M.D. from the University of Aix-Marseille, France.
Dr. Nissen joined Maxygen in 2000 as Principal Scientist from ProFound Pharma. Dr. Nissen has held several leadership positions at Maxygen including Vice President, Project Management and Director of Protein Pharmaceuticals.
Mr. Yonehiro joined Maxygen in 2003 as Vice President of Business Development. Prior to joining Maxygen, Mr. Yonehiro held a number of senior executive positions at GenVec including Drug Development Vice President, Vice President Commercial Operations and Director of Corporate Development.