Intercell AG has announced that the company’s Supervisory Board has appointed Thomas Lingelbach as new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for Intercell, effective May 10, 2011.
At the same time, Gerd Zettlmeissl, current CEO, will resign to pursue other personal and professional interests. Under his excellent leadership, Intercell received international approval for the novel Japanese Encephalitis vaccine, IXIARO®/JESPECT®, formed major strategic alliances with leading pharmaceutical companies and vaccine non‐profit organizations, successfully completed several financing steps, was elected as ‘Technology Pioneer’ at the World Economic Forum in 2009 and received the European Biotechnica Award in 2006.
The company will propose to the next General Assembly the election of two new members of the Supervisory Board, Alexander von Gabain, and Thomas Szucs, both of whom have extended experience in the field of vaccines and pharmaceutical development. One current member of the Supervisory Board, David Ebsworth, intends to resign due to the demands on his time required by recent increased executive responsibilities he is taking on in Switzerland as CEO of Galenica AG.
Michel Gréco, Chairperson of the Supervisory Board comments that “The Supervisory Board appreciates very much that Thomas Lingelbach will take over the CEO position. His impressive experience in the industry and at Intercell uniquely qualifies him for his new role to adapt the strategy for the company’s future. We want to express our sincere thanks to Gerd
Zettlmeissl for his leadership, vision and many years of hard work to grow Intercell into a leader in vaccine biotechnology and wish him all the best for his future. I also welcome the possibility of working with the proposed incoming very experienced Supervisory Board colleagues, and I would like to thank David Ebsworth for his productive contributions during his years on the Board.”
Thomas Lingelbach has more than twenty years of experience in the pharma and vaccines industry, having held a variety of leading positions of increasing international responsibility at Hoechst AG, Chiron Vaccines, and Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics, before joining Intercell in 2006 as Chief Operating Officer. His experience ranges broadly and deeply in the areas of Industrial Operations, Product Development, and Commercial Operations.
At Intercell, Thomas Lingelbach has been inter alia chiefly responsible for the manufacturing and March 2009 licensure in the U.S. and Europe of the company’s first product, a vaccine to prevent Japanese Encephalitis.
Thomas Lingelbach stated: “I will be delighted to work as the new CEO with the experienced Management Board of Intercell, Staph Bakali, who joined the Management Board last year as Chief Business Officer, and Reinhard Kandera, Chief Financial Officer. Together with our talented senior executives we will strive to maximize the value of the company based on its strong foundation of human and technological capital. Intercell is in the heart of a rapidly changing field of the biotech and pharmaceutical business, and I welcome the responsibility for adapting Intercell to its future challenges.”
Gerd Zettlmeissl commented: “After an excellent experience with Intercell over ten years, I am happy to hand over the leadership of Intercell to a highly experienced Management Board team led by Thomas Lingelbach which ideally combines all capabilities to lead Intercell into its next stage of development.”
By proposing two new members, Alexander von Gabain and Thomas Szucs, for election by the shareholders to the Supervisory Board, the company intends to diversify the Board’s pharmaceutical competence.
Alexander von Gabain is already known to many of Intercell’s shareholders as one of the company’s founders and as a former Intercell CEO who brought the company public. As former Chief Scientific Officer he leveraged Intercell’s technology platforms and scientific reputation.
In his academic career, Alexander von Gabain has also served as Chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Genetics at the University of Vienna and as Professor at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, and at both organizations, he is still an appointed Professor. Recently, it was announced that he will be the next Chairperson of the Board of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).
Thomas Szucs is an MD, MBA, MPH, and LLM, board certified in Preventive Medicine as well as Pharmaceutical Medicine, and has held various positions in industry, hospital management, and consulting before joining academia. He is Professor and Director of the European Center of Pharmaceutical Medicine of the University of Basel. In addition, he is Chairman of BB
Biotech, and Chairman of the largest Swiss health insurer, Helsana AG. His principal interest is healthcare policy and economics as well as drugs/vaccines development.
More complete information about each of these proposed candidates for membership on Intercell’s Supervisory Board will be available prior to the annual shareholders’ meeting.
The announcement about the change of the CEO is occurring in advance of the planned handover to maintain the company’s commitment to timely disclosure of information in compliance with relevant Austrian requirements and as a means of facilitating a smooth transition of responsibilities. In this context, Gerd Zettlmeissl and Thomas Lingelbach will cochair the company’s next quarterly call on May 10.