July 2, 2021 – Life sciences search specialist Coulter Partners recently partnered with 2N Pharma, a biotech company developing therapeutic drugs to treat neurological disorders, to secure the appointments of Alex Leech as chair of the board of directors and John Kemp as non-executive director. “We are very proud and excited to welcome Alex and John to the board,” said Preben Bruun-Nyzell, CEO of 2N Pharma. “They bring decades of leadership in company building and neuroscience drug development that are vital as we continue to advance our therapeutic candidates to treat neurodegeneration. I thank the team at Coulter Partners for their professional support in achieving these high caliber appointments.”
Mr. Leech was the founding CEO of Alchemab Therapeutics and raised a $82 million Series A in 2021. He is a serial biotech CEO having led Creabilis, a leading European dermatology company, until its acquisition by Sienna Biopharmaceuticals Inc. in 2016 and was CEO of Zarodex Therapeutics and Camphos Therapeutics. Prior to Creabilis, he led operations at U.S.-based pain company Solace Pharmaceuticals Inc. Mr. Leech gained his R&D experience at Pfizer and is a venture partner with SV Health Investors.
“It gives me great pleasure to join 2N Pharma as chair of the board of directors,” said Mr. Leech. “I am excited to help set the agenda for this ambitious company and look forward to working with the management team to fully explore the disruptive potential of 2N’s approach to treating neurological disorders.”
Mr. Kemp is the CSO of Syndesi Therapeutics. Former roles include head of neuroscience discovery at Janssen, Belgium and CEO of Evotec Neurosciences, which was spun-out from Evotec and raised a €25 million Series A in 2004. Before joining Evotec, Mr. Kemp was senior vice president and head of CNS research at Roche and he also held senior research positions in Neuroscience R&D at Merck Sharpe and Dohme.
“With a focus on neurodegenerative diseases, 2N is tackling some of the biggest challenges in medical science,” said Mr. Kemp. “I am impressed by the company’s novel approach, and I look forward to applying my insights as a drug developer to guide the company at this exciting time.”
2N Pharma is a small biotech company with a big ambition: “We want to develop drugs that can effectively treat neurodegenerative diseases.” The company has developed novel, orally administered, small molecule therapeutic drug candidates that cross the blood-brain barrier to target mitochondrial dysfunction that has been linked to disease progression in several neurodegenerative diseases. 2N Pharma is based in Aalborg, Denmark.
Life Sciences Sector Grows
Coulter Partners is a board- and senior-level global executive search specialist focused exclusively on life sciences. The firm works closely with those at the cutting edge of innovation in the industry to understand their challenges. With an extensive global network and expertise gained over 25 years in the sector, Coulter Partners have become trusted advisers on leadership in the pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical technology, diagnostics, health tech, CRO and services sectors. The firm also works closely with the global investor community, hiring for their own teams as well as building the boards and executive leadership teams of their portfolio companies. Its team of 95 completes over 260 assignments a year working from 14 offices across the U.K., EMEA, the U.S. and APAC.
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With the integration of technology into all facets of everyday life, the life sciences and healthcare industry is hardly alone in facing technology-related issues. These take on increased importance when they impact health, disease diagnosis, treatment and, ultimately, human longevity. Having the right leaders in place to sort through these complex challenges, say recruiters serving the sector, is critical — especially those with vision and transformational skills.
Bianca Coulter founded Coulter Partners in 2003 and has 25 years’ experience of board and C-level global search, building the leadership teams of early stage, mid cap and global multinationals in over 20 countries. Through appointing the best leadership, Ms. Coulter channels her judgement and considerable expertise to impact patient benefit and assist those at the cutting edge of life science to achieve their goals.
This search follows Coulter Partners recently formed alliance with BioInnovation Institute (BII), the international incubator in Denmark for research-based innovation and entrepreneurship. The firm has been engaged to provide support for BII across three workstreams: providing assessment, coaching and development for the CEOs of start-up businesses in BII’s portfolio under the Creation House program; hiring chairs and board directors to support these businesses; and conducting executive search for their portfolio companies where needed.
“We have a history of two decades working with entrepreneurial leaders and their boards, and it is a real pleasure to be bringing our learning, global perspective and advice to BII, its exciting companies and partners,” said Ms. Coulter.
“Finding experienced biotech executives to work with our start-ups is critical for success,” said Bobby Soni, chief business officer at BioInnovation Institute. “We are pleased to partner with Coulter Partners, a leader in life science executive search, to provide search and leadership development to our start-ups. They bring the needed experience in building early-stage, VC-backed teams to BII start-ups.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media