Pronova BioPharma appoints Per-Oluf Olsen as new CEO
Lysaker, Norway: Pronova BioPharma ASA (OSE: PRON.OL) announced today that the board of directors has appointed Per-Oluf Olsen as chief executive officer to succeed Tomas Settevik, who has informed the board that he wishes to stand down from his position as CEO.
Per-Oluf Olsen, aged 52, will assume the role of CEO with effect from 17 November 2008. He joins Pronova BioPharma after 27 years with Pfizer Inc., where he gained extensive international experience in sales, marketing and management. Most recently, Mr. Olsen was regional executive director for Central and Eastern European region, inclusive regional office in Brussels. He was previously country manager for Pfizer in Italy, Norway and Denmark and has held a number of senior sales and marketing positions for the company in Norway and the USA.
"I am pleased to announce Per-Oluf Olsen as the new CEO. He has an attractive background from the international
pharmaceutical industry and a broad range of sales, marketing, and management experience, which will be a valuable contribution for Pronova BioPharma’s future growth and success", says chairman Gert W. Munthe.
“The board would like to thank Tomas Settevik for his dedication and significant contribution to Pronova BioPharma’s success to date”, Mr. Munthe added.
Tomas Settevik joined Pronova BioPharma in 2004 and became chief executive officer in April 2006 with the aim of guiding the company through a listing of its shares on the Oslo Stock Exchange. After the successful IPO in 2007, Pronova BioPharma has continued to see rapid growth in sales of its lead product Omacor®/LovazaTM, particularly in the USA where it is marketed by GlaxoSmithKline PLC.
Revenues and profit have developed well in 2008, and the outlook is positive, with significant third party raw material supplies have been secured to meet the strong global demand for the product, and the construction of new manufacturing capacity at Kalundborg in Denmark on track to make its first commercial shipments in 2010. Additionally, Omacor/Lovaza recently benefited from data released at the European Society of Cardiology meeting in August demonstrating its beneficial impact on congestive heart failure.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Per-Oluf Olsen said:
“Pronova BioPharma is an exciting company with great success. Omacor/Lovaza is already making an important contribution to the fight against life-threatening cardiovascular diseases and I look forward to contribute to the company’s future growth.”
Tomas Settevik will be proposed to be elected as a new board member at the annual general meeting in May 2009.
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About Pronova BioPharma
Pronova BioPharma is a global leader in the research, development and manufacture of marine-originated omega-3 derived pharmaceutical products. Pronova BioPharma’s first commercialised product is branded as Omacor® in a number of countries throughout Europe and Asia and as LovazaTM in the USA. The product is manufactured at the company’s plant in Sandefjord, Norway using a unique and complex process. An additional manufacturing plant is under construction in Kalundborg, Denmark and is expected to be operational in first quarter 2010.
Omacor/Lovaza is the first and only EU- and FDA-approved omega-3 derived prescription drug. The drug is prescribed as an adjunct to diet for the treatment of elevated levels of triglycerides in humans, a condition known as hypertriglyceridemia (HTG), a form of dyslipidemia (or disorder of lipid metabolism). Very high triglycerides have been linked to a number of cardiovascular diseases. Omacor is also approved in key European and certain Asian markets for the secondary prevention of post-myocardial infarction, or Post-MI, the period following the initial survival of a heart attack.
Omacor/Lovaza has been demonstrated in a number of clinical trials to be a potent triglyceride-lowering agent as a monotherapy. It has been documented to be efficacious, safe, and highly complementary to other lipid-lowering agents, such as statins, and can be used in concomitant treatment for mixed dyslipidemia. In addition, Pronova BioPharma is involved in various projects to develop Omacor/Lovaza in a number of cardiovascular indications, including as a combination therapy with statins for mixed dyslipidemia which management believe represents a major market opportunity for the company.
Pronova BioPharma’s global network of license and distribution partners includes: Reliant Pharmaceuticals (owned by GlaxoSmithKline PLC) (US), Takeda Pharmaceutical (Japan), Prospa (Italy) and Solvay (UK, Germany and others). The combined sales force from this network focused on the sale of Omacor/Lovaza is approximately 2,650 sales representatives, of which about 1,500 are employed by Reliant Pharmaceuticals in the USA.
Omacor/Lovaza was launched in 2005 in the US and in major European markets, such as France and Spain. IMS Health reports that global end-user sales of the product have increased from US$144 million in 2005 to US$306 million in 2006 and US$511 million in 2007. The current annual run rate for end-user sales is estimated at US$650 million, and the Company estimates that approximately 750,000 patients are currently on a prescription for Omacor/Lovaza.
Pronova BioPharma had revenues of NOK 1,014 million and EBITDA of NOK 503 million in 2007. The company is listed at Oslo Børs. See www.pronova.com for more information.
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