APEIRON Biologics AG, a Vienna based biotechnology company founded by the Austrian molecular biologist Josef Penninger, which develops immuno-oncological therapies against cancer, announced today that after almost 13 successful years Dr. Hans Loibner (70) has handed over his position as CEO to Peter Llewellyn-Davies (60), the former Chief Financial and Business Development Officer, on July 15, 2018. Mr. Loibner will continue to support APEIRON in an advisory capacity.
As a man from the very beginning, Dr. Hans Loibner was responsible for the establishment and successful development and strategic orientation of APEIRON. The initiation of the company's immuno-oncological development activities is as much a part of his long-term service as the out-licensing of two development projects to large pharmaceutical companies and the marketing approval of the immunotherapeutic drug against the cancer type neuroblastoma, which mainly occurs in children (the drug is based on the monoclonal antibody ch14.18/CHO (Qarziba®)). Due to this unique and worldwide very rare success and with a broad portfolio of promising development candidates, APEIRON is today considered one of the leading immun-oncological biotech companies.
His successor, Mr. Llewellyn-Davies, joined APEIRON Biologics AG in October 2017. Born in England with British/German nationality, he has more than 25 years of international experience in leading positions in business, especially in biotechnology, most recently at listed cancer and immunotherapy companies such as Medigene AG and Wilex AG (now Heidelberg Pharma AG).
"Hans Loibner has achieved a great deal as an entrepreneur and scientist and has positioned APEIRON at the forefront of international immuno-oncology through extraordinary research achievements and convincing clinical developments," said Josef Penninger, founder and supervisory board member of APEIRON, and for many years head of the Institute of Molecular Biology Austria (IMBA).
Manfred Reichl, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of APEIRON adds: "A highlight under the leadership of Dr. Loibner was the European marketing approval of a drug for the treatment of a rare childhood cancer. He hands over a company with a promising and innovative clinical development pipeline in cancer immunotherapy. The Supervisory Board, employees and investors thank Hans Loibner for his untiring commitment. We are pleased that he will continue to support us in an advisory capacity."
Dr. Hans Loibner said: "My thanks go to all those involved for their many years of cooperation and loyalty, the investors, the company's Supervisory Board, which has accompanied our work since 2009, and above all the employees without whom the success of APEIRON would not have been possible. I will remain associated with the company in the future and support it in an advisory capacity. I would like to thank Peter Llewellyn-Davies for his dedicated work as a member of the Executive Board and I am convinced that he is an excellent successor.
Manfred Reichl comments on the new Chairman of the Management Board: "Peter Llewellyn-Davies was and is the Supervisory Board's preferred candidate and is highly regarded by Hans Loibner. In the last 9 months, he has worked his way in excellently and has already set important accents."
Peter Llewellyn-Davies comments: "I am very much looking forward to the challenge of further expanding the company's great potential with APEIRON's experienced teams by intensively advancing the current programs and successively expanding the development portfolio. We will expand our headquarters in Vienna and at the same time further strengthen our international activities and partnerships".