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Clavis Pharma appoints Olav Hellebø

Published on: 25/01/10

Norwegian cancer drug development company Clavis Pharma has appointed Olav Hellebø as its new chief executive.

He joins the company on 1 February from UCB Pharma, where he was senior vice president and president of immunology operations.

In this position he built and led the global organization responsible for the successful registration and launch of Cimzia, UCB’s new antibody drug for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease.

From 2003 to 2004 Olav was chief operating officer of Novartis UK and prior to that held a series of senior international roles at Schering-Plough, the last as head of Schering Plough’s Oncology Biotech Division in the US.

Olav Hellebø said: “I look forward to joining Clavis Pharma at a time of great potential. The Company has achieved promising clinical data with elacytarabine in acute myeloid leukaemia and I believe this new investigational medicine can be brought successfully to market on an international basis.

”One of my key objectives at Clavis will be to build on the successes of Geir Christian Melen and his team and to further expand the clinical pipeline. I believe my commercial pharmaceutical experience will help us to establish and implement a winning international business strategy as we seek to improve outcomes for cancer patients worldwide.”

Geir Christian Melen, Clavis Pharma’s current chief executive, will continue with the company as an adviser for a transition period that is expected to last until end of June.

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