OSLO, Norway--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ultimovacs ASA ("Ultimovacs", ticker ULTIMO), today announced that Ton Berkien will join Ultimovacs’ management team as Chief Business Officer (CBO), effective December 1, 2020. Mr. Berkien will join Ultimovacs from his current position at Amgen as Director Global Business Development. At Ultimovacs, he will lead all business and corporate development efforts and continue to maintain and foster connections with leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.
“In the last months, Ultimovacs has strengthened its corporate and clinical development position having launched multiple mid-stage clinical trials and established a solid financial runway. As the clinical trials continue to advance, now is the right time to expand our management team and place a greater focus on our business development efforts,” commented Carlos de Sousa, Chief Executive Officer at Ultimovacs. “As a biopharmaceutical industry professional with an extensive international business development background, insights on corporate financing and years of experience in leading and executing business transactions, we welcome Ton to Ultimovacs’ management team and are enthusiastic to collaborate with him and continue to build value for the Company, our shareholders and patients in need of novel therapeutic options.”
“Over the years, Ultimovacs’ lead therapeutic cancer vaccine program, UV1, has garnered interest from key opinion leaders, physicians and pharmaceutical companies based on its encouraging potential in a range of solid tumor cancers,” stated Ton Berkien, Chief Business Officer at Ultimovacs. “As Ultimovacs moves towards its next value inflection points, supported by a number of mid-stage clinical trials, together, we will build on the Company’s well-established scientific foundation to identify new, strategic opportunities and global partnerships. I greatly look forward to joining the accomplished management team and contributing to Ultimovacs’ ongoing growth and success as a biotechnology company developing novel immunotherapies against cancer.”
Ton Berkien joins Ultimovacs with over 15 years of experience in strategic business development and corporate finance in the biopharmaceutical industry. His most recent position was at Amgen as Director Global Business Development - Transactions, a position he assumed in August 2019 following the acquisition of Nuevolution, a Danish small molecule development company, at which he led the commercial and business activities as Chief Business Officer. During his tenure at Nuevolution, Mr. Berkien contributed to a number of corporate achievements including supporting the company’s successful listing onto Nasdaq OMX Stockholm, executing a program out-licensing deal with Almirall as well as drug discovery collaborations with Janssen Biotech and Amgen. Prior to this, Mr. Berkien was acting Head of Corporate Development/M&A at Takeda/Nycomed, where he completed several M&A transactions in the United States, Europe and in various emerging growth markets such as China, Brazil, India and Colombia. Earlier in his career, Mr. Berkien also held senior manager positions at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Rijnconsult, KPMG and Gilde Investment Management.
Mr. Berkien is currently a board member of the Nordic Pharma Licensing Group. Before starting his career, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the Saxion University of Applied Science in the Netherlands and an LSid from PwC/Harvard Business School/IMD. Mr. Berkien is a Dutch and Swedish citizen and is based in Sweden.
Ultimovacs’ UV1 universal cancer vaccine candidate leverages the high prevalence of the human telomerase (hTERT) to be effective across the dynamic stages of the tumor’s growth and its microenvironment. By directing the immune system to hTERT antigens that are present in over 80% of all cancers, UV1 drives CD4 helper T cells to the tumor with the goal of activating an immune system cascade to increase anti-tumor responses. Ultimovacs’ strategy is to clinically demonstrate UV1’s impact in a range of cancers and in several immunotherapy combinations while expanding our pipeline of cancer vaccine therapies, convinced that a universal approach may be the key to achieving better outcomes for patients.
For further information, please see www.ultimovacs.com.