Medigene AG announces key Management Changes

  • Chief Scientific Officer Prof Dolores Schendel appointed new Chief Executive Officer of Medigene AG
  • Dave Lemus appointed Chief Operating Officer of Medigene AG and Chief Executive Officer of Medigene Inc. in the United States
  • Chief Executive Officer Dr Frank Mathias to be nominated for the Supervisory Board

Martinsried/Munich, 17 December 2015. Medigene AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: MDG1) announced today that the Supervisory Board has resolved important changes and additions to the senior management team to better align the organisational structure with the strategic goals of the company in immuno-oncology and to expand Medigene's presence in the United States. The Supervisory Board has appointed Prof Dolores Schendel as the new Chief Executive Officer of the company, with effect from 1 February 2016. Prof Schendel joined Medigene's Executive Board as Chief Scientific Officer in May 2014. She was co-founder of Trianta Immunotherapy GmbH (now Medigene Immunotherapies GmbH), which was acquired by Medigene at the beginning of 2014 and whose platforms are the basis of Medigene's scientific strategy.

Dr Frank Mathias, who initiated as Chief Executive Officer the strategic realignment of the company with the acquisition of Trianta Immunotherapies GmbH, will hand over his office as Chief Executive Officer on the aforementioned date to Prof Dolores Schendel. Dr Mathias has decided to take on new responsibilities outside the company. In order to ensure a smooth transition, he will remain a member of the Executive Management Board of the company until the expiry of his contract on 31 March 2016. It is the Supervisory Board's wish that Dr Mathias continues to contribute his expertise to the company, for example within the scope of a mandate as a member of the Supervisory Board.

Dave Lemus, Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the company, will transition with effect from 1 January 2016 to the Executive Management Board. He will assume the newly created position of the Chief Operating Officer. In addition, Mr. Lemus will be Chief Executive Officer of the US subsidiary Medigene Inc.

"The experience that Dolores Schendel has gained as Chief Scientific Officer of Medigene and as founder of Trianta Immunotherapies gives her an ideal skill set to lead the company as it progresses towards its goal of becoming a world leader in the field of T cell immunotherapies," commented Prof Horst Domdey, Chairman of the Supervisory Board. "At the same time, we are delighted to have Dave Lemus assume the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer, allowing us to benefit from his broad experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, especially in the United States, where we hope to further expand our presence going forward."

Prof Domdey continued, "On behalf of the entire board, I wish to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation to Frank Mathias for his invaluable contributions and outstanding service to the company over the last eight years. Frank has played a vital part in transforming Medigene through the monetisation and licensing of a major part of Medigene's legacy portfolio and the strategic repositioning of the company into the field of immuno-oncology, which is now approaching completion. We are indebted to him for all his efforts. He hands over Medigene in a very healthy state both financially and scientifically."

Dr Frank Mathias noted, "I am very proud of what the management team has achieved over the last years at Medigene and I pass the reins to Dolores having set a solid foundation for the company's success. Medigene is now at the forefront of innovation and leading science in immuno-oncology, a position that Dolores is best placed to drive forward. Apart from her strong scientific capabilities, Dolores has demonstrated vital business acumen and outstanding leadership skills, which position her as the natural leader for Medigene's new immunotherapy business. I am looking forward to supporting her, her management team and the company, as it approaches its next stages of development."

Commenting on her new position, Prof Dolores Schendel said, "I congratulate Frank on his achievements at Medigene and am very grateful to have worked with him. We will use the coming months to complete the ongoing handover as a team. I am particularly pleased that I personally, and the company, will continue to benefit from Frank's deep knowledge of the organisation and of the biotech and pharmaceutical industry in the coming months and beyond. I am honoured to lead Medigene in these dynamic times through the next stages of its development. We will advance several more programs from Medigene's powerful immunotherapy platforms into clinical trials in the coming years. I am very confident that our T cell immunotherapies will become an acknowledged force going forward."

Dave Lemus, commenting on his new role, said, "Immunotherapies such as the T cell immunotherapies owned by Medigene represent a paradigm shift in how severe diseases can be treated in the future. I see very significant opportunities to capitalize on the unique strengths of Medigene in the T cell field and I am excited to help further expand the company's reach internationally, particularly in the United States."

Prof Dolores Schendel joined Medigene as Chief Scientific Officer in 2014 with the acquisition of Trianta Immunotherapies where she was a majority founding member and has been Managing Director since 2013. At Medigene she was also significantly involved in two successful capital increases. Prior to this, Prof Schendel was Director of the Institute of Molecular Immunology of the German Research Center for Environmental Health at the Helmholtz Center in Munich from 1998 - 2013. Previous to this Prof Schendel served as a University Professor for Immunology at Ludwig Maximilian University, focusing on human cellular immunology and T cell responses within the field of oncology. Prof Schendel is the author of more than 200 scientific publications, has spent several decades as a scientific review board member in various research organisations such as the German Research Foundation, German Cancer Aid and the European Research Council among others. She is a recipient of the German Federal Order of Merit. Prof Schendel completed her PhD in Genetics at the University of Wisconsin, USA, followed by post-doctoral training in immunology at University College London, UK. She developed her interest in tumour immunology while working at the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research in New York.

Dave Lemus, has been Vice Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Medigene AG since 2013 and until recently, has served as the Chief Executive Officer of Sigma Tau Pharmaceuticals Inc. During his tenure at Sigma Tau, Mr. Lemus orchestrated a turnaround of the company's North American R&D, manufacturing and commercial operations. During this time Sigma Tau also obtained the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval and then successfully launched a new rare disease therapeutic for ocular cystinosis into the market in addition to introducing a pioneering live biotherapeutic into US clinical trials for the prevention of necrotising enterocolitis. Mr. Lemus also played a pivotal role in the commercial revival of the company's lead oncology product, resulting in its successful sale for USD 900m in July 2015. He also oversaw strong organic growth of the company's commercial products portfolio, including establishing the company's lead probiotic product as one of the top-5 bestsellers in the US. Prior to Sigma Tau, Mr Lemus was the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of MorphoSys AG, where he managed the launch of the first German biotech IPO in 1999 and then, over the course of more than a decade, helped grow and establish the company as one the world's leading antibody-based companies.

Medigene AG is a publicly listed (Frankfurt: MDG1, prime standard) biotechnology company headquartered in Martinsried near Munich, Germany. The company is developing highly innovative, complementary treatment platforms to target various types and stages of cancer with candidates in clinical and pre-clinical development.  Medigene concentrates on the development of personalized T cell-based immunotherapies.
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This press release contains forward-looking statements representing the opinion of Medigene as of the date of this release. The actual results achieved by Medigene may differ significantly from the forward-looking statements made herein. Medigene is not bound to update any of these forward-looking statements. Medigene® is a registered trademark of Medigene AG. These trademark may be owned or licensed in select locations only.

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