AMSTERDAM, January 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
uniQure B.V., the leader in the field of human gene therapy, today announced the appointment of Philip Astley-Sparke, former President and CEO of BioVex, as President US to provide strategic leadership and help build uniQure's clinical, regulatory, and commercial infrastructure in the US.
Since May 2012, Philip is a venture partner at Forbion Capital Partners, uniQure's largest investor. As a venture partner he works with selected portfolio companies to help management execute on their business plans. Philip served as Vice President and General Manager at Amgen, Inc. until December 2011, following the acquisition of BioVex, Inc. in March 2011. Philip had been President and CEO of BioVex since 2005, during which he achieved several milestones for the company: its relocation from the UK to the US, the formation of a commercial grade manufacturing facility and nascent commercial capabilities, and the successful negotiation with Amgen to acquire BioVex for up to $1bn. BioVex focused on the development of pioneering first-in-class oncolytic vaccines. Prior to BioVex, Philip was an investment banker with JP Morgan H&Q (Robert Fleming) where he advised on a number of high profile mergers and public financings. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Arthur Andersen in London and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Cellular Pathology and Molecular Pathology from Bristol University (UK).
"Philip's experience and expertise will be invaluable in building a successful US infrastructure for uniQure," says Jörn Aldag, CEO of uniQure. "He is to devote an important part of his time to uniQure, and will become a key member of our management team. We look forward to establishing a foothold in the US, and developing uniQure to full commercial maturity."
uniQure is a world leader in the development of human gene based therapies. uniQure's Glybera, a gene therapy for the treatment of lipoprotein lipase deficiency has been approved in the European Union, and is the first approved gene therapy in the Western world. uniQure's product pipeline of gene therapy products in development comprise hemophilia B, acute intermittent porphyria, Parkinson's disease and SanfilippoB. Using adeno-associated viral (AAV) derived vectors as the delivery vehicle of choice for therapeutic genes, the company has been able to design and validate probably the world's first stable and scalable AAV manufacturing platform. This proprietary platform can be applied to a large number of rare (orphan) diseases caused by one faulty gene. uniQure's largest shareholders are Forbion Capital Partners and Gilde Healthcare, two of the leading life sciences venture capital firms in the Netherlands. Further information can be found at http://www.uniqure.com.