Carlos de Sousa appointed CEO of Ultimovacs ASA

Carlos de Sousa appointed CEO of Ultimovacs ASA 1OSLO: Ultimovacs ASA, a pharmaceutical company developing novel immunotherapies against cancer, announces that Carlos de Sousa, MD, has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer.

Dr. de Sousa joins Ultimovacs as a seasoned industry executive with 30 years of experience ranging from leadership positions at international pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer, Novartis and Nycomed/Takeda, to executive management roles at several innovative biotech companies.

During his work with these biotech companies, he achieved several rounds of successful capital increases and fund-raising efforts, supported the up-listing to the main market of Nasdaq Stockholm, and enabled the advance of early to mid-stage product development pipelines.

Over the course of his career, Dr. de Sousa has built extensive experience in business development, licensing agreements and strategic partnerships and brings to Ultimovacs the benefit of a broad and international industry network. His most recent position was President and Chief Executive Officer of the Swedish immuno-oncology company, Immunicum AB. Dr. de Sousa is a Medical Doctor by training, having earned his degree at School of Medicine, University of Lisbon and holds an Executive MBA from the Stern School of Business, New York University.

Jónas Einarsson, CEO Radforsk and Chairman of Ultimovacs´ Board of Directors, said: “As a recently publicly listed company, Ultimovacs has entered its next phase of development. Based on Dr. de Sousa’s background, prior experience, skill set and extensive network, I feel confident that he is the right person for the job.  We are thrilled to have recruited him to lead the company as it embarks on its next strategic steps, including the addition of new clinical data from the use of the lead product candidate, UV1, a unique universal cancer vaccine, in combination with other immune-oncology drugs.”

Carlos de Sousa added: “Having worked for the last years with a strong focus on the immuno-oncology landscape, I see the exciting potential of Ultimovacs’ cancer vaccine, UV1, for use in combination with other immuno-oncology drugs. I am therefore enthusiastic to have the opportunity to join the Ultimovacs team and support the advancement of UV1 with the objective of taking this platform to the market. On the whole, Ultimovacs is at a particularly dynamic stage of development and I look forward to further raising the visibility of the company and establishing it as a provider of innovative cancer treatments.”

Dr. de Sousa will commence as CEO on 1 June 2020. Until then, Øyvind Kongstun Arnesen will continue in his position as CEO.

Einarsson said: “I would like to take the opportunity to thank Øyvind Kongstun Arnesen for his excellent job as Chief Executive Officer for Ultimovacs. On his watch, Ultimovacs has flourished as a company from a mere two employees to 20, and UV1 is today being developed in a broad clinical program consisting of two phase II studies in different combinations with immune check point inhibitors in both Europe and the US. Arnesen was also vital in the listing of Ultimovacs on the Oslo Stock Exchange in June 2019, raising MNOK 370 in a challenging market.”

On 1 June 2020, Arnesen will start as a consultant in the evergreen investment firm Radforsk, the same firm that established Ultimovacs together with Inven2.

Arnesen commented: “It has been an adventure to be the CEO of Ultimovacs for eight years. The plan was always that I would realise and develop the unique vaccine technology to find out if it may be of benefit to cancer patients. It feels good to hand the relay baton over to Dr. de Sousa for the next important steps in the development of the company, as we are now about to start two large clinical trials based on very encouraging clinical data from smaller phase I studies. I would like to thank the Ultimovacs team for eight truly exciting and rewarding years”.

Edited by Kazim Rizvi

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