Previous Merck Serono CMO undertakes medical role at striving Ipsen

Previous Merck Serono CMO undertakes medical role at striving Ipsen

Steven Hildemann, M.D., Ph.D., is expected to join Parisian biotech Ipsen as its new Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer as the company is looking to reverse a clinical lock and steady the ship under a new CEO.

Hildemann will also lead its global medical affairs which pharmacovigilance, and will officially begin in early March. Hildemann is based in Paris and will report directly to the interim president (and chief financial officer) of the company, Aymeric Le Chatelier, at least until a permanent replacement is found.

His promotion comes only a few months after Ipsen’s former chief executive David Meek jumped ship to run a new gene therapy start-up, with his departure soon reaching the FDA with a limited clinical hold on two rare disease drug palovarotene trials.

In its $1 billion (€ 900 million) acquisition of Clementia Pharmaceuticals, Ipsen acquired the drug just eight months ago.

Alongside Meek, Alexandre Lebeaut, M.D., head of R&D at Ipsen, also retired from the company at the end of last year. He was replaced by Howard Mayer, M.D., ex-senior vice president of the Shire, chief medical officer and head of R&D at his neuroscience company, who became his new EVP and head of R&D last month after spending nearly seven years at Shire (now Takeda).

For Mayer and Hildemann, as well as its other pipeline research, the future of palovarotene will now be very much a priority.

Hildemann spent stints at Germany’s Merck, where he served as Chief Medical Officer, SVP and Head of Global Medical Affairs and Global Patient Safety, and has also operated at some big names including the United States. At Amgen and Pfizer / Pharmacia, Merck / Schering-Plough as its senior vice president of global clinical operations.

Le Chatelier said: “As we progress as a leading global biopharmaceutical company based on innovation and specialty care, it is my great honor to appoint Dr. Hildemann to lead Ipsen’s Global Medical Affairs, Patient Affairs, and Pharmacovigilance organizations through patient-centered leadership, sound medical governance, and business behavior.

“With over 20 years of service in the pharmaceutical industry and 10 years as a doctor-scientist in academic medicine, he brings a wealth of experience from major global biopharmaceutical firms in medical matters, clinical operations, and patient safety.”