Jan Møller Mikkelsen founded Ascendis Pharma in 2007 and has served as President and Chief Executive Officer, as well as Board member since then. From 2002 to 2006, Mr. Mikkelsen was President and Chief Executive Officer of LifeCycle Pharma A/S (now Veloxis Pharmaceuticals A/S). From 2000 to 2002, Mr. Mikkelsen was President of the Pharmaceutical Division of Maxygen, Inc. Prior to that, Mr. Mikkelsen co-founded ProFound Pharma A/S (a biopharmaceutical company acquired by Maxygen, Inc.), where he served as Co-Chief Executive Officer from 1999 to 2000. From 1988 to 1999, Mr. Mikkelsen held various positions at Novo Nordisk A/S, a global healthcare company, including Vice President of Protein Discovery. In late 2021, Mr. Mikkelsen was named Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hummingbird Bioscience, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on cancer and autoimmune disease. He received a Cand. Scient. degree in Biochemistry from the University of Odense, Denmark and pursued his post-doctoral research at Children’s Hospital Oakland in Oakland, California, U.S.
Executive Vice President, Nonclinical Development and Bioanalysis Expand
Vibeke Miller Breinholt was named Executive Vice President of Nonclinical Development and Bioanalysis at Ascendis Pharma in January 2023, after leading this function as Senior Vice President from 2020-2022 and as Vice President 2016-2020. Dr. Breinholt has more than 15 years of experience within nonclinical development in the biopharmaceutical industry and more than seven years of experience in experimental cancer research. Prior to joining Ascendis Pharma, Dr. Breinholt served in roles of increasing responsibility at Novo Nordisk from 2013 - 2015, including serving as Head of Biopharm Toxicology & Safety Pharmacology, where she was responsible for overseeing more than 30 projects in early and late-stage development within diabetes, obesity, hemophilia and growth hormone deficiency. Prior to Novo Nordisk, she held positions of increasing responsibility at Genmab from 2007 - 2013, ending her tenure as Senior Director of Preclinical Safety & Preclinical Regulatory Affairs. While at Genmab, Dr. Breinholt led development activities across both inflammatory and immuno-oncology projects, including the regulatory documentation and strategy for first-in-human and later-stage clinical trials. Dr. Breinholt began her industry career at Maxygen in 2003 - 2007, where she served as Head of Toxicology and Associate Director, Regulatory affairs. Dr. Breinholt received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Toxicology, Carcinogenesis, and Anticarcinogenesis from Oregon State University -focusing in experimental cancer research, as well as a B.S. in Bromatology from the Royal Veterinary & Agricultural University, Denmark. Dr. Breinholt has also earned an mMBA and diplomas in business administration and pharmaceutical regulatory affairs.
Camilla Harder Hartvig was named Executive Vice President and Global Chief Commercial Officer at Ascendis Pharma in June 2023. She has spent her entire professional career in the pharmaceutical industry, working for global companies, living in 7 different countries, and leading global, regional, and local marketing and sales organizations. Prior to joining Ascendis, Ms. Hartvig was Chief Commercial Officer at Theramex from 2022-2023. From 2017 to 2021, she led the International region (EMEA, Canada, Russia/CIS, LatAm and APAC) as a Senior Vice President at Alexion Pharmaceuticals. Before Alexion, she held commercial roles of increasing responsibility at companies that included Allergan/Actavis, AstraZeneca, and Novartis. Ms. Harvig is a board member at Danish Crown A/S, C WorldWide, and Goddess Gaia Ventures. She holds Master in Business degrees from both Copenhagen Business School and HEC in Paris.
Flemming Steen Jensen was named Executive Vice President, Product Supply and Quality at Ascendis Pharma after leading this function as Senior Vice President since 2015. Prior to Ascendis, Mr. Jensen served as Corporate Vice President for Global Pharma Consulting and Business Development and was a member of the management team at NNE Pharmaplan A/S, an engineering and consulting company (part of Novo Nordisk A/S), from October 2014 to July 2015. From 1999 to September 2014, Mr. Jensen served as Executive Vice President of Product Supply and was a member of the Board of Management of the pharmaceutical company ALK-Abelló A/S, Denmark. From 1986 to 1997, Mr. Jensen held several management positions relating to Development, Manufacturing and Engineering within Novo Nordisk A/S. Mr. Jensen is also a member of various Boards of Directors and Advisory Boards of privately held companies in the life sciences industry. Mr. Jensen holds a M.Sc. in Pharmacy from the University of Copenhagen.
Michael Wolff Jensen, L.L.M., was named Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer at Ascendis Pharma in January 2023, after serving as our Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer since 2013. Mr. Jensen served as Chairman of the Ascendis Pharma board of directors from January 2008 to May 2021, and as our Acting Chief Financial Officer from 2008 - 2013. Prior to Ascendis Pharma, Mr. Jensen served as Senior Legal Advisor and Head of Partnerships (France) for the renewable business division of Ørsted A/S, the Danish state-owned utility company from 2010 to 2013. Mr. Jensen served as Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of LifeCycle Pharma A/S (now Veloxis Pharmaceuticals A/S), from 2003 to 2008. From 2000 to 2003, Mr. Jensen served as Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of Genmab A/S. Mr. Jensen also currently serves as Chairman of the board of directors of VISEN Pharmaceuticals, and Vicore Pharma AB. Mr. Jensen received his L.L.M. degree from the University of Copenhagen.
Stina Singel, M.D., Ph.D., was named Executive Vice President, Head of Clinical Development, Oncology, at Ascendis Pharma in January 2023, after leading this function since May 2020. Prior to joining Ascendis Pharma, Dr. Singel served as Senior Vice President and Head of Clinical Development and Drug Safety at Nektar Therapeutics from 2019 to 2020 and as Senior Medical Director at Genentech from 2014- 2019. From 2017- 2019, Dr. Singel also served as an Adjunct Clinical Instructor at the Stanford University School of Medicine. From 2010 -2014 Dr. Singel was an Attending Physician and Clinical Translational Researcher focused on breast oncology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and from 2008- 2010 was a Medical Oncologist at Washington Hematology Oncology, a community practice in Yakima, Washington. Dr. Singel received her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California, San Diego and The Salk Institute, where she also completed her internal medicine residency and medical oncology fellowship. She received her B.S. in Biology (magna cum laude) from Harvard University.
Scott Smith was named Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Ascendis Pharma in January 2023, after serving as our Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since August 2016. Prior to joining Ascendis Pharma, Mr. Smith was at Wedbush Securities, where from 2012- 2016 he served as Director of the Healthcare Investment Banking Group at Wedbush Securities, leading the healthcare team and oversaw a substantial increase in revenue and transaction volume, and from 2009 - 2012, he served as a Managing Director. Prior to Wedbush, Mr. Smith was a Director in the Global Healthcare Investment Banking Group at Merrill Lynch, where he began his career in 1995. He has also worked in sales, marketing and strategy roles for various companies, including start-ups and a Fortune Global 500 company. Mr. Smith received his M.B.A. from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and his B.A. in Economics/Accounting – Physics (magna cum laude) from Claremont McKenna College.
Lotte Sønderbjerg was named Executive Vice President and Chief Administration Officer at Ascendis Pharma in January 2023, after serving as our Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer since 2007. Mrs. Sønderbjerg is also Managing Director of Ascendis Pharma GmbH. Prior to joining Ascendis Pharma, Mrs. Sønderbjerg served as Senior Director of Human Resources and as Finance Director at LifeCycle Pharma A/S (now Veloxis Pharmaceuticals A/S) from 2003 to 2007. Prior to joining Veloxis, Mrs. Sønderbjerg served as Senior Director of Finance and Human Resources at Acadia Pharmaceuticals, Inc., from 1996 - 2003. Prior to her career in biotech, Mrs. Sønderbjerg was the Executive Secretary for the CEO and Board of Directors of Novo Nordisk A/S and PA to a leading audit partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) in Denmark. Mrs. Sønderbjerg received a Master of Arts in International Business Communications from University of Aarhus.
Kennett Sprogøe, Ph.D. was named Executive Vice President, Head of Innovation & Research at Ascendis Pharma in January 2023, and Head of Research & Product Development in July 2023, after holding positions of increasing responsibility since joining the company in 2007. These include Senior Vice President, Head of Innovation & Research 2019-2022, Senior Vice President of Product Innovation 2016-2018, and Vice President, Product Innovation 2014-2015. Prior to joining Ascendis Pharma, Dr. Sprogøe conducted research at the University of Copenhagen, where he applied novel hyphenated screening technologies to expedite discovery of drug leads from natural sources. Dr. Sprogøe holds a Ph.D. in Natural Products Chemistry from the University of Copenhagen and a M.Sc. in Pharmacy from the Danish University of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Executive Vice President, Head of Clinical Development and Medical Affairs, Endocrinology Rare Diseases Expand
Birgitte Volck, M.D., Ph.D., was named Executive Vice President, Head of Clinical Development & Medical Affairs, Endocrinology Rare Diseases, after joining Ascendis as Senior Vice President of that area in 2021. Dr. Volck previously served as member of our Board of Directors 2016-2021, and as Head of Research & Development, Rare Diseases for GlaxoSmithKline plc 2016-2021. From 2012- 2016, she was the Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Development at the biopharmaceutical company Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB. From 2007- 2012, Dr. Volck held various positions at Amgen Inc., including Executive Development Director, Bone, Neuroscience & Inflammation. Prior to Amgen, from 2004 -2007, Dr. Volck served as Nordic Medical Director and Project Director at Genzyme A/S. Dr. Volck received her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Copenhagen University, Denmark.
Albert Cha, M.D., Ph.D has served as Chairman of the Board since May 2021 and has served as a member of the Board since November 2014. Albert is a Managing Partner of Frazier’s Life Sciences team. He joined the firm in 2021 and has over 20 years of experience investing in public and private biopharmaceutical and medical device companies. Albert was previously a Managing Partner at Vivo Capital. He currently serves on the boards of Ascendis Pharma A/S (NASDAQ: ASND) and KalVista Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: KALV), and has previously served on the boards of Aclaris Therapeutics (NASDAQ; ACRS), Biohaven Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: BHVN), and many other private and public biopharmaceutical companies. Albert is a co-founder of the annual Dermatology Summit and Dermatology Innovation Forum. He also worked at Oracle Corporation in pharmaceutical consulting and at the Palo Alto VA Hospital as a biomedical engineer. Albert received his B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. He subsequently completed the Medical Scientist Training Program at UCLA School of Medicine, where he received his M.D. and Ph.D. in Neuroscience.
Lisa Bright, B.Sc., has served as a member of the board of directors since April 2017. Previously, she served as President International for Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, from July 2016 to January 2021. Prior to her appointment as President International, Ms. Bright held various senior leadership positions from November 2014 to July 2016 at Intercept Pharmaceuticals including Senior Vice President, Head of EUCA and Chief Commercial and Corporate Affairs Officer and Head of EUCA. During her tenure at Intercept, Ms. Bright has overseen the development of the global launch of an orphan medicine in the US and Europe, including building the commercial organization in the US establishment of legal affiliates and teams across Europe and Canada. From 2008 to November 2014, Ms. Bright held various leadership positions at Gilead Sciences Ltd., a biopharmaceutical company, including Vice President, Head Government Affairs, Europe, Asia, Middle East and Australasia, Vice President and Head of HCV Launch Planning, Vice President and Head of Northern Europe and General Manager, UK and Ireland. Prior to Gilead Sciences, Ms. Bright served in various positions of increasing responsibility at GlaxoSmithKline plc from 1997 to 2006 including VP, Commercial Planning and Operations, Global and Vice President General Manager NZ and Vice President Head of Sales, UK and Ireland. Prior to that, Ms. Bright also worked at Sanofi from 1992 to 1996 and GlaxoSmithKline from 1989 to 1992. Ms. Bright received her B.Sc. in Pharmacology from University College London, United Kingdom.
Bill Fairey has served as a member of the board of directors since 2022. He currently serves as Executive Chairman of Respira Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage company developing inhaled therapeutics for cardiopulmonary diseases, a position he has held since January 2022. Since August 2021, Mr. Fairey has also served as a director of both Mirum Pharmaceuticals, a publicly traded biotechnology company developing therapies for rare liver diseases, and Lung Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company.
Prior to Respira, Mr. Fairey was Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of MyoKardia, Inc., a publicly traded clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, from 2019-2020, when the company was acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb. From 2018-2019, Mr. Fairey served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of ChemoCentryx, Inc., a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company developing therapeutics to treat autoimmune diseases, inflammatory disorders and cancer, primarily focused on orphan and rare diseases. From 2001-2017, Mr. Fairey served in various positions of increasing responsibility at Actelion Pharmaceuticals, including as President of Actelion’s U.S. division, as well as Vice President, Asia Pacific Region, Managing Director and Vice President, Australia Asia Pacific Region, President of Actelion Canada, and Vice President, Sales and Managed Markets. Mr. Fairey began his pharmaceutical career as Business Director, Healthcare Management for the Parke-Davis Division of Warner-Lambert from 1988-2000.
Mr. Fairey received a B.S. in Biology from the University of Oregon and an M.B.A. from Saint Mary’s College of California.
Lars Holtug, M.Sc., has served as a member of our board of directors since November 2018. Mr. Holtug was a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers Statsautoriseret Revisionspartnerselskab (“PWC”) from 1993 to 2015. Previously, he was also Chairman of PWC in Denmark from 2005 to 2009. During his tenure at PWC, Mr. Holtug was responsible for auditing various large publicly-listed pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the U.S. and Denmark. He was also an advisor to a number of PWC clients. From 2004 to 2015, Mr. Holtug was a member of the Danish Commercial Appeals Board (“Erhvervsankenævet”) and a board member of the Danish Company law association (“Dansk Forening for Selskabsret”). He was also a member of the Accounting Standards Board of the Federation of State Authorized Accountants in Denmark (“Foreningen af Statsautoriserede Revisorer” or “FSR”) from 1998 to 2002, where he was previously a member of the Auditing Standards Board. Currently, Mr. Holtug serves as chairman of Gaming Investment A/S and its 10 subsidiaries, and of Valizo Aps. Mr. Holtug holds an M.Sc. from Copenhagen Business School and is educated as a state authorized public accountant in Denmark.
Siham Imani has served as a member of the board of directors since 2022. She currently serves as Executive Vice President Corporate Strategy of Servier, a global pharmaceutical group headquartered in France, a position she has held since April 2019. Prior to her current role, Ms. Imani was Servier’s Director of Corporate Strategy from 2017-2019.
Before joining Servier, Ms. Imani held various positions of increasing responsibility at Ipsen, a French pharmaceutical company specializing in oncology, neuroscience and rare diseases, including Vice President European Business Unit Pediatric Endocrinology, Vice President Commercial Transformation & Support, Vice President Corporate Strategic Planning and Executive Committee Secretary, and Corporate Strategic Planning Director, from 2011-2017. Ms. Imani also served as Projects Director of Pierre Fabre Medicament, a French pharmaceutical company, from 2010-2011, and as Marketing & Clinical Manager and European Marketing Manager of Biosense Webster, part of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, from 2005-2010.
Ms. Imani received a Master in Economics and a Master in Chemistry from École Polytechnique in Palaiseau, France and an M.B.A. from Stanford University.
Jan Møller Mikkelsen founded Ascendis Pharma and has served as President and Chief Executive Officer, as well as Board member, since December 2007. From 2002 to 2006, Mr. Mikkelsen was President and Chief Executive Officer of LifeCycle Pharma A/S. From 2000 to 2002, Mr. Mikkelsen was President of the Pharmaceutical Division of Maxygen, Inc. Prior to that, Mr. Mikkelsen co-founded ProFound Pharma A/S, (a biopharmaceutical company acquired by Maxygen, Inc.), where he served as Co-Chief Executive Officer from 1999 to 2000. From 1988 to 1999, Mr. Mikkelsen held various positions at Novo Nordisk A/S, a global healthcare company, including Vice President of Protein Discovery. In late 2021, Mr. Mikkelsen was named Chairman of the Board of Directors of Hummingbird Bioscience, a clinical-stage biotechnology company. He received a Cand. Scient. degree in Biochemistry from the University of Odense, Denmark, and pursued his post-doctoral research at Children’s Hospital in Oakland, California, U.S.
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