[Hong Kong, 29 July 2020] Akeso, Inc. (Stock code: 9926.HK) today announced the appointment of Dr. Michael (Chen) Chen as business development vice president of the Company. Dr. Chen has extensive experience in global business development. He will report to Dr. Michelle Xia, Co-Founder, President and CEO of Akeso, and lead the business development of Akeso. The joining of Dr. Chen means Akeso will further strengthen pipeline cooperation and business development, which will enhance the core competitiveness and global business layout of the Group.
Dr. Michael Chen has dedicated himself to biopharmaceutical industry and global business development for years and has extensive experience and practical achievements in external innovation, pipeline cooperation and business development. Before joining Akeso, Dr. Chen worked as Head of External Innovation APAC for Merck KGaA. Dr. Chen led collaborations with local pharmaceutical/biotech companies, investor groups and academic institutions in China and APAC areas. Meanwhile, Dr. Chen was also responsible for the international business development department of Merck in China and APAC areas, carrying out a variety of internal and external business cooperation. This particularly involved opportunity finding and leading discussions through various approaches, including open innovation, licensing, co-development, investment, and other collaboration models. Dr. Chen was also one of the leading members of Merck Asia and China research and development center, from which he worked along with R&D team for Merck’s own pipeline in regional development, and alliance management of external collaborations. Dr. Chen was also one of the core members for expanding Merck’s oncology business and innovation collaboration in China.
Dr. Chen received his bachelor’s degree of cell and molecular biology from University of Essex, a master’s degree in cancer immunotherapy from University of Nottingham and a Ph.D. degree in biochemistry from Imperial College London. Before joining Merck, he has been leading research projects in the UK at Spirogen Ltd, later acquired by MedImmune, LLC (a company of AstraZeneca PLC). He then returned to China and led business development and investment activities at WuXi Biologics and ChemPartner.
Dr. Michael Chen said, “I was deeply impressed by Akeso's comprehensive and integrative drug development capabilities, abundant and diversified deployment of innovative drug pipeline, visionary executive team and successful cooperation experience recognized by domestic and foreign pharmaceutical giants. I am very pleased to join Akeso and looking forward to cooperating with Dr. Michelle Xia and the team to accelerate the progress of global pipeline and business cooperation of Akeso as well as contribute to the future development of the Group."
Dr. Michelle Xia, Co-Founder, President and CEO of Akeso, said, “Dr. Chen has profound knowledge in biomedicine and has made outstanding achievements in global business development and external cooperation in R&D and innovation. Dr. Chen is the perfect candidate to help Akeso to accelerate the deployment of global business cooperation. We believe that Dr. Chen will be able to leverage his strengths in his new position to help Akeso implement growth strategies in the global market, lay a solid foundation for the long-term development and scale new heights for the Group.”
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Akeso, Inc. (9926.HK) is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the research, development, manufacturing and commercialization of new innovative antibody drugs that are affordable to patients worldwide. Since our establishment, the Company has established an comprehensive in-house drug development platform (ACE Platform), encompassing fully integrated drug discovery and development functions, including target validation, antibody drug discovery and development, process development, and GMP-compliant commercial scale manufacturing. The Company has also successfully established a bi-specific antibody drug development technology platform (Tetrabody Technology Platform). The Company currently has a pipeline of over 20 innovative investigative drugs for the treatment of major diseases like cancer and autoimmune diseases, 12(including 3 out licensed) of which have entered clinical stage, including two first-in-class bi-specific antibody drugs (PD-1/CTLA-4 and PD-1/VEGF). The Company’s vision is to become a global leading biopharmaceutical company through research and development of break-through new drugs that are first-in-class and best-in-class therapies.