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20 Aug 2013

Dr Jutta Heim Joins Nuevolution as Director and Senior Scientific Advisor to the Board of Directors

Professor Dr Jutta Heim has joined Nuevolution as Director and Senior Scientific Advisor to the Board of Directors.

Dr Heim worked for more than 20 years at Ciba-Geigy/Novartis (CH and US). At Novartis, she was involved in the successful development and launch of anti-thrombotic and fibrinolytic products. She established Novartis’ molecular genetics department in oncology, became Novartis’ Senior Scientific Expert in Molecular Biology and a member of the Research Management Board.

Dr Heim completed her career at Novartis heading the Novartis Lead Discovery Center with worldwide responsibility. From 2004 to 2009, Dr Heim served as CSO at Basilea Pharmaceutica Ltd, a Swiss biopharmaceutical company focusing on anti-infectives, inflammation and oncology. From 2009 to 2013, she served as CTO and CSO at Evolva SA, where she led Evolva’s discovery activities and strengthened the development of its technology platform. She received a PhD from the University of Tübingen in 1981 and holds a professorship in Biotechnology at the Biocenter of the University of Basel. Prof. Dr. Heim is a member of the advisory board of ‘‘Stiftung für Wissenschaftliche Forschung Universität Zürich’’ and a board member of Evolva SA.

“Jutta’s significant expertise and input has already been well appreciated by management and our board,” said Alex Gouliaev, CEO of Nuevolution A/S. “We are certain that her experience from the Industry, broad insight into general drug discovery and in particular within oncology will add significant value to the company. We are very pleased that Jutta accepted our invitation to join our Board of Directors”.

Stig Løkke Pedersen, Chairman of Nuevolution A/S said: “Given that Nuevolution A/S has developed its Chemetics technology to a very advanced level, and is in the middle of the build-up of an own product pipeline, we are eager to add complementary know-how and skills to the organisation, including the Board. Jutta represents an important and valuable contribution in this regard.”

In June 2012, Nuevolution announced a new financing round of €11 million to establish an internal pipeline of drug candidates addressing important targets within oncology and inflammation.

The appointment of Dr Heim represents an integrated part of the overall strategy to strengthen the expertise of the company at all levels. Earlier in the year, Nuevolution announced the appointments of Sir Marc Feldmann (Kennedy Institute, UK); Professor Dr Gordon B. Mills (MD Anderson Cancer Center, US) and Dr Alan Collis (formerly Novartis and Aventis, US) as advisors to the company in target selection and planning of the pre-clinical research strategy.

Nuevolution’s technology has now been successfully validated in several partnerships with big pharma and big biotech companies. The Chemetics platform uses DNA labeling for the identification of potent and drug like substances from vast pools of up to one billion screening compounds.

Proof-of-concept studies have been initiated for several of the internal programmes that have emerged from current screening efforts. Going forward, the company will seek joint venture partnerships and out-licensing of these programs. In parallel with this, Nuevolution will continue to form partnerships around its platform technology.

“We have a major focus on the progress of our internal programmes and invest significantly in the establishing of our internal pipeline within oncology and inflammation”, said Thomas Franch, CSO of Nuevolution and continued “However, we also believe it is imperative to continue to expand our platform including the production of additional high-complexity compound libraries that address tough-to-drug targets.”

Nuevolution has also initiated a scientific collaboration where Professor Dr Robert J. Lefkowitz, a Duke Faculty member and HHMI employee and Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 2012 will act as principal investigator in the investigation of the biological mechanism of action of a specified GPCR drug target using Nuevolutions Chemetics platform. This collaboration is by and between Duke University, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Lexicon Pharmaceuticals and Nuevolution.

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