DNDi Executive Team Adds Two New Directors, Including Former Abbott VP Shing Chang as New R&D Director

[ Geneva – October 12, 2007 ]
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), a non-profit, drug R&D partnership, announced the appointments of two new members of its executive team: Shing Chang joins as the new Director of Research and Development, and Jean-Pierre Paccaud will serve as Director of Business Development.

Dr. Chang, who most recently served as Senior Vice President, Drug Discovery, and Chief Scientific Officer at ICOS Corporation, has over 29 years of drug discovery and research management experience, including with Abbott Laboratories and Cetus Corporation. From 1991 until 2006, Dr. Chang held various positions at Abbott Laboratories in diagnostics and pharmaceutical research, where he most recently served as the Divisional Vice President, Infectious Disease Research.

A member since 2006 of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ Product Development Working Group of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, Dr. Chang completed post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Wisconsin and Stanford University after earning his Ph.D. in molecular biology and biochemistry from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and his undergraduate degree from Fu-Jen Catholic University in Taiwan.

“I am excited by the opportunity to lead DNDi’s R&D Team as it continues to develop the largest and most robust portfolio ever for the kinetoplastid diseases of leishmaniasis, human African trypanosomiasis, and Chagas disease,” remarked Dr. Shing Chang, “I am confident that our current portfolio, which includes strong projects for these diseases and malaria, will meet the challenge to bridge current R&D gaps so as to deliver effective, safer, and easier-to-use treatments for patients with neglected diseases.”

Dr. Chang will build on the work of his predecessor, Prof. Simon Croft, who served as the R&D Director of DNDi from its inception and has now returned to the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, where he will chair the Department of Infectious and Tropical Diseases.

Dr. Paccaud, the new Director of Business Development, founded Athelas SA, an antibacterial drug discovery company which recently merged with MerLion Pharmaceuticals Pte Ltd of Singapore. Prior to joining DNDi, Dr. Paccaud served as Business Development Manager for OM Pharma; consulted for a number of biotechnology investment funds; and was an assistant professor at the University of Geneva Medical School, where he established a medical research group. Dr. Paccaud performed his post-doctoral studies at the University of California at Berkeley, after earning his PhD in clinical immunology at the University of Geneva School of Medicine.

“I look forward to utilizing my entrepreneurial expertise to engage DNDi in new partnerships that will advance the initiative’s drug development activities and further enrich its pipeline,” stated Jean-Pierre Paccaud.

“We welcome Drs. Chang and Paccaud as they will help DNDi to deliver on our objective to develop 6-to-8 new treatments and to build a robust, well-balanced pipeline by 2014,” commented Bernard Pecoul, Executive Director of DNDi. “Both have a depth of knowledge in the field of R&D and infectious diseases: this will fortify DNDi’s efforts to make critically needed drugs available to the patients who need them most, through further strengthening of our pipeline and building on our network of partners.”

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For more information please contact Ann-Marie SEVCSIK at amsevcsik@dndi.org; +1-646-258-8131 or +41 (0)79 814 9147)

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The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) is an independent, not-for-profit drug development initiative established in 2003 by five publicly-funded research organisations – the Malaysian Ministry of Health, the Kenya Medical Research Institute, the Indian Council of Medical Research, the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation Brazil, and the Institut Pasteur – as well as an international humanitarian organisation, Médecins Sans Frontières. The UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO’s Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) is a permanent observer. With a current portfolio of 18 projects, DNDi aims to develop new, improved, and field-relevant drugs for neglected diseases, such as malaria, leishmaniasis, human African trypanosomiasis, and Chagas disease that afflict the very poor in developing countries. DNDi also raises awareness about the need for greater R&D for neglected diseases and strengthens existing research capacity in disease-endemic countries. For further information, please consult www.dndi.org