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CEO of Hutchison MediPharma Quietly Steps Back

publication date: Oct 19, 2011
author/source: Richard Daverman, PhD
Samantha Du, PhD, has quietly stepped back from her duties as CEO of Hutchison MediPharma and Chief Scientific Officer of its parent, Hutchison Chi-Med (AIM: CHM). She apparently will remain involved with Hutchison as she has some time to evaluate her next career move. Dr. Du is a true pioneer in China pharma, having convinced Hutchison Whampoa to launch a drug development company in the early 2000s when most believed there was no novel drug development in China. She proved everyone wrong.

Dr. Du has been CEO of Hutchison MediPharma since its founding in 2002. In its nine years of existence, the company has grown to include a staff of over 200 scientists. Its portfolio of innovative oncology and anti-inflammatory drugs now has four molecules in clinical development, with two more ready to start soon.

The most advanced molecule, HMPL-004, is about to begin a global Phase III trial for ulcerative colitis in the US and Europe, and it has also completed a Phase II trial for Crohn’s disease (see story). Multiple NCEs are in preclinical development.

This is a remarkable list of accomplishments. But there's more. Hutchison MediPharma has long-term strategic partnerships with prominent big pharma such as Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY) and Merck Serono (XETRA: MRK) in both oncology and inflammation.

Late last year, Hutchison MediPharma raised $20 million in venture capital from first-rank venture capitalists: $12.5 million from Mitsui & Co. and $7.7 million from Softbank China Venture Capital’s SBCVC Fund III (see story). The investment round put a value on Hutchison MediPharma of slightly more than $100 million.

Hutchison’s website says Christian Hogg, MBA is serving as temporary CEO of the company while it searches for a new leader. Mr. Hogg is Executive Director and CEO of the parent, Hutchison Chi-Med. Hutchison MediPharma is one of three subsidiaries of Chi-Med.

According to Dr. Du’s official biography, she joined Hutchison Whampoa in 2001 as the executive VP for healthcare investment and was one of the key founders of Hutchison Chi-Med. She played a key role in the successful IPO of Hutchison Chi-Med in London in May 2006. In 2002, Dr. Du founded and became the founding CEO of Hutchison MediPharma. Dr. Du received her PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Cincinnati. Prior to Hutchison, she was in Pfizer’s global strategic operation division, responsible for global licensing for metabolic diseases. She started her research career at Pfizer Connecticut and led teams that were involved in multiple early and late stage product development programs in different therapeutic areas. Two of these programs led to marketed products.

We're sure whatever Dr. Du decides to do next, it will be a success equal to that of Hutchison.

See our other articles on Hutchison MediPharma.

Disclosure: none.


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