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Recent Industry Personnel Changes

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Contract Research

Cincinnati-based CRO Kendle appointed Simon Higginbotham, formerly Kendle’s chief marketing officer, to president, replacing long time president and co-founder Chris Bergen.

Bergen helped start the company in 1981 with current chief executive officer, Candace Kendle.

“As we embark on the next stage of our corporate growth, it is imperative we have the dedicated leadership in place to support our needs as a larger global organization,” said Kendle. Bergen will remain in his role as chief operations officer.

In addition, the company appointed Alan Boyce to fill the position of chief marketing officer. Boyce held the position of vice president of Kendle’s clinical development in Europe and Africa from 2003 to 2007. He returns to Kendle after serving as chief operating officer at patient recruitment firm Synexus.

Wilmington, N.C.-based PPD appointed Mike Wilkinson, Ph.D, to the position of executive vice president of global clinical development. He will be responsible for all of the company’s phase II through IV trials in worldwide. Prior to PPD, Wilkinson was global head of internal medicine and vice president of project management at Quintiles. Before that, he served 27 years in the United States military, beginning with a career as a Navy Seal.

And after more than 16 years with the CRO, PPD’s Paul Covington, M.D. is retiring from his position of executive vice president and chief medical officer, effective June 30th. He will stay on in an advisory role for special projects through the end of the year and consult for the company thereafter. PPD stated it anticipates having a replacement in place by mid-2008. Covington, who is board certified in internal medicine, was in private practice in Clanton, Alabama from 1985 to 1990. He served as chief of staff and director of critical care and cardiopulmonary disease at a Clanton hospital. “Paul is one of the most talented physicians in our industry, and his leadership and unwavering commitment to excellence have played a significant role in the continued growth and success of our company,” said Fred Eshelman, chief executive officer.

Wayne, Pa.-based CRO Encorium Group’s chief financial officer Lawrence Hoffman has resigned his post, effective May 2. Encorium stated Hoffman is leaving his post to pursue other interests. The company said it will begin the search for a new U.S.-based CFO immediately. “Larry has created a solid financial foundation that will support our ongoing global expansion and business development initiatives. On behalf  of the entire Encorium organization, we wish Larry good luck in his future endeavors and thank him for his  ole in the growth of the Company over the past four years,” said Kai Lindevall, M.D., Ph.D., chief executive officer, and Kenneth Borow, M.D., president and chief medical and strategic development officer,  in a joint statement.

Encorium also appointed Peter Asplund country manager of the company’s Swedish operations. He was formerly the director of marketing and business development at AstraZeneca. His previous posts also include director of business development at GlaxoSmithKline in the UK.

Laboratory Testing

St. Louis-based diagnostic testing company Biomedical Systems named Geert Dewulf, M.D. , managing director of the company’s European operations, replacing Rita Jacobs who is set to retire following 27 years with the company. Dewulf will be based in Burssles, Biomedical System’s European headquarters. Prior to joining Biomedical Systems, Dewulf held positions at Agfa Healthcare, where he served as Managing Director for Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Biomedical Systems provides centralized diagnostic testing (including cardiac safety and imaging) for clinical trials.


Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based eClinical provider OmniComm Systems promoted Stephen Johnson to chief operating officer. Prior to this position, Johnson was executive vice president of business development and professional services. He has been with OmniComm Systems since 2006, when he was appointed senior vice president of business development. “We have opened new offices in Bonn, Germany and Tula, Russia to support global clinical trials, we have built dedicated Professional Services and Clinical Services and Support divisions, built a bridge from Oracle Clinical to OmniComm through our OC Connect program and we have implemented our extremely successful CRO Preferred Partnership program. Steve has been the defining influence for all of these programs that were developed to provide quality deliverables to our customers. We look forward to benefiting from Steve’s experience and dedication as he leads operations as our new COO,” said OmniComm’s chief executive officer Cornelis Wit.


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