Board of Directors
Sijmen de Vries, MD MBA
Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. De Vries has been our Chief Executive Officer since 2008, and he has also served in the capacity of interim Chief Financial Officer from May 2020 through November 16, 2020, upon the commencement of Mr. Wakkerman’s tenure as Chief Financial Officer. Dr. De Vries is responsible for daily management of the Company and the execution of the strategy. Prior to joining Pharming, Dr. De Vries was the CEO of 4-Antibody and Morphochem AG. Dr. De Vries also held senior business and commercial positions at Novartis, Novartis Ophthalmics and at SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals plc. Dr. De Vries holds an MD degree from the University of Amsterdam and an MBA in General Management from Ashridge Management College (UK). Dr. De Vries is also a non-executive director of Midatech Pharma plc.
Chairman of the Board of Directors
Mr. Sekhri has been the Chairman of our Board of Directors since 2016 and has served as a director since 2015. Mr. Sekhri was appointed the President and CEO of eGenesis, Inc. in January 2019. Prior to joining eGenesis, Inc., Mr. Sekhri served as President and CEO of Lycera Corp. from February 2015 through December 2018. From April 2014 through January 2015, Mr. Sekhri served as Senior Vice President, Integrated Care at Sanofi. From May 2013 through March 2014, Mr. Sekhri served as Group Executive Vice President, Global Business Development and Chief Strategy Officer for Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. Prior to joining Teva, Mr. Sekhri spent five years as Operating Partner and Head of the Biotechnology Operating Group at TPG Biotech, the life sciences venture capital arm of TPG Capital. From 2004 to 2009, Mr. Sekhri was Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Cerimon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Prior to founding Cerimon, Mr. Sekhri was President and Chief Business Officer of ARIAD Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Previously, Mr. Sekhri spent four years at Novartis, as Senior Vice President, and Head of Global Search and Evaluation, Business Development and Licensing for Novartis Pharma AG. Mr. Sekhri also developed the Disease Area Strategy for Novartis, identifying those specific therapeutic areas upon which the company would focus. Mr. Sekhri’s first role at Novartis was as Global Head, Early Commercial Development. Mr. Sekhri completed graduate work in Neuroscience at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where he also received his BS in Zoology. Mr. Sekhri is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Alpine Immune Sciences, Inc., BiomX Inc. Veeva Systems Inc. and Ipsen S.A., and Chairman of the Board of Compugen Ltd. Additionally, Mr. Sekhri is on the Board of Directors of the TB Alliance, and, as an avid classical music enthusiast, is on the Boards of The Metropolitan Opera, The Knights the Patrons Council of Carnegie Hall and the orchestra of St Luke’s. Mr. Sekhri is also an active member of the Patrons Council of Carnegie Hall.
Deborah Jorn, MBA
Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors, Chairwoman of the Remuneration Committee, and Member of the Audit Committee
Ms. Jorn has served as a director since 2019. Ms. Jorn was Executive Vice President of Corporate and Commercial Development at Eyepoint Pharmaceuticals from 2016 to 2018. Prior to joining Eyepoint, she was Executive Vice President and Group Company Chair at Bausch Health (formerly Valeant Pharmaceuticals) where she led the dermatology, gastroenterology and HAE businesses. Ms. Jorn was Chief Global Marketing Officer at Bausch & Lomb prior to its acquisition in 2013 by Bausch Health where she led the launch of several new products and the integration of Ista Pharmaceuticals following acquisition. Previously, she was Group Vice President of Women’s Healthcare and Fertility (2008-2010) and Allergy and Respiratory (2004-2008) at Schering Plough Corporation prior to its acquisition by Merck and Co., Inc. Ms. Jorn was also at Johnson & Johnson as the Worldwide Vice President of Internal Medicine and Early Commercial input. She began her career at Merck and for more than 20 years held roles of progressive responsibility in various functional areas including R&D, Regulatory and Sales and Marketing. Ms. Jorn also serves on the board of directors of ViveveMedical, Inc. and she served as a member of the board of directors of Orexigen Therapeutics, Inc. from May 2016 until July 2018.
J. Barrie Ward, PhD
Chairman of the Corporate Governance Committee, and Member of the Audit Committee
Dr. Ward has served as a director since 2007. Dr. Ward has held senior management positions in the UK, US and Singapore at several pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, including Glaxo Group Research Ltd, Virus Research Institute Inc., Avant Immunotherapeutics Inc. and KuDOS Pharmaceuticals Ltd. and board positions at Cancer Research Technology Ltd., Spirogen SARL, CellCenteric Ltd. and BergenBio AS. His most recent senior management position was CEO of KuDOS Pharmaceuticals Ltd, which was sold to AstraZeneca in 2006. Mr. Ward holds a PhD in microbiology from the University of Bath, UK.
Aad de Winter, LLM
Chairman of the Audit Committee, and a member of the Corporate Governance Committee
Mr. De Winter has served as a director since 2009. Mr. De Winter began his career at AMRO Bank in 1980. He worked in the areas of capital markets, investment banking and institutional investor relationship management. In 1990, Mr. De Winter became senior Advisor Corporate and Institutional Finance at NIBC (formerly De Nationale Investerings Bank). As of 1998, Mr. De Winter was at NYSE Euronext (now Euronext), Amsterdam responsible for advising and admitting companies to the stock exchange in Amsterdam as Director Listing & Issuer Relations. As of January 2009, until July 2015, Mr. De Winter was an Associate Partner at First Dutch Capital, Amsterdam and from 2008 to end of 2013, he was a member of the China and India working group at the Holland Financial Centre which was, inter alia, focused on attracting Chinese and Indian companies to a (cross) listing on Euronext Amsterdam. Since 2010 he is an Associate Partner at Nederlandsche Participatie Exchange (NPEX), an innovative online financing and trading platform for securities of SME companies. Mr. De Winter has more than three decades of experience in assisting companies with stock exchange listings for various capital markets instruments. He holds a law degree from Erasmus University, Rotterdam, specializing in corporate law.
Member of the Audit Committee
Ms. Yanni has served as a director since December 2020. Ms. Yanni was Vice President and
Chief Licensing Officer at Merck & Co. (MRK), a pharmaceutical company, from November 2001 until her retirement in March 2014. Prior to this, Ms. Yanni served in various roles at Merck including in corporate development, financial evaluation, and tax. Ms. Yanni currently serves on the board of directors of two public biotechnology companies: Trevena, Inc. and Vaccinex, Inc. Ms. Yanni is also a member of the board of directors of Mesentech, Inc., a private Canadian biotechnology company. Ms. Yanni earned a J.D. from Stanford Law School and an A.B. from Wellesley College. She also holds a Masters of Law in Taxation from New York University. Before joining Merck in 1985 Barbara was a tax lawyer in New York City.
Mark Pykett, VMD, PhD
Dr. Pykett has served as a director since December 2020. Dr. Pykett has been the Chief Scientific Officer of PTC Therapeutics, Inc. since 2018. Dr. Pykett was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Agilis Biotherapeutics from 2014 until its acquisition by PTC Therapeutics in 2018. Prior to Agilis, Dr. Pykett served as CEO of Navidea Biopharmaceuticals, President of Alseres Pharmaceuticals, President of Cygenics, and President and CEO of Cytomatrix. Dr. Pykett holds a PhD in Molecular Biology from the University of Pennsylvania, a VMD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and a B.A. in Biology from Amherst College.