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 and Member of the Corporate Governance Committee
Mr. Sekhri has been the Chairman of our Board of Directors (or the former Board of Supervisory Directors until December, 2020) 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.
Non-Executive Director, Member of the Corporate Governance Committee and Member of the Remuneration Committee
Steven Baert is the Chief People Officer and a member of the Executive Committee of Novartis AG (SWX: NOVN) since 2014. Steven joined Novartis in 2006 and has held a number of leadership roles within the company, including Head of Human Resources, Global Functions, Switzerland, Head of Human Resources for Emerging Growth Markets, Head of Human Resources, United States and Canada, and Global Head, Human Resources, Novartis Oncology. Prior to joining Novartis, Steven held senior HR positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Unilever. Steven holds a Master of Business Administration from the Vlerick Business School, Gent; a Master of Laws from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and a Bachelor of Laws from the Katholieke Universiteit Brussels. Steven also serves on the Board of the WeSeeHope USA, a charity that focuses on empowering children isolated by poverty in Africa.
Non-Executive Director, Chairman of the Audit Committee
Leon Kruimer has more than 30 years of experience in corporate finance, planning and strategy, including 20 years in senior executive positions in private and publicly listed biotechnology companies. Leonard served as CFO of Crucell N.V. from 1997 to 2011. Prior to Crucell, he was Managing Director of Europe TIP Trailer, a GE Capital company. He was also a consultant with McKinsey & Co and an auditor at Price Waterhouse & Company, New York. Leon is currently Chairman of the Board at Swedish BioInvent International AB (BINV.ST). In addition, he is a board member of both Zealand Pharma A/S in Copenhagen and Calgary-based Oncolytics Inc (NASDAQ: ONCY). He is Director of AI Global Investments (Netherlands) PCC Ltd. and serves on the Investment Advisory Council of Karmijn Kapitaal. Leonard holds a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and is Certified Public Accountant in New York State.
Jabine van der Meijs
Non-Executive Director, Chairwoman of the Corporate Governance Committee and Member of the Audit Committee
Jabine served as the Executive Vice President & CFO of the Royal Schiphol Group from 2017 until end of March 2021. Prior to this, Jabine worked for the Royal Dutch Shell Group (ENXTAM: RDSA) for 25 years in primarily financial leadership positions, but also in HR and strategy positions in The Netherlands, Scotland, England, Brunei and Australia. In her most recent position at Shell, she was VP Finance Projects for Shell’s Projects and Technology business. Jabine is currently a Member of the Supervisory Board of Kendrion N.V. (ENXTAM: KENDR) where she serves as Chair of the Audit Committee. She is a Member of the Supervisory Board of Koole Terminals Holding B.V., where she serves as the Chair of the People & Remuneration Committee and she was also recently nominated to join the board of directors of Grundfos Holding, a privately owned Danish Company. Previously, Jabine served as a Non-Executive Director on various boards, including Aeroports de Paris (France) (ENXTPA: ADP) and Brisbane Airport Corporation (Australia). Jabine holds a Master of Science (Pharmacy) and a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm D) degree from the University of Utrecht, and she completed her professional accounting degree in the UK with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (ACMA).
Mark Pykett, VMD, PhD
Non-Executive Director, Member of the Remuneration Committee
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.
Non-Executive Director, Member of the Audit Committee and Member of the Corporate Governance 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.