ABIVAX appoints Antonino Ligresti, MD and Dominique Costantini, MD to its Board of Directors

Paris, 15th September 2015 – ABIVAX (Euronext Paris: FR0012333284 – ABVX), a leading clinical stage biotech company developing and commercializing anti-viral drugs and therapeutic vaccines, today announced the appointment of Antonino Ligresti, MD and Dominique Costantini, MD to its board of directors.  Dr. Ligresti, replaces Jérôme Gallot who resigned from the board effective 6th July 2015, and will represent Santé Holding Srl, an anchor investor in ABIVAX’s recent IPO.  Dr. Costantini will take the board seat of Miguel Sieler, who resigned from the board effective 6th September 2015. 

Dr. Antonino Ligresti has extensive experience in the healthcare field and in market access issues.  He is a medical doctor and surgeon, specialized in internal medicine and cardiology.  He began his career at the medical clinic of the University of Milan, and later moved to the Fatebenefratelli Hospital, also in Milan.  In 1979, he created the first private hospital group in Italy, recognized for the quality of medical care it provided, as well as for its research and teaching collaboration with universities.  He sold the group in 2000. 

A major shareholder and member of the Board of Directors at Générale de Santé since 2003, he became chairman of its supervisory board in March 2004, and then chairman of the board of directors in 2011.  Dr. Ligresti, through Santé Holding Srl, sold his stake in Générale de Santé to Ramsay, an Australian health care group, in October 2014.  Ramsay Générale de Santé is currently the largest private hospital group in France, accounting for 16% of private hospitalizations in the country.  

Among his many other roles in the health care sector, Dr. Ligresti was a member of the Executive Committee of the European Institute of Oncology, Chairman of the Générale de Santé Foundation, as well as Chairman of its Medical Committee.  Dr. Ligresti will play a key role in ABIVAX’s market access and business development.

“It is with great enthusiasm that I join ABIVAX’s board,” said Dr. Ligresti.  “I am confident that the company may be able to deliver ground-breaking therapies for the treatment of a number of severe viral diseases, including HIV and chronic hepatitis B in an optimal timeframe,” he continued.

Dr. Dominique Costantini, a senior executive and CEO, is a medical doctor with a degree in immunology from Necker Paris V, has more than 20 years of experience in the pharma/biotech industry including key positions at HMR (now Sanofi) across a number of functions and business units.  She is the co-founder and CEO of OSE Pharma (listed on Euronext Paris in 2015), an innovative company focused on therapeutic vaccines to treat cancer, which is currently entering clinical phase III for advanced lung cancers.

Prior to OSE Pharma, Dr. Costantini founded Onxeo (originally named BioAlliance Pharma) in 1997, a company focused on oncology and supportive care with drug delivery technologies.  She took the company public in 2005, and was CEO until 2011.  During her tenure at BioAlliance Pharma, in addition to the IPO, Dr. Costantini raised funds from major VC firms, and carried out a private placement for total investments of more than €100m.  She also secured more than €150m and significant royalties from industrial partnerships with companies in Europe, the United States and Asia.

Dr. Philippe Pouletty, Chairman of the Board of ABIVAX, said: “We are fortunate that Dr. Ligresti and Dr. Costantini are joining our board of directors.  Antonino Ligresti’s expertise, acquired through his vast experience, entrepreneurial endeavors and leadership at numerous medical institutions and organizations across Europe, will serve ABIVAX well in moving our scientific and business agendas forward.  Dominique Costantini’s entrepreneurial spirit and experience in the creation and development of biopharma companies, as well as the acumen she has demonstrated in addressing optimal partnering and funding strategies for the companies she has led, will also benefit ABIVAX as we continue to pursue our development and growth strategies.”  Dr. Pouletty continued, “We also express our gratitude to Miguel Sieler and Jérôme Gallot for their service on ABIVAX’s board of directors.  They both contributed significantly to the company’s success to date.”

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