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Senior scientific appointment at Neurochem


Montreal, QC – Neurochem has appointed of Dr Andreas Orfanos, MBBCh, MBA to the position of executive vice president, strategic planning and scientific affairs. Dr Orfanos will assume overall responsibility for many of Neurochem’s activities including research and development, as well as drug development and global strategic planning.

“Dr Orfanos brings to Neurochem close to 25 years of extensive and solid experience in the healthcare, medical and pharmaceutical fields, including the area of research and development, strategic planning, as well as commercialization,” says Francesco Bellini, PhD, chairman and CEO of Neurochem. “Throughout his career he has held leadership positions with major pharmaceutical companies, both here in Canada and internationally."

Dr Orfanos began his career in healthcare in South Africa and helped launch and manage private hospitals in South Africa with Lifecare. In 1987 he joined Sandoz Products in South Africa as medical director and substantially increased the company’s participation in international clinical trials. Dr Orfanos was transferred to Sandoz Canada in 1991, where he soon led the R&D department responsible for Phase II to Phase IV clinical trials. He expanded the role of clinical studies to support products pre- and post-launch. In 1993, he established the first business unit within Sandoz worldwide and championed the successful development, pre-marketing, launch, marketing and sales of the company’s number one product.

Within Novartis (following the merger of Sandoz and Ciba-Geigy) he served as vice president of the specialty business, during which he launched the oncology business in Canada and ensured double digit sales growth across the three areas of neurology, immunology and oncology. He then moved on to leading the company’s strategic planning and new product development during which he led the strategic planning of the company and his team mapped out the entire process for taking a product from Phase II to post-launch. At the same time he was a key member of the international launch teams for Novartis’ priority future products. Thereafter reporting to the global business unit head, Basle, Switzerland, he successfully led the transplantation-immunology business unit in the face of intense market competition.

For the past two years, Dr Orfanos has held the position of vice president at Picchio Pharma responsible for identifying, evaluating and determining business opportunities in the biotechnology field. He has worked closely with the companies in which Picchio has invested on both R&D and commercial projects at a strategic and tactical level. Dr Orfanos has had extensive experience taking products from the Phase II clinical development stage through to launch and successful commercialization.

Dr Orfanos completed his medical degree in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the University of Witwatersrand in 1981 where he also obtained his MBA in 1984.