21 December 2020
Geneva, Switzerland, December 21, 2020 – RELIEF THERAPEUTICS Holding AG (SIX: RLF, OTCQB: RLFTF) ("Relief" or the "Company"), a biopharmaceutical company with its lead compound RLF-100TM (aviptadil) in advanced clinical development to treat severe COVID-19 patients, today announced the appointment of Christiaan ("Chris") L.J.J. Stijnen as Chief Commercial Officer (CCO) effective December 21, 2020. Mr. Stijnen will strengthen the management team in all activities pertaining to the commercialization of RLF-100™ and other future assets.
Mr. Stijnen is a highly experienced pharmaceutical executive with a successful track record in marketing, general management, access strategy and product development across a variety of indications. Prior to joining Relief, he had an impressive career with Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he was responsible for the marketing and commercialization of the company’s portfolio in various international subsidiaries between 2005 and March 2020. Most recently he was VP Product & Portfolio Strategy and Interim Head Commercial Strategy and Capabilities for Bristol-Myers Squibb China in Shanghai, China. Before that, he was Head Operations & Japan liaison, Product Portfolio and Access Strategy Department for Bristol-Myers Squibb Worldwide Commercial Organization in Princeton, New Jersey, USA. Prior to this, he developed early access strategies for specialty and orphan pipeline drugs as Access Strategy Lead Immunology, Fibrosis & Genetically Defined Diseases. Mr. Stijnen accumulated further product launch and commercialization experience as General Manager and President Director at Bristol-Myers Squibb locations in Russia, Turkey and Indonesia. His career with Bristol-Myers Squibb followed a 15-year tenure with Organon, which was acquired in 2007 by Schering-Plough Corporation (now part of Merck & Co.). At Organon, Mr. Stijnen helped launch various products and set up the Organon offices in Colombia to restructure commercialization activities in Central America. A native of The Netherlands, Mr. Stijnen earned a MSc. in Business Economics from Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Raghuram (Ram) Selvaraju, Chairman of the Board of Relief, said: “I am excited to have Chris join us as we plan and take the next steps to prepare for the commercialization of RLF-100™. He excels in designing and implementing global strategies to better serve customers, strengthen organizational capabilities and improve competitiveness. These skills will position Relief well to design flexible commercialization strategies to bring our potentially life-saving drug to the patients who desperately need a new therapeutic option."
“It is a thrilling challenge for me to join Relief at such an exciting developmental stage. I look forward to leveraging my ability to lead agile teams across culturally diverse markets and implementing global strategies to capture local market opportunities for the commercialization of RLF-100TM. It is my aim to ensure that should approval be granted, our drug reaches patients as quickly as possible,” commented Chris L.J.J. Stijnen, Chief Commercial Officer of Relief.
Relief focuses primarily on clinical-stage programs based on molecules of natural origin (peptides and proteins) with a history of clinical testing and use in human patients or a strong scientific rationale. Currently, Relief is concentrating its efforts on developing new treatments for respiratory disease indications. Its lead drug candidate RLF-100TM (aviptadil), synthetic vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), is being investigated in two placebo-controlled U.S. phase 2b/3 clinical trials in respiratory deficiency due to COVID-19. RLF-100TM is believed to be the first COVID-19 therapeutic to demonstrate the ability to block replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in human lung cells and monocytes, while also preventing synthesis of cytokines in the lung. Since July 2020, severe COVID-19 patients have been treated with RLF-100TM under U.S. FDA Emergency Use Investigational New Drug (IND) authorization and Expanded Access Protocol authorization for the treatment of respiratory failure in COVID-19. Relief also holds a patent issued in the United States and various other countries covering potential formulations of RLF-100TM.
RELIEF THERAPEUTICS Holding AG is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange under the symbol RLF and quoted in the U.S. on OTCQB under the symbol RLFTF.
RELIEF THERAPEUTICS Holding AG
Raghuram (Ram) Selvaraju, Ph.D., MBA
Chairman of the Board
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