Life Sciences Insight

AstraZeneca veteran takes up CEO post at Medivir, becoming 4th person to hold the post in quick succession

And the next person to hold the CEO post at Medivir is … Jens Lindberg. The AstraZeneca veteran will become the fourth person to hold the post, on an interim or permanent basis, in quick succession when he takes up the position.

Medivir began burning through CEOs a little more than one year ago, when Uli Hacksell ended an almost two-year spell at the top. Yilmaz Mahshid replaced Hacksell in September 2020, only to give his resignation six months later. Magnus Christensen, chief financial officer at Medivir, stepped in to fill the gap, taking up the CEO post on an interim basis in May. 

Now, Medivir has named the permanent successor to Mahshid. Lindberg is set to take up the post within six months. Christensen will continue as interim CEO until Lindberg starts in his new position. 

Lindberg spent most of his career to date at AstraZeneca, joining Astra in 1995 as a sales rep and rising to the post of vice president of oncology. After 25 years at AstraZeneca, Lindberg left the company last year to take up the VP of commercial operations post at anesthetic delivery company Sedana Medical. In June, Lindberg became acting CEO of Sedana.

At Sedana, Lindberg has worked to bring a drug for inhaled sedation in intensive care to market. The Medivir position brings Lindberg back into the oncology space, where he spent the final years of his time at AstraZeneca. Lindberg’s role as VP, oncology at AstraZeneca gave him responsibility for cancer products in Nordic-Baltic countries. 

Medivir will tap into that experience as it seeks to get its own cancer drug to market. While once known for its work on hepatitis C and other infectious diseases, Medivir is now squarely focused on liver cancer prospect MIV-818. Medivir plans to test the prodrug in combination with Eisai’s Lenvima or Merck’s Keytruda in a phase 1/2a clinical trial.

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