2020 Shortlist review

Back | Best Communication Award | Breakthrough of the Year AwardBest Technology Award
Mediscience Commentator of the Year Award | Capital Market Transaction of the Year Award
Most Significant Contribution to the Mediscience Sector AwardThe Emerging Star Award
Chief Executive of the Year Award | Company of the Year Award 

Chief Executive of the Year Award

Sponsored by Panmure Gordon


The winner will be an individual who has demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities during the year under review. The creation of shareholder value through drive, vision and flair in taking his or her business forward are the qualities the Voting Panel is looking for. The winner will also have recognised the importance of developing a management team and workforce in supporting corporate success. 

The 2020 finalists: 


Renée Aguiar-Lucander/Calliditas Therapeutics  


Renée has been CEO of Calliditas Therapeutics since 2017. Prior to joining the group, she sat on the other side of table, as Partner and COO of Omega Fund Management, focusing on investments within the life sciences sector.

Since becoming CEO of Calliditas, Renée has totally transformed the business. She implemented a new strategy, recruited a team in Europe and the US and developed the group’s clinical asset, with outstanding results. Renée took the biotech through an IPO in Stockholm, raising a sizable $82m and subsequently signed a multi-million-dollar deal with Everest Medicines, whilst also hitting transformational regulatory milestones.

Renée successfully completed a follow-on financing for Calliditas in July 2019 and in January this year announced plans for a transformational US NASDAQ listing, which completed just last month


John Dawson/Oxford BioMedica plc


John was appointed CEO of Oxford BioMedica in October 2008. He initially joined the Board as Non-Executive Director and prior to this held senior management positions in the European operations of Cephalon Inc.

John has guided Oxford Biomedica through a stellar year in which the group’s partner programmes have more than doubled from nine to nineteen. In March 2020, John secured a major new deal with Juno Therapeutics, giving the group access to its LentiVector platform and committing to at least five years of clinical supply, making the collaboration worth over $200m. Other noteworthy partnerships driven by John during the period include the extension of its commercial supply agreement with Novartis, and the R&D collaboration and Option and Licence Agreement with Santen in June 2019.

A new management structure was implemented by John last year as the workforce increased to meet the exponential demand for gene and cell therapies. 



Onno van de Stolpe/Galapagos NV


Onno is the Founder and CEO of Galapagos. He initially launched the biotech as a fee-for-service company, however the group is now focused on its own R&D programmes and over the last twenty years has grown into one of the largest biotechs in Europe.

Onno is an inspirational leader who delivered a momentous year for Galapagos. In June last year, Onno orchestrated a deal with Gilead Sciences who invested $5.1bn to develop and commercialise its treatments over a ten-year period. This was transformative for Galapagos, securing its independent R&D and allowing it to expand its commercial presence, ultimately helping the group achieve its ambition to become one of the largest biopharma companies globally.

In addition, for the first time in Galapagos’ history, the group has a drug candidate from its pipeline under review for approval, which it will commercialise in partnership with Gilead.




Jan van de Winkel/Genmab A/S


Jan is a co-founder of Genmab and served as President, Research & Development and Chief Scientific Officer until his appointment as CEO in 2010. Jan has more than 25 years of experience in the therapeutic antibody field.

2019 was also the 20th anniversary year for Genmab and one which was historic for the group, with breakthroughs completed in all areas of the business, achieved through Jan's outstanding leadership. The group experienced unprecedented progress in the development of its early-stage proprietary pipeline and secured multiple new strategic partnerships in the period, including an exclusive worldwide license and option agreement with Janssen. In addition, it was a transformational year for DARZALEX, which is approaching triple-blockbuster status.

Jan led the group through its NASDAQ IPO in July, a significant milestone for the business, and the second largest US IPO ever achieved by a biotechnology company.