Per Wold-Olsen appointed BioMalta Governor

Sir Chris Evans chairs the first Board Meeting

The BioMalta Foundation Board of Governors held its first meeting on Wednesday, effectively kickstarting the action in its role to set out and implement a national strategy for the development of a life and medical sciences industry in Malta.

Sir Chris Evans chaired the first meeting during which he also presented the first draft of a Life Sciences Strategy for discussion and consultation amoungst the stakeholders. Representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Malta Enterprise, the Malta Council for Science and Technology and the University of Malta sit on the board of the BioMalta Foundation. Professor Sir Chris Evans, a medical health professional of high calibre and a serial entrepreneur who has founded and spun off around 45 biotechnology companies during his career accepted to Chair the Foundation and act as Special Envoy for Life Sciences.

“I am pleased to have chaired the first Board meeting of the BioMalta Foundation. Although there is a lot of work for us to do to establish Malta on the life sciences scene, this is a very exciting time in general for biotechnology and the medical science around the globe.

“We are optimistic that Malta can punch above its weight in this industry in years to come,” Sir Chris Evans said.

Malta Enterprise, the founder of the BioMalta Foundation is also honoured to have appointed Mr Per Wold-Olsen as Governor. Mr Wold-Olsen has an illustrious career in the field of life sciences spanning over 30 years. Among others, he occupied various positions within Merck & Co. Inc., a leading global pharmaceutical company which he had joined as a trainee in 1973 but retired as the President Human Health Intercontinental Division, with responsibility for 15,000 employees in more than 100 markets around the world.

He not only played an integral part in Merck’s significant growth in the Europe, with the company consistently ranking first for its growth in this market as measured by revenue, but was also the architect of many of Merck’s landmark studies that led to significant improvements in the pharmaceutical sector from which millions of patients have benefited.

As member of the Merck Comany Foundation Oversight Committee, Mr Wold-Olsen also provided leadership to the company’s corporate responsibility initiatives and helped direct the company’s HIV/AIDS initiatives in emerging markets. A past Chairman of Lundbeck A/S and of the Europe Committee of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), Mr Wold-Olsen is currently the Board Chairman of GN Store Nord A/S, a top-20 listed company in Denmark, and also serves on the Board of Directors of Gilead Sciences Inc., the Medicines for Malaria Venture, as well as several biotech Boards.

“I am excited and feel honoured to be part of this BioMalta initiative,” Mr Wold-Olsen commented on his appointment.

“Having worked with leading international pharmaceutical companies, where I was part of teams that brought numerous breakthrough medicines to the market, I am very much looking forward to contribute with my global experience and the vast network of contacts developed through the years towards the success of the BioMalta initiative,” Mr Wold Olsen said.