Azafaros Appoints Chief Operating Officer and Head of Finance
Azafaros today announced two appointments to their executive management team with Silvia Ragno, PhD, joining the company as Chief Operating Officer and Henrik Torp Nielsen as Head of Finance. With 35 years of combined experience in the pharmaceutical industry, they join as Azafaros prepares to start a clinical Phase 2 trial, the RAINBOW study (NCT05758922), with its lead asset AZ-3102, treating, for the first time, patients with GM2 gangliosidosis and Niemann-Pick disease type C.
“We are excited to welcome Silvia and Henrik to our team. Silvia brings a wealth of experience in the start-up environment, drug development, business development, and rare disease areas. Her primary responsibility as COO will be strategic planning and execution of our investor relations and business development efforts,” said Stefano Portolano, Chief Executive Officer of Azafaros. “Henrik has previously occupied diverse finance roles in numerous countries and is a formidable addition to our team as Head of Finance. His international experience in business development and innovation on the medical market will be a considerable asset to the company.”
Dr. Ragno worked in the global pharmaceutical industry for 20 years before joining Azafaros. She co-founded Stargazer Pharmaceuticals Inc. and acted as Chief Operating Officer for the company leading the preclinical and clinical program strategy for the development of a new treatment for the rare genetic Stargardt’s disease. She successfully raised the first tranche of Series A funding from Novo Holdings, the founding investor of Stargazer, while working as Senior Director, External Asset Leader, for Takeda Development Centre Europe’s TAKcelerator™, an incubator-like group accelerating transformative therapies for people with rare diseases. Prior to this, she worked at Novartis Pharmaceutical UK as Global Program Team Director, leading various programs in several therapeutic areas.
With more than 15 years of experience in the international pharmaceutical industry, Mr. Nielsen brings a particularly diversified knowledge of business development, innovation, and medical market access to Azafaros. He previously held several senior roles at Novartis, notably European Head of Business Development Finance, Oncology, as well as Nordic Chief Financial Officer, Oncology and Head of Commercial and Medical Finance, successfully supporting and closing several major business development deals.
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