Sister organization George Medicines, a late-stage drug development company focused on providing innovative and accessible medicines for the world’s leading causes of death, announced the appointment of Stefan König as Chief Executive Officer.

George Medicines, a venture-backed spin-out company from The George Institute for Global Health, one of the world’s leading independent medical research institutes, is using its drug development and formulation expertise to combine best-in-class existing treatments in fixed, ultra-low-dose combinations. These are intended to provide the optimal balance of high efficacy and improved safety, with potential for significant improvements in clinical outcomes and long-term adherence to treatment. The company has received investigational new drug (IND) clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to commence Phase III trials of its proprietary triple combination candidate, GMRx2, as a first-line treatment for hypertension.

König joins George Medicines from Takeda Pharmaceuticals where his most recent role was Vice-President and Global Franchise Head, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). In his role, he was responsible for Takeda’s most significant asset franchise, Entyvio (vedolizumab). Under his leadership the vedolizumab franchise grew to become the gold standard therapy for IBD patients with a significant lifecycle plan for further, sustained expansion. In this role Stefan also oversaw design of global commercial strategy, guiding execution to regions and affiliates.

Prior to this, König was the General Manager for Takeda in Austria, where he led integration of the significant Takeda and Nycomed legacy organizations and transformed the business from a primary care organization to become an agile specialty care and oncology player. Earlier roles at Takeda included Regional Managing Director for a cluster of countries in Central and Eastern Europe. Stefan also spent almost 10 years in Mexico and Latin America, working in areas such as business and corporate development and marketing for various companies, including Novartis and Merck.

Professor Stephen MacMahon, Chairman of George Medicines, said: “I am delighted to announce Stefan’s appointment to George Medicines as our new Chief Executive Officer. George Medicines is committed to bringing affordable, easy-to-use, life-altering treatments to patients, so Stefan’s extensive experience launching new products for common serious diseases, together with his knowledge of healthcare systems globally, will be extremely valuable to the Company. On behalf of the Board and the management team, I welcome Stefan to the Company and look forward to working with him.”

Stefan König, Chief Executive Officer of George Medicines, said: “I am passionate about building lasting, sustainable businesses based on empowered, highly diverse and talented teams that work jointly to achieve the best patient and customer outcomes. I am very pleased to be joining George Medicines, whose values encompass that approach. Having received IND clearance from the FDA to start our Phase III trials with GMRx2, this is set to be a pivotal year for the company. I am looking forward to working with the team and providing an update on our clinical progress in due course.”