Pair of new non-exec directors strengthens pharma group Vectura’s board

January 4, 2021

Chippenham-based specialist pharmaceutical firm Vectura has boosted its board with the appointment of two new independent non-executive directors.

Jeanne Hecht and Jeanne Thoma took up their roles at the firm, which develops inhalable dry-powder drugs that treat lung conditions such as asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis, on December 31. 

Jeanne Hecht was most recently CEO of US pre-clinical and clinical ophthalmic drug and device development firm Ora and was previously chief operating officer and a board director of Median Technologies, a US-headquartered global clinical services imaging business.

Prior to this she had a substantial career with Quintiles (later IQVIA), the world’s largest contract development services company, where she led global sales and strategic accounts.

Jeanne Thoma has been CEO and president of US-based Associated British Foods subsidiary SPI Pharma, which provides specialist formulation and ingredient services to the pharmaceutical and nutritional industries.

She has also served as a senior advisor to the pharmaceutical industry and has had successful careers with Swiss multinational chemicals and biotech group Lonza where, in her last role, she was president and executive committee member, and German chemicals group BASF, where she served in senior key commercial roles in its pharmaceutical solutions business.

She is a member of the boards of directors of US groups ANI Pharmaceuticals, an integrated specialty pharmaceutical company, and Avid Bioservices, a contract development and manufacturing organisation focused on the development and cGMP (current good manufacturing practice) manufacturing of biopharmaceutical mammalian cell culture products.

Vectura chairman Bruno Angelici said he was delighted to welcome Jeanne Hecht and Jeanne Thoma to the board. 

“Jeanne Hecht brings significant experience in drug development services globally, which directly supports our new strategic direction as a leading inhalation contract development and manufacturing organisation.

“Jeanne Thoma brings a unique blend of commercial, HR and business leadership experience in pharmaceutical services, which will bring new domain expertise to our board supporting our new business model.”

Vectura, which was part formed from a spin-out from the University of Bath and is listed on the London Stock Exchange, has grown rapidly in recent years through development collaborations and licence agreements with global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies such as Novartis, Sandoz and GlaxoSmithKline.

In 2016 it merged with London-based Skyepharma, creating one of the UK’s leading specialist pharmaceutical firms with a combined turnover of £1bn.

It has 10 key inhaled and 11 non-inhaled products marketed by partners with global royalty streams, and a diverse partnered portfolio of drugs in clinical development.

It is one of the few companies globally with the device, formulation and development capabilities to deliver a broad range of complex inhaled therapies.



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