Saniona AB: The Nomination Committee of Saniona Proposes Election of Two Additional Members of the Board of Directors



December 22, 2017

Saniona, a leading biotech company in the field of ion channels, today announced that its Nomination Committee comprised of Søren Skjærbæk appointed by Jørgen Drejer, John Haurum appointed by Thomas Feldthus and Claus Bræstrup, Saniona's Chairman of the Board, have proposed J. Donald deBethizy and Anna Ljung as new members of the Board of Directors and that J. Donald deBethizy is elected as new Chairman of the Board of Directors. The Nomination Committee has furthermore resolved that an option program shall be implemented for J. Donald deBethizy. The company's shareholders will resolve on these nominations and the option program at an Extraordinary General Meeting to be held on January 19, 2018. Notice to attend the Extraordinary General Meeting will be issued through a separate press release. 

"As Saniona advances its robust clinical pipeline of candidates for the treatment of central nervous system, autoimmune, and metabolic diseases, it is important to continually evolve and expand our board with talented individuals who will be able to successfully guide the company's later stage programs and potential commercialization opportunities," stated Claus Bræstrup, Saniona's Chairman of the Board. "With Dr. J. Donald deBethizy as Chairman of the Board, I see an extraordinary opportunity to leverage on his successful track record in the U.S., Scandinavian and European biotech and financial markets as well as his deep scientific and development experience.  It has been an honour to serve as Aniona's Chairman of the Board since 2011 and then Saniona's Chairman of the Board since 2014. I am confident that Dr. deBethizy can lead Saniona towards the next level of clinical and commercial success."

J. Donald deBethizy, born 1950, has more than 30 years of experience in research and development and financial, business and operating management in the biotechnology and consumer products industry. He is currently President of White City Consulting ApS, and serves on the supervisory boards of Albumedix A/S, argenx N.V. (ARGX BR), Newron Pharmaceuticals SpA (NWRN.SWX), Noxxon Pharma NV (ALNOX.EN Paris) and Proterris, Inc.

Previously, Dr. deBethizy served as President and CEO of Santaris Pharma A/S until October 2014, when the company was sold to Roche. From May 2013 to November 2014, he served as Executive Chairman of Contera Pharma ApS. He was also the Co-Founder and CEO of Targacept, Inc., a NASDAQ-listed U.S. biotechnology company from 1997-2012. He previously served on the boards of Asceneuron SA, Biosource Inc., Enbiotix Inc., LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals Inc., Rigontec GmbH, Serendex Pharmaceuticals A/S and Targacept Inc.

Dr. deBethizy has held adjunct appointments at Wake Forest University Babcock School of Management, Wake Forest University School of Medicine and Duke University. He completed his post-doctoral work at the Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology. He holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Toxicology from Utah State University and a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Maryland.

J. Donald deBethizy is considered independent in relation to the company, its senior management and major shareholders. J. Donald deBethizy does not own shares in Saniona.

Furthermore, the Nomination Committee has proposed that an option program shall be implemented for the proposed chairman J. Donald deBethizy. The Nomination Committee's complete proposal on the option program for the proposed chairman is presented in separate documentation to the Extraordinary General Meeting.

Dr. Bræstrup added, "In addition to the proposed appointment of Dr. deBethizy, the nomination committee has proposed Anna Ljung as a member of the Board. Anna Ljung is a highly talented entrepreneur who brings a wealth of financial and business development experience from her roles at Moberg Pharma, Athera Biotechnologies, and Lipopeptide. We believe that her diverse background in both pharmaceuticals and technology licensing provides Saniona with a unique perspective that will add to the company's core development strategy and future partnership opportunities."

Anna Ljung, born 1980, currently serves as the CFO of Moberg Pharma AB where she prepared the company for its 2011 initial public offering onto the OMX Small Cap list. She has also participated in a number of asset acquisitions and divestments since 2012. Mrs. Ljung previously served as CFO of Athera Biotechnologies AB and Lipopeptide AB and has worked as an independent consultant in the field of technology licensing.

Mrs. Ljung holds a M.Sc. in Economics and Business Administration, with a major in Finance from the Stockholm School of Economics.

Anna Ljung is considered independent in relation to the company, its senior management and major shareholders. Anna Ljung does not own shares in Saniona. Provided that Anna Ljung is elected as board member, the Board of Directors intends to appoint Anna Ljung as Chairman of the Audit Committee.

Claus Bræstrup is stepping down as Chairman for personal reasons, but will continue supporting Saniona as an active board member.

Notice to attend the Extraordinary General Meeting on January 19, 2018 will be issued through a separate press release and will be made available at the company website.

For more information, please contact

Søren Skjærbæk, Chairman of the Nomination Committee, Mobile: +45 2622 3464, E-mail:

Thomas Feldthus, EVP and CFO, Saniona, Mobile: +45 2210 9957, E-mail:

This information is such information as Saniona AB (publ) is obliged to make public pursuant to the EU Market Abuse Regulation. The information was submitted for publication, through the agency of the contact persons set out above, at 08:00 CET on December 22, 2017.

About Saniona

Saniona is a research and development company focused on drugs for diseases of the central nervous system, autoimmune diseases, metabolic diseases and treatment of pain. The company has a significant portfolio of potential drug candidates at pre-clinical and clinical stage. The research is focused on ion channels, which makes up a unique protein class that enables and controls the passage of charged ions across cell membranes. Saniona has ongoing collaboration agreements with Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, Proximagen Ltd., Productos Medix, S.A de S.V and Cadent Therapeutics. Saniona is based in Copenhagen, Denmark, where it has a research center of high international standard. Saniona is listed at Nasdaq Stockholm Small Cap and has about 5,300 shareholders. The company's share is traded under the ticker SANION. Read more at