hVIVO plc - Kym Denny
Company: hVIVO plc, London, United Kingdom
Company Description: hVIVO plc, a UK-based specialty biopharma company with clinical testing capabilities, is pioneering a human-based analytical platform to accelerate drug discovery and development in respiratory and infectious diseases, mapping the disease life cycle from healthy to sick and back to healthy. It has led 45+ clinical studies, inoculated 2000+ volunteers and is developing 3 First-In-Class therapies.
Nomination Category: Individual Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Female Executive of the Year in Europe, the Middle East & Africa
Nomination Title: hVIVO CEO Kym Denny: Revolutionizing healthcare by putting humans at the heart of disease modelling
Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated executive since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words):
Kym Denny has led a year of achievement and evolution for hVIVO since July of 2015. hVIVO acquired a significant equity stake in PrEP Biopharm Limited, a new UK biotech company developing a prophylactic compound against cold and flu causing viruses (PrEP-001), where hVIVO’s platform has been a fundamental contributor to its success to date. This allowed hVIVO, for the first time, to participate in the upside value generated by its platform, and to compete in the biotech space alongside a major pharmaceutical company. As Chairman of the Board for PrEP Biopharm, Kym is helping to guide this start-up through the initial stages of fundraising and strategic planning.
Under Kym’s leadership, hVIVO delivered the first map describing the human response to severe flu in 2015, and turned this proprietary biological insight into action. The company reduced the drug pre-discovery timeline by 90% achieving drug target qualification for PrEP-001in less than one year due to the “disease in motion” samples generated by the hVIVO platform. Driven by the results in flu, in 2015 Kym also expanded hVIVO’s capabilities into respiratory diseases, starting with asthma. hVIVO has since started work on a groundbreaking sample collection initiative that will enable asthma patient stratification and benchmarking of targeted therapies for the first time. 2015 finished with a successful capital raise in November to support building momentum in asthma, flu and PrEP-001 product development.
Kym also began building hVIVO’s commercial infrastructure to fuel the company’s innovative product efforts and support new, more collaborative client relationships. This allowed hVIVO to announce a second joint venture investment in April 2016 with the SEEK Group to develop vaccines against flu and mosquito borne diseases, including Zika. Through this joint venture, hVIVO will be leveraging a universal flu technology licensed from SEEK to develop a broad spectrum vaccine against multiple flu strains, and a mosquito-borne disease vaccine technology to develop a novel Zika vaccine. As these diseases have been identified as key public health priorities in the United States, hVIVO will collaborate with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to accelerate the development of both vaccines this year. If successful in its development of the Zika vaccine, hVIVO will further develop the technology in other mosquito-borne illnesses such as malaria, dengue and West Nile.
In June 2016, hVIVO confirmed favorable results for PrEP Biopharm’s PrEP-001 Phase II influenza prophylaxis study, highlighting the drug’s pan-viral prophylaxis potential. The study confirmed a decrease in the number of symptoms in subjects in the active treatment group compared to placebo. These favorable results close a year of successful leadership for Kym Denny. Her focus continues to be on changing the current inefficient drug development process, to one that is more rationally driven, that dramatically reduces development costs and time to market, and that ultimately eliminates the outrageously high drug costs that exist today.
Provide a brief biography of the nominated executive (up to 125 words):
Kym Denny became CEO of hVIVO in 2010, led the Company’s IPO on AIM in 2012, and has since raised nearly £100M. She has extensive drug development leadership experience in the US and UK in therapeutic areas including infectious disease, respiratory, CNS, oncology, women’s health and orphan indications. She was VP of Clinical Research at SRA International, MD at Harrison Clinical Research, board member responsible for Clinical Operations at Profiad, and founder and president at InSite Clinical Trials. Her experience in international site management led Kym to create a course in managing drug development across cultures, which has been adapted to different industries. She is EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2016 – London and South regional health and life sciences.