Dr Ismail Kola joins GPN Vaccines’ Board of Directors

Dr Ismail Kola joins GPN Vaccines’ Board of Directors

Adelaide, Australia, 25 May 2020 – GPN Vaccines is pleased to announce Dr Ismail Kola has joined the Company’s Board of Directors.

Dr Kola is a Senior Partner at Forepont Capital, a New York-based venture capital firm investing in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies that improve healthcare outcomes. Prior to this, Ismail held several senior executive positions in the pharmaceutical industry including Chief Scientific Officer, President of New Medicines and Executive Committee Member at UCB Pharmaceuticals; Senior Vice President and Head of Discovery Research, Early Clinical Research & Experimental Medicine at Schering-Plough; Senior Vice President Basic Research and Site Head Rahway at Merck (known as MSD outside the USA) and Vice President and Global Head Genomics Science and Biotechnology at Pharmacia Corporation.

Throughout Ismail’s distinguished 20-year career in the pharmaceutical industry, he has led teams that have successfully brought numerous blockbuster pharmaceutical products to market, with several others currently in pivotal development.

Prior to his move to industry, Ismail was Professor of Human Molecular Genetics at Monash University Medical School, and Director of the Research Centre for Functional Genomics and Human Disease. He has published 159 papers in major journals that have been cited some 15,000 times.

Ismail currently holds Adjunct Professorships at Washington University, Monash University and the Karolinska Institute, a Visiting Professorship at the Nuffield School of Medicine at Oxford University, and is a William Pitt Fellow at Pembroke College in Cambridge. He is also a board member of Athersys and Mobius Biotech, and a Scientific Advisor to GIMV Life Sciences (GIMV Euronext Brussels). His previous board memberships included Astex (ASTX, Nasdaq – acquired by Otsuka Pharmaceuticals) and Biotie Therapies (OMX Nasdaq and listed on the Helsinki Exchange – acquired by Acorda Therapeutics).

Ismail gained a Bachelor of Pharmacy from Rhodes University, a Bachelor of Science from the University of South Africa and a PhD(Med) in Medicine from the University of Cape Town Medical School.

GPN Vaccines’ Chairman & CEO Professor Tim Hirst commented, “I’m delighted to welcome Dr Kola as a Non-Executive Director of GPN Vaccines at a critical time in the Company’s development as we progress our serotype independent pneumococcal vaccine, Gamma-PNTM, into a first-in-human clinical trial. Ismail’s experience and leadership in taking numerous drugs from the research laboratory through clinical development and onto the market brings a unique and valuable perspective”, he said.

Dr Kola said, “GPN Vaccines is pursuing a globally important respiratory vaccine with the prospect of saving millions of lives each year. I’m thrilled to be joining a Company where I can share my experience in optimal clinical design and the importance of regulatory agency engagement to achieve successful development of innovative pharmaceuticals. I’m looking forward to my involvement with the GPN team as it progresses Gamma-PNTM into the clinic”.


About GPN Vaccines

GPN Vaccines is a public (unlisted) biotechnology company developing a vaccine against Streptococcus pneumoniae, which is responsible for causing life-threatening pneumonia, bacteraemia and meningitis, as well as otitis media (middle ear infections). Each year it causes 1-2 million deaths worldwide, killing more children than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. There are now 100 different serotypes of S. pneumoniae and the best vaccine currently on the market only protects against 13 of them. Gamma-PNTM – GPN Vaccines’ new S. pneumoniae vaccine is being developed to protect children and adults against all S. pneumoniae strains, regardless of strain serotype.

Protecting children and adults from the world’s foremost bacterial pathogen