Boehringer recruits former Novartis' neurosciences head as its CMO

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Boehringer Ingelheim has appointed Lykke Hinsch Gylvin as its new head of medicine and chief medical officer, succeeding Mehdi Shahidi, who left the position earlier this year after three years in the role. Hinsch Gylvin – who joins Boehringer after two years at Novartis, where she was firstly medical head of ophthalmology and latterly medical head of neurosciences – started in the new position on 1 November. "It's so exciting to be part of this company as we share our passion to deliver innovative medicines to patients faster," she said in a LinkedIn post. "I am very much looking forward to working with my new colleagues and to continue transforming lives for generations." At Novartis, she was involved with projects including multiple sclerosis therapy Kesimpta (ofatumumab), migraine therapy Aimovig (erenumab), and Parkinson's disease, and the acquisition by Novartis of optogenetic gene therapy company Vedere Bio. Prior to her two years at Novartis, Hinsch Gylvin was at AstraZeneca for four years, initially as head of medical and regulatory affairs for Nordic-Baltic countries, and later leading the global medical affairs function for AZ's respiratory business. She has also held senior positions at Roche, Novo Nordisk, and Lundbeck, and trained as a medical doctor in Denmark before completing an MBA in Switzerland. "Lykke brings more than 20 years of pharmaceutical experience, ranging from early-stage drug development to post-approval lifecycle management," said Boehringer in a statement. Neuroscience is one of Boehringer's core therapeutic categories, with commercial products like Sifrol/Mirapex (pramipexole) for Parkinson's disease and a pipeline headed by Gly-T1 inhibitor iclepertin (BI 425809) for cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia, in phase 3 testing. It also has a TRPC 4/5 inhibitor for major depressive disorder (MDD), bipolar disorder (BPD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in phase 2, along with digital therapeutics in early-stage development. Shahidi, meanwhile, rose through the ranks during a 16-year career at Boehringer to become CMO in 2019. He left the company in February to become chief medical expert at Cambridge, UK-based artificial intelligence-based drug discovery biotech AI VIVO, and later joined venture capital group Medicxi as a consultant and partner.