- Dr Rolli will support the company’s vision of positioning HTI vaccines for future functional cure strategies
- In her new role, Dr Rolli will lead Aelix through the next growth stage – progressing the company’s aim of bringing therapeutic vaccines to HIV patients
Barcelona, Spain, May 18, 2021 – AELIX Therapeutics S.L. (‘AELIX’), a clinical-stage biotechnology company specialized in the discovery and development of immunotherapies for HIV infection, today announces the appointment of Dr Melanie Rolli as chief executive officer, following the decision of her predecessor, Dr José Luis Cabero, to step down from executive positions at Aelix.
Dr Rolli brings a wealth of knowledge to her new role as CEO – with decades of hands-on experience in the pharmaceutical sector, including various positions of increasing responsibility whilst at Novartis. Dr Rolli said: “I’m excited to join a high-performing team that has achieved a major milestone by translating a biological concept into positive clinical results with their first clinical trial. Our goal now is to advance the program and bring an innovative HIV functional cure therapy to patients.”
This appointment follows the company’s March 2021 announcement of positive topline results in the AELIX-002 Phase I/II clinical trial. The strong data represent a major breakthrough development in the field and the results support Aelix’s plans for larger combination trials.
“We are delighted to welcome Dr Melanie Rolli to the team. Her invaluable experience and key skills will further support our ambitions, steer our growth and direct our development programs. We look forward to the next chapter under Melanie’s leadership,” said Dr. Thomas Hecht, chairman of Aelix’ board of directors. “We also want to express a big thank you to José Luis for steering the ship over the last few years,” Dr. Hecht added.
The positive results from the clinical trial support further development of combination strategies based on the HTI vaccine, with the aim of controlling HIV without the need for continued antiretroviral medication. Aelix plans to rapidly conduct multiple clinical trials including the ongoing collaboration phase II study with Gilead Sciences that combines the HTI vaccine with the TLR-7 agonist Vesatolimod.
The appointment of Dr Rolli will support Aelix’s vision of positioning HTI vaccines for future cure strategies and becoming the front-runner in HIV treatment by bringing a therapeutic vaccine to the market.
- Dr. Rolli previously held the position of CEO at PIQUR Therapeutics AG in Basel, Switzerland; a clinical stage biotech company focusing on the development of new medications in the fields of oncology and dermatology
- Currently holds non-executive director positions at Mundipharma, Erytech and Baccinex
- Before PIQUR, Dr Rolli was at Novartis Pharmaceutical AG for 14 years, where she held positions of increasing responsibility in global development, global safety and medical affairs
- Received her medical education at the University of Heidelberg, Germany. Earning a doctorate in pharmacology magna cum laude
- Completed her post-doctoral training at the SCRIPPS Research Institute in La Jolla (CA, USA), spent a decade in the US
About AELIX Therapeutics
AELIX Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company based in Barcelona, Spain. It is focused on the development of a therapeutic HIV vaccine to be included in cure/eradication strategies. AELIX Therapeutics is a spin-off of HIVACAT, the Catalan public-private consortium conducting cutting-edge research in this field. AELIX holds a worldwide, exclusive license for the development and commercialization of the HTI immunogen. The company is backed by a syndicate of experienced Spanish and international investors.