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IRLAB changes CEO and appoints new Chairman

IRLAB Therapeutics has announced that its CEO Richard Godfrey is leaving his position and that the Board of directors has appointed Gunnar Olsson as Interim CEO.

This news follows the disappointing Phase IIb trial results of mesdopetam in people with Parkinson’s disease levodopa-induced dyskinesias (PD-LIDs), presented by the company just a few weeks ago. The primary endpoint, change in daily hours of ON-time without troublesome dyskinesia, as assessed with patient diaries, did not reach statistical significance by mesdopetam compared to placebo.

“The Board has reached the conclusion that a change of CEO is in the best interest of the company. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Richard for his contributions and wish him every success in the future. With strong support from IRLAB’s management team and other employees, I will now lead the company until a permanent CEO is in place,” says IRLAB’s Chairman of the Board and incoming Interim CEO, Gunnar Olsson.

Carola Lemne – new Chairman

Gunnar Olsson is currently Chairman of the Board of IRLAB but will now transition to a position as a Board director. The Board of directors has appointed the company’s current Vice Chairman, Carola Lemne, as its new Chairman. All changes will be implemented immediately and the process to recruit a permanent CEO will start immediately.

“I look forward to leading the work of the Board during the exciting time ahead for IRLAB. We are in the midst of an in-depth analysis of all the data generated in the Phase 2b study of mesdopetam, and later this year the drug candidate IRL757 is expected to be ready for a Phase 1 clinical trial. In the first half of 2024, we expect to both present the results from the Phase 2b study of pirepemat and initiate the first clinical study of yet another of our drug candidates, IRL942. Furthermore, we have now started the development of an entirely new class of Parkinson’s drugs, with drug candidate IRL1117 at the forefront,” says Carola Lemne, incoming Chairman of the Board of IRLAB.

Carola Lemne (b. 1958) was elected to IRLAB’s Board of Directors in 2018 and is the company’s Vice Chairman. She is a licensed physician, Doctor of Medicine and associate professor, and has a background as CEO of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise and Danderyd University Hospital as well as CEO of Praktikertjänst AB, clinical research manager and head of global strategic drug development and regulatory strategy at Pharmacia Corp. She has held board positions in Getinge, Apoteket, Alecta, MEDA, Investor and AFA Försäkringar and has also been a board member of, among others, the Foundation for Strategic Research, the State Delegation for Clinical Research, the Research Institute of Industrial Economics and the Swedish Corporate Governance Board, as well as Chair of Uppsala University.

Gunnar Olsson

Gunnar Olsson (b. 1953) was elected to IRLAB’s Board of Directors in 2017 and has been Chairman of the Board since 2020. He is a licensed physician, holds a Ph.D., and is a specialist in cardiology and internal medicine. Between 1998 and 2010, he was an adjunct professor at the Department of Medicine at Karolinska Institutet. Gunnar Olsson is also an honorary Doctor of Medicine at the University of Gothenburg. He has more than 30 years of experience in leading positions in the life science industry. He has been Vice President & Head of Cardiovascular and Gastrointestinal Therapy Areas in Global R&D at AstraZeneca and has served on several boards of biotech companies and the European Society of Cardiology.

Photo of Gunnar Olsson, Interim CEO, Irlab