Debra Barker appointed as new CMDO of Polyphor


Polyphor has announced the appointment of Dr Debra Barker, MD and MSc, to the role of Chief Medical and Development Officer (CMDO)

Dr Barker joins Polyphor effective May 1 2017. Her significant experience in infectious and respiratory diseases and immunology and her leadership make her the perfect fit and will be instrumental to Polyphor's pharma business.

Dr Barker joins from Novartis, where she currently is Global Head of Medical Affairs for the Ophthalmology business. Previously, she covered several important positions in Novartis, including Development Head for Infectious Diseases, Transplants and Immunology, Global Head of Clinical Operations and Services, and several senior roles in Respiratory, Oncology Biosimilars and Dermatology.

Dr Barker previously worked for Roche, Smithkline Beecham and Knoll in Clinical and Commercial roles. She worked on anti-infectives for several years and brings extensive experience in the design and implementation of clinical studies including pivotal trials, in the interaction with regulatory bodies and in establishing relationships with key opinion leaders.

She has been working in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Dr Barker succeeds Leon Hooftman, MD, who leaves Polyphor to take a new position.

"I am very happy that Debra is joining Polyphor. I had the opportunity of working with her at Novartis and really appreciated her leadership, drive and capabilities. Her expertise is immediately applicable to her new role as CMDO of Polyphor and to our clinical programmes, and her appointment marks an important step towards further developing and effectively executing a well-articulated clinical strategy."

"I would also like to thank Leon for his contributions during the past years and wish him all the best in his new endeavours" said Giacomo Di Nepi, CEO of Polyphor.

"The field of antibiotics is now at a crossroads as we try to identify the next-generation weapons poised to more effectively fight Pseudomonas infections and Pulmonary diseases," said Dr Barker.

"It is an exciting time to join Polyphor and I am very eager to share my experience in drug development in its mission to help patients."

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Dr Barker has a Diploma in pharmaceutical medicine and received a MSc in immunology from the King's College in London. She received her MD from the Queens College, Cambridge, UK, where she was awarded the Entrance Scholarship and the Pathology prizes. She is a UK-Swiss citizen and, besides English, she also speaks French, German and Spanish.