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Serenus Biotherapeutics Strengthens Leadership With Appointments to Board and Management

Company Adds Team Members With Extensive Knowledge of Sub-Saharan African Markets and Global Biopharmaceutical Industry

SAN FRANCISCO, CA and JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA -- (Marketwired) -- 07/24/14 -- Serenus Biotherapeutics, Inc., a specialty biopharmaceutical company bridging the divide between the world's leading pharmaceutical markets and the growing demand for access to innovative therapies in the emerging nations of Sub-Saharan Africa, today announced appointments to its board of directors and senior management team.

The company named to its board of directors Sbu Luthuli, former Chairman of Cipla Medpro; Dr. Nigel Fleming, founder and former Chairman of Athena Diagnostics; and Kazuhiro Umeda, former President of JAIC Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand.

In addition, the company made appointments to its executive management team. It named Moosa Areff, who most recently served as CEO of Ranbaxy South Africa's Sonke Pharmaceuticals subsidiary, as its Chief Operating Officer. It also named Andrew de Pão, who served as Head of Marketing of the Prescription Division at Cipla South Africa, as its Chief Business Officer; and Nahum Johnson, former Business Unit Manager - State Institutional and Government at Cipla Medpro, as Director State and Institutional Business.

"We are pleased to have attracted a distinguished group of board members to guide us as we begin to implement our plans, enter into new partnerships, and grow our company," says Dr. Menghis Bairu, founder, Chairman, and CEO of Serenus Biotherapeutics. "The additions we have made to our executive team give us the people on the ground with intimate knowledge of the Sub-Saharan African landscape needed to execute on our strategy."

Mr. Luthuli noted that the appointments come as the Sub-Saharan African market is experiencing rapid economic development, the emergence of a burgeoning middle class, and a marked shift in disease profiles.

"The Sub-Saharan African pharmaceutical market is growing rapidly as lifestyle changes are driving a shift in disease burden from infectious to chronic diseases. Nevertheless, access to needed innovative therapeutics is still limited today," says Mr. Luthuli. "Serenus offers an African access platform that uniquely positions it to serve as a partner of choice for biopharmaceutical companies with innovative therapies in developed markets that appreciate the opportunities in the emerging markets of Sub-Saharan Africa, but may not have the expertise or networks needed to address the complexity of doing business in the region."

Below are bios of the Serenus Biotherapeutics appointees announced today.

Sbu Luthuli
Member of the Board of Directors
Mr. Luthuli is the CEO and Principal Officer of the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund, one of the largest self-administered pension funds in South Africa with assets under management in excess of $10.4 billion (R110 billion). Prior to this, he served as CEO of Ithala Bank Limited, where he transformed and grew the bank through the launch of new products and the introduction of electronic banking. He is a director at Telkom SA Limited and also serves as the Vice Chairman of Batseta, an industry organization representing pension fund trustees and principal officers. He was involved with Cipla Medpro (formerly Enaleni Pharmaceuticals Limited) for ten years and served as Chairman of the Board of Directors until its sale to Cipla India in 2013.

Dr. Nigel Fleming
Member of the Board of Directors
Dr. Fleming is founder and Chairman of G2B Pharma Inc., which is reformulating off-patent drugs to significantly improve their safety or efficacy. He founded and served as Chairman of Athena Diagnostics, a leading provider of advanced neurodiagnostic tests, used for neuromuscular and metabolic diseases. Dr. Fleming has served on various boards, including Exemplar, Impax Labs, Genmedica Therapeutics, A-Cube, Minoryx Therapeutics (as Chairman), and the Institute for OneWorld Health. He has also served as a Lecturer at Harvard Medical School. He earned his Ph.D. in Clinical Biochemistry from Cambridge University, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Boston University Medical School.

Kazuhiro Umeda
Member of the Board of Directors
Mr. Kazuhiro in 2005 joined Japan Asia Investment Co. Ltd., one of Japan's largest Venture Capital Firms. He served as Head of the CEO's Office, as well as President, heading up the Japan Asia Investment Company's Singapore, Indonesia, and Thailand office. He also founded Apricot, a natural food and drink company as a vehicle for commonly used pharmaceuticals, a revolutionary approach for pharmaceutical dosing. His early career included sales promotion for Daiichi Pharmaceuticals Group of Japan. He earned a master's and bachelor's degree in life sciences from the Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences.

Moosa Areff
Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Areff comes to Serenus with 18 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, starting as a sales representative and ultimately rising to become CEO at Ranbaxy South Africa's Sonke Pharmaceuticals. During his career he led the team that marketed and sold the first South African over-the-counter product in the Middle East and Africa and also negotiated and sold the first voluntarily licensed antiretroviral products into Sub-Saharan Africa. Mr. Areff served as Aspen Pharmacare's sales and marketing country manager for Nigeria, Uganda, and Libya for the launch of Gilead Sciences' Viread and Truvada. He also served as senior executive of new business development for Cipla Medpro and led commercial due diligence of the sale of Cipla Medpro to Enaleni Pharma. He has a diploma in journalism from Damelin College.

Andrew de Pão
Chief Business Officer
Mr. de Pão served as Head of Marketing for the Prescription Division at Cipla South Africa, as well as the commercial lead for Cipla South Africa Biosimilars Task Team. While there, he spearheaded the development and implementation of peri-, pre-, and post-launch clinical, marketing and communication campaigns across all prescription and OTX disease categories. Prior to joining Cipla South Africa, Mr. de Pão held a Healthcare Communications Consultant and Directors position at Publicis Global Healthcare Communications Group in the United Kingdom, where his team was involved in development of Global Brand Communication Strategies for various multinational pharmaceutical companies and provided corporate brand positioning and development and execution of digital and social media programs. He holds a Bachelor's in Physiology and Biochemistry and a Master's in Physiology from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Nahum Johnson
Director State and Institutional Business
Mr. Johnson has 20 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry. He most recently served as Pharma Unit Manager-State Institutional and Government at Cipla Medpro. Prior to that, he served as Key Account Manager-Public Sector for Adcock Ingram. He has a Bachelor's in Biochemistry from the University of the Western Cape, a postgraduate degree in Management Development Practice from the Department of Management Sciences, Business Graduate School UNISA; and is currently completing a Master's in Information Systems Knowledge Management.

About Serenus Biotherapeutics
Serenus Biotherapeutics is a privately held specialty biopharmaceutical company that specializes in late-stage drug development, in-licensing, registering, and commercializing therapies approved in the United States, Europe, and Japan to address unmet medical needs with high regional prevalence in the Sub-Saharan African market. For more information, please visit

Daniel Levine
Levine Media Group
(510) 280-5405
Email Contact

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