Ascending as a new biopharmaceutical force

Leadership

Management (select to display)

  • Jan Møller Mikkelsen (President and CEO)

    Jan Møller Mikkelsen founded Ascendis Pharma and has served as President and Chief Executive Officer as well as Board member since December 2007.

    From 2002 to 2006, Mr. Mikkelsen was President and Chief Executive Officer of LifeCycle Pharma A/S, now traded under the name Veloxis Pharmaceuticals A/S. From 2000 to 2002, Mr. Mikkelsen was President of the Pharmaceutical Division of Maxygen, Inc.. Prior to that, Mr. Mikkelsen co-founded ProFound Pharma A/S, a biopharmaceutical company acquired by Maxygen, Inc., and at ProFound, he served as Co-Chief Executive Officer from 1999 to 2000. From 1988 to 1999, Mr. Mikkelsen held various positions at Novo Nordisk A/S, a global healthcare company, including Vice President of Protein Discovery. Mr. Mikkelsen currently serves on the advisory board of Inspirion Delivery Technologies, a specialty pharmaceutical company.  Mr. Mikkelsen received a Cand. Scient. degree in Biochemistry from the University of Odense, Denmark, and pursued his post-doctoral research at Children’s Hospital in Oakland, CA.

  • Michael Wolff Jensen, L.L.M. (Chairman & Senior Vice President, General Counsel)

    Michael Wolff Jensen, L.L.M. has served as Chairman of our board of directors since January 2008 and as our Senior Vice President, General Counsel since June 2013. In addition, Mr. Jensen served as our Acting Chief Financial Officer from May 2008 to June 2013. From October 2010 to June 2013, Mr. Jensen served as Senior Legal Advisor and Head of Partnerships (France) for the renewable business division of Dong Energy A/S, the Danish State-owned utility company. Prior to Ascendis Pharma, Mr. Jensen served as Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of Veloxis Pharmaceuticals A/S, a publicly traded biotechnology company, from 2003 to 2008. Prior to joining Veloxis, Mr. Jensen served as Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of Genmab A/S, a publicly traded biotechnology company from 2000 to 2003. Mr. Jensen also currently serves as Chairman of the board of directors of two biotechnology companies; one publicly traded, Eurocine Vaccines AB, and one privately held. Mr. Jensen received an L.L.M. degree from the University of Copenhagen.

  • Flemming Steen Jensen (Senior Vice President, Product Supply)

    Flemming Steen Jensen has served as our Senior Vice President, Product Supply since August 2015. Prior to this, Mr. Jensen served as Corporate Vice President for Global Pharma Consulting and Business Development and member of the management team at NNE Pharmaplan A/S, an engineering and consulting company (part of Novo Nordisk A/S), from October 2014 to July2015. From 1999 to September 2014, Mr. Jensen served as Executive Vice President of Product Supply (Production, Supply Chain, Engineering and Maintenance, Business Improvements, Quality Assurance and Health, Safety and Environment) and member of the Board of Management of ALK-Abelló A/S, a pharmaceutical company. From 1986 to 1999, Mr. Jensen held several management positions relating to Development, Manufacturing and Engineering within Novo Nordisk A/S, a pharmaceutical company. Mr. Jensen is also a member of various Boards of Directors and Advisory Boards of privately held companies in the life sciences industry. Mr. Jensen holds a M.Sc. in Pharmacy from the University of Copenhagen.

  • Jonathan Leff, M.D. (Senior Vice President, Chief Medical Officer)

    Jonathan Leff, M.D. has served as our Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer since February 2016. Previously Dr. Leff served as Executive Vice President, Research and Development at InterMune from February 2012 until its acquisition by Roche/Genentech in March 2015. At InterMune, Dr. Leff oversaw the development and approval of Esbriet® for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in the United States. Prior to InterMune, Dr. Leff served as Chief Medical Officer at KaloBios Pharmaceuticals from 2011 to 2012, and also served as Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Halozyme Therapeutics from 2009 to 2010. From 2007 to 2009, Dr. Leff was Vice President and Global Head of Inflammation Clinical Development at Roche, where he managed the worldwide clinical development programs for MabThera®/Rituxan®, ocrelizumab, and Actemra®. From 2002 to 2007, Dr. Leff held various positions at Amgen, including Vice President, North American Medical Affairs. From 1994 to 2002, Dr. Leff served at Merck developing and commercializing Singulair®. Dr. Leff trained in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care at the University of Colorado in Denver and served in various positions, including director of the Outpatient Pulmonary Clinic. Dr. Leff holds a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania, and received his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

  • Grethe Rasmussen, Ph.D. (Senior Vice President, Product Development)

    Grethe Rasmussen, Ph.D. has served as our Senior Vice President, Product Development since April 2008. From 2000 to 2007, Dr. Rasmussen served as Vice President for Protein Science at Maxygen, Inc. and from 2007 she served as Managing Director for the Danish subsidiary of Maxygen. Prior to joining Maxygen from 1989 to 2000, Dr. Rasmussen held various positions at Novo Nordisk A/S, a global healthcare company, where she contributed to research and development of protein chemistry. Dr. Rasmussen received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the Danish Technical University.

  • Dr. Harald Rau (Senior Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer)

    Harald Rau has served as our Senior Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer, managing the research group at Ascendis Pharma since December 2007. Prior to Ascendis Pharma, Mr. Rau served as the Chief Scientific Officer of Complex Biosystems GmbH, a biotechnology company Mr. Rau co-founded in 2002, which was acquired by Ascendis Pharma in December 2007. Prior to co-founding Complex Biosystems, Mr. Rau worked with Graffinity Pharmaceuticals AG, a biotechnology company, from 1998 to 2002 and served as its Director of Chemistry from 2000 to 2002. Mr. Rau holds a doctorate from the University of Freiburg.

  • Scott T. Smith (Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer)

    Scott Smith has served as our Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since August 2016. He was most recently Director of the Healthcare Investment Banking Group at Wedbush Securities, from 2012 to 2016, where he led the healthcare team and oversaw a substantial increase in revenue and transaction volume. From 2009 to 2012, Mr. Smith served as a Managing Director at Wedbush. Prior to joining Wedbush, Mr. Smith served as a Director in the Global Healthcare Investment Banking Group at Merrill Lynch where he began his career in 1995. He has also worked in sales, marketing and strategy roles for various companies, including start-ups and a Fortune Global 500 company. Mr. Smith received his M.B.A. from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Economics/Accounting – Physics from Claremont McKenna College.

  • Lotte Sønderbjerg (Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, Ascendis Pharma A/S, Managing Director, Ascendis Pharma GmbH)

    Lotte Sønderbjerg has served as our Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer since December 2007. Mrs. Sønderbjerg is also Managing Director of Ascendis Pharma GmbH. Prior to joining Ascendis Pharma, Mrs. Sønderbjerg served as Senior Director of Human Resources and as Finance Director at Veloxis Pharmaceuticals A/S from 2003 to 2007. Prior to joining Veloxis Pharmaceuticals A/S, Mrs. Sønderbjerg served as Senior Director of Finance and Human Resources at Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc., a publicly traded biotechnology company from 1996 to 2003. Prior to her career in biotech, Mrs. Sønderbjerg was the Executive Secretary for the CEO and Board of Directors of Novo Nordisk A/S and PA to leading audit partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in Denmark. Mrs. Sønderbjerg received a Masters of Arts in International Business Communications from University of Aarhus.

  • Kennett Sprogøe, Ph.D. (Senior Vice President, Product Innovation)

    Kennett Sprogøe, Ph.D. has held positions of increasing responsibility at Ascendis Pharma since December 2007, including serving as our Senior Vice President of Product Innovation since January 2016, our Vice President, Product Innovation from June 2014 to December 2015 and our Director, Portfolio Development from November 2012 to May 2014. Prior to joining Ascendis Pharma, Dr. Sprogøe conducted research at the University of Copenhagen, where he applied novel hyphenated screening technologies to expedite discovery of drug leads from natural sources. Dr. Sprogøe holds a Ph.D. in Natural Products Chemistry from the University of Copenhagen and a M.Sc. in Pharmacy from the Danish University of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

Board of Directors (select to display)

  • Michael Wolff Jensen, L.L.M. (Chairman)

    Michael Wolff Jensen, L.L.M. has served as Chairman of our board of directors since January 2008 and as our Senior Vice President, General Counsel since June 2013. In addition, Mr. Jensen served as our Acting Chief Financial Officer from May 2008 to June 2013.

    From October 2010 to June 2013, Mr. Jensen served as Senior Legal Advisor and Head of Partnerships (France) for the renewable business division of Dong Energy A/S, the Danish State-owned utility company. Prior to Ascendis Pharma, Mr. Jensen served as Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of LifeCycle Pharma A/S, now known as Veloxis Pharmaceuticals A/S, a publicly traded biotechnology company, from 2003 to 2008. Prior to joining Veloxis, Mr. Jensen served as Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer of Genmab A/S, a publicly traded biotechnology company from 2000 to 2003.

    Mr. Jensen also currently serves as Chairman of the board of directors of two biotechnology companies; one publicly traded, Eurocine Vaccines AB, and one privately held. Mr. Jensen received an L.L.M. degree from the University of Copenhagen.

  • Albert Cha, M.D., Ph.D. (Board Member)

    Albert Cha, M.D., Ph.D. has served as a member of our board of directors since November 2014.

    In 2000, Dr. Cha joined Vivo Capital, a healthcare investment firm, where he has served in various positions, most recently as a managing partner. Dr. Cha currently serves as a member of the board of directors of several privately held biotechnology and medical device companies. From June 2002 through February 2009, Dr. Cha served as a member of the board of directors at BioForm Medical, Inc., a publicly traded medical aesthetics company.

    Dr. Cha holds a B.S. and an M.S. from Stanford University and an M.D. and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles.

  • James I. Healy, M.D., Ph.D. (Board Member)

    James I. Healy, M.D., Ph.D. has served as a member of our board of directors since November 2014.

    Dr. Healy has been a General Partner of Sofinnova Ventures, a venture capital firm, since June 2000. Prior to June 2000, Dr. Healy held various positions at Sanderling Ventures, Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals (as successor to Miles Laboratories) and ISTA Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Dr. Healy is currently on the board of directors of Amarin Corporation plc, Hyperion Therapeutics, Inc., Coherus BioSciences, Inc. and several private companies. Previously, he served as a board member of InterMune, Inc., Anthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Durata Therapeutics, Inc., CoTherix, Inc., Movetis NV and several private companies. Dr. Healy holds an M.D. and a Ph.D. in Immunology from Stanford University School of Medicine and holds a B.A. in Molecular Biology and a B.A. in Scandinavian Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.

  • Jan Møller Mikkelsen (President and CEO)

    Jan Møller Mikkelsen founded Ascendis Pharma and has served as President and Chief Executive Officer as well as Board member since December 2007.

    From 2002 to 2006, Mr. Mikkelsen was President and Chief Executive Officer of LifeCycle Pharma A/S, now traded under the name Veloxis Pharmaceuticals A/S. From 2000 to 2002, Mr. Mikkelsen was President of the Pharmaceutical Division of Maxygen, Inc.. Prior to that, Mr. Mikkelsen co-founded ProFound Pharma A/S, a biopharmaceutical company acquired by Maxygen, Inc., and at ProFound, he served as Co-Chief Executive Officer from 1999 to 2000. From 1988 to 1999, Mr. Mikkelsen held various positions at Novo Nordisk A/S, a global healthcare company, including Vice President of Protein Discovery. Mr. Mikkelsen currently serves on the advisory board of Inspirion Delivery Technologies, a specialty pharmaceutical company.  Mr. Mikkelsen received a Cand. Scient. degree in Biochemistry from the University of Odense, Denmark, and pursued his post-doctoral research at Children’s Hospital in Oakland, CA.

  • Martin Olin (Board Member)

    Martin Olin has served as a member of our board of directors since June 2014.

    Mr. Olin currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer of Symphogen A/S, a privately held biotechnology company, a position he has held since March 2012. Prior to his position with Symphogen A/S, Mr. Olin served as an Investment Director of SLS Invest ApS, a venture capital firm specializing in life sciences companies from January 2009 to March 2012. Prior to SLS Invest, Mr. Olin served as a Senior Partner of Scandinavian Life Science Venture, a life-science focused venture capital company later acquired by SLS Invest. Mr. Olin holds a B.Sc. in Business and Administration from Vestsjaellands Business School, an M.Sc. in Auditing and Business Administration from Copenhagen Business School and an Executive M.B.A. from Scandinavian International Management Institute.

  • Jonathan T. Silverstein, J.D. (Board Member)

    Jonathan T. Silverstein, J.D. has served as a member of our board of directors since November 2014.

    Mr. Silverstein has been a member of OrbiMed Advisors LLC, an asset management firm solely focused in healthcare, since 1999. Prior to OrbiMed, Mr. Silverstein was a director of life sciences in the investment banking department at Sumitomo Bank, a financial services company. Since August 2012, Mr. Silverstein has served as a director of Intercept Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company and, since September 2009, Mr. Silverstein has served as a director of Roka BioScience, Inc., a molecular diagnostics company. In addition, Mr. Silverstein currently serves as a member of the board of directors of a number of private companies. From 2010 to July 2014, Mr. Silverstein was a director of Relypsa, Inc. From 2008 until 2011, Mr. Silverstein was a director of NxStage Medical, Inc. From 2006 until 2008, Mr. Silverstein was a director of Insulet, Inc. From 2004 until 2007, Mr. Silverstein was a director of Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Mr. Silverstein has a B.A. in economics from Denison University and a J.D. and M.B.A. from the University of San Diego.

  • Birgitte Volck, M.D., Ph.D. (Board Member)

    Birgitte Volck, M.D., Ph.D., has served as a member of our board of directors since May 2016.

    Dr. Volck has served as head of Research and Development, Rare Diseases for GlaxoSmithKline plc since June 2016.  From 2012 to 2016, Dr. Volck was the Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Development at Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB, a biopharmaceutical company.  From 2007 to 2012, Dr. Volck held various positions at Amgen Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, including Executive Development Director, Bone, Neuroscience & Inflammation.  Prior to Amgen, from 2004 to 2007, Dr. Volck served as Nordic Medical Director and Project Director at Genzyme A/S, a biotechnology company.  Dr. Volck received her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Copenhagen University, Denmark.