The Group’s directors recognise the importance of sound corporate governance. As such Board has adopted the Quoted Companies Alliance Corporate Governance Code (“the QCA Code”).
Tim McCarthy, non-executive Chairman, has assumed responsibility for ensuring that the Group has appropriate corporate governance standards and that these standards are applied throughout the Group.
The Board, through its adoption of the QCA Code, believes in the value of putting the necessary systems and processes in place to support the medium to long-term delivery of the Company’s strategic objectives. The Board is aware of the importance of communicating these strategic objectives to stakeholders and in reporting performance in a manner that encourages constructive dialogue to support the production of sustainable value in the long term. The Board recognise their role in setting the strategic direction of the business as well as in establishing the organisation’s risk appetite. This is supported with a strong belief in appropriate accountability and performance measures. Further, the Board is cognisant of the key role it plays in setting the tone and culture of the entire Group.
The Board currently consists of 5 directors, 2 of which are executive and 3 are non-executive.
The Board has considered each of the 10 principles contained within the QCA Code and where the Group does not fully comply with each principle an explanation is provided as to why it does not currently do so.
In addition, the Company has implemented a code of conduct for dealing in the shares of the Company by directors and employees (see Principle 9 for more information).
Principle 1 – Establish a strategy and business model which promote long-term value for shareholders
Immupharma is an ethical organisation with the vision to develop novel drugs to treat serious medical conditions, delivering value to patients, medical professionals, healthcare payers and its shareholders. ImmuPharma’s principal business objective is to enhance shareholder value through the development and commercialisation of novel drugs. Its strategies for achieving this objective include:
- • Pursuing a low cost model of accessing world class research through collaboration with the CNRS in France;
- • Selecting specialist therapeutic areas where there are high unmet needs;
- • Managing clinical development of novel drug candidates;
- • Seeking collaborative agreements with partner companies to further the development and commercialisation of novel drug candidates; and
- • Maintaining a small corporate infrastructure to minimise costs.
Please see the Corporate Strategy section on the Company’s website for further information:
Principle 2 – Seek to understand and meet shareholder needs and expectations
Immupharma strives to engage in active dialogue with shareholders through regular communication including investor events, participation in conferences, the Company’s Annual General Meeting, any General Meetings that are held throughout the year and oneon-one discussions. Over the past 12 months, ImmuPharma’s shareholder communications have included participation at investor events (e.g. UK Investor Show, Biotech and Money Conference), regular announcements regarding the Company’s clinical trial progress, the Annual General Meeting and numerous one-on-one meetings.
Immupharma also provides shareholders with specific contact information on the Company’s website.
Principle 3 – Take into account wider stakeholder and social responsibilities and their implications for long-term success.
The Board recognises the importance of its wider stakeholders – employees, contractors, suppliers, regulators and advisors – to its long-term success. The Board has established expectations that these key resources and relationships are valued and monitored. In particular, the Company’s business model of outsourcing clinical trials requires reliable dialogue with contractors to ensure the success pursuit of long-term strategic objectives. Furthermore, the Board actively seek to engage regularly with our corporate advisers to ensure proactive communication regarding the Company’s activities. In doing so, the Company is able to take any feedback into account and adjust its actions accordingly to ensure it stays focused on long-term performance.
The Board recognise that the Company operates within the wider pharmaceutical industry and strives to remain alert to developments in a wider industry/society context.
Principle 4 – Embed effective risk management, considering both opportunities and threats, throughout the organisation
Immupharma operates within a complex business environment and an industry that is fundamentally driven by regulatory processes. The Board has set out its understanding of the principal risks and uncertainties in its Annual Report and regularly reviews its strategies for minimising any adverse impact to the Company or its investors.
Risk assessment is a priority for the Board. The major risks to the business are laid out in detail in the Company’s Annual Report. They concern mainly the control and timely progress of clinical trials and the obtaining of regulatory approval and profitable agreements with other parties, with adequate financial resources to achieve these objectives. These risks and theirmitigating factors are summarised in the table below.
Principle 5 – Maintain the board as a well-functioning, balanced team led by the Chairman
The board members have a collective responsibility and legal obligation to promote the interests of the company.
In the table below, details of the Board of Directors are summarised:
|Name & Title||Independent||Commitee Memberships|
|Mr Tim McCarthy
|Mr Dimitri Dimitriou
Chief Executive Officer
|Dr Robert Zimmer
President and Chief Scientific Officer
|Dr Franco di Muzio
Senior Non-Executive Director
|Dr Stéphane Méry
Brief biographies of each director are set out under the following Principle 6. The Company believes that the skills and experience of each director are of the appropriate mix to provide effective governance and management of the business. The Board is supported in its governance and finance responsibilities by Tracy Weimar, Company Secretary and Vice President, Operations & Finance and who is not a director.
The Board is supported by a team of Scientific Advisers, further details of which can be found on the Company’s website: https://www.immupharma.co.uk/our-team/#team-third-row
The Board considers the non-executive directors to be independent and to represent the interests of shareholders. The independent directors have considerable relevant experience to sufficiently question and hold the executive directors to account.
Each director is required to devote as much time is required to carry out the roles and responsibilities required.
The Company has adopted the practice of requiring all directors to be subject to re-election every three years.
The Executive Directors are employed under service agreements requiring 12 months’ notice by either party. Non-executive directors and the Chairman receive payments under appointment letters which are terminable by six months’ notice by either party.
The Board meets regularly throughout the year with all decisions concerning the direction and control of the business made by a quorum of the Board. As of 15 September 2018, the Board has met 7 times with the attendance records of the directors as follows:
Mr Tim McCarthy, Non-Executive Chairman – 7/7
Mr Dimitri Dimitriou, Chief Executive Officer – 7/7
Dr Robert Zimmer, President and Chief Scientific Officer – 7/7
Dr Franco di Muzio, Senior Non-Executive Director
Stephane Mery, Non-Executive Director – 6/7
Principle 6 – Ensure that between them the directors have the necessary upto- date experience, skills and capabilities
Tim McCarthy, FCCA, MBA
Mr McCarthy has a 35 year international business career in high growth biotech, healthcare and technology companies. He is currently Chairman and/or Non-Executive Director for a number of biotech and healthcare related companies, including Incanthera and Sygnis AG. Mr McCarthy is also the former Chief Executive Officer and Finance Director of a number UK listed public and private companies, including Alizyme plc and Peptide Therapeutics Group plc, and has a core understanding of AIM and its regulatory processes. Co-founding a number of healthcare and biotechnology companies, Mr McCarthy has helped raise substantial amounts of equity capital and also advised and worked at Board level for a diverse range of companies internationally, in areas such as business strategy, mergers & acquisitions, due diligence and licensing.
Dimitri Dimitriou, MSc
Chief Executive Officer
Mr Dimitriou has more than 25 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry. He was Senior Director, Worldwide Business Development at GlaxoSmithKline, where his responsibilities included corporate deals with pharmaceutical and biotech companies on a worldwide basis. He is also the founder and CEO of DyoDelta Biosciences Ltd, a company specialising in transactions between pharma and biotech companies. His other past positions included Senior Director of Business Development in Europe for Bristol-Myers Squibb, and a number of managerial positions in the pharmaceutical division of Procter & Gamble and marketing at Novartis. He received his first degree in Biochemistry from King’s College prior to graduating in Pathology & Toxicology from the Royal Postgraduate Medical School (now Imperial College Medical School) in London in 1984.
Dr Robert Zimmer, MD, PhD
President and Chief Scientific Officer
Dr Robert Zimmer was the CEO and founder of ImmuPharma’s operations in Switzerland and France. He is a physician and obtained his MD at Strasbourg Medical School and his PhD at the University of Aix-Marseille. He became a department director at the “Fondation de Recherche en Hormonologie” in Paris. He began his career in the industry in 1985 in Roche’s headquarters in Basel, Switzerland responsible for numerous clinical studies. He was a director and head of R&D at SkyePharma plc. He was instrumental in the development of a substantial number of products for companies including Roche, GlaxoSmithKline, Abbott, Searle, Sanofi -Aventis and Lilly; some of which reached the market, such as Paxil CR (GSK), Xatral LP (Sanofi) and Madopar CR (Roche).
Dr Franco Di Muzio
Senior Independent Non-Executive Director
Dr Di Muzio has over 40 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical and other industries, encompassing international management experience in business development, strategic marketing, international finance, M&A and re-engineering businesses. After graduating in Economics and Business in 1963, Dr Di Muzio worked for Colgate Palmolive and Nestle before joining Squibb (now Bristol Myers Squibb) for 18 years. He then became Executive Vice President of BMS’ medical equipment and products division, Weck International Inc., in charge of Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa. In 1990, he joined Glaxo Wellcome plc (now GlaxoSmithKline plc) in London as Area Managing Director and Head of all GW’s business in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey. Following early retirement from GW, in the beginning of 1998, he joined Alza International, the then world leader in drug delivery systems, as Managing Director, based in London, in charge of the company’s business expansion in all markets outside of the US and remained there until the end of 2000.
Dr Stephane Mery, DVM, MBA
Independent Non-Executive Director
Dr Stéphane Méry has extensive experience in the Healthcare industry. He is currently CEO of Contronics Ltd, which designs and sells laboratory monitoring equipment, and until recently he was Partner at Beringea LLP, a US$400m US/UK venture capital fund, where he was responsible for healthcare investments in Europe. Previously, he was the Fund Manager/CEO of the Bloomsbury Bioseed Fund, a Biotech and Medtech investment fund, which was behind the birth of successful companies such as Spirogen (sold to MedImmune), Abzema (listed on AIM), and Canbex, (recently sold to Ipsen). Prior to this, Stéphane was Associate Director,
Worldwide Business Development, for GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) where he was responsible for the negotiation of several major in-license deals and acquisitions. Before GSK, he was involved in the start-up of Double Helix Development, a successful strategic consultancy company specialising in R&D for the biotech and healthcare industry and recently sold to McCann.
Before this he worked as a management consultant at the American consultancy firm, ZS Associates, specialising on sales and marketing within the pharmaceutical industry. Stéphane is a Doctor in Veterinary Medicine, a trained Veterinary Pathologist, specialising in Nasal Toxicology at the Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology (CIIT) in North Carolina, and holds an MBA from INSEAD (Fontainebleau).
Principle 7 – Evaluate board performance based on clear and relevant objectives, seeking continuous improvement
Internal evaluation of the Board, the Audit Committee and Remuneration Committee as well as individual directors is undertaken on an informal basis at present. The target is to develop a more formal review process and begin implementation during 2019. It is likely that the review will take the form of peer appraisal, questionnaires and discussions to determine the overall effectiveness of individual directors and the Board as a whole. Specific consideration will be given to evaluating the continued independence of the Group’s non-executive directors.
Principle 8 – Promote a corporate culture that is based on ethical values and behaviours
The board recognises its role in establishing and monitoring not only the strategic direction and risk appetite but also the tone and culture of the organisation. As a pharmaceutical drug development company, an ethical approach is essential. As such, the board places great importance on the serious pursuit of therapeutic innovation and making effective use of limited resources. It applies to the directors as well as all group employees and consultants. It is a key belief of the company and helps to define its competitive advantage in relation to its peers.
Principle 9 – Maintain governance structures and processes that are fit for purpose and support good decision-making by the board
The Board is responsible for long-term success of the Company. There is a schedule of matters reserved for the Board that guides the Board’s activities. An Audit Committee and a Remuneration Committee have been established with formally delegated duties and responsibilities. As summarised under Principle 5, the members of both committees are the Non-Executive Directors.
The Audit Committee, which determines the engagement of the Company’s auditors and, in consultation with them, the scope of their audit. The Audit Committee receives and reviews reports from management and the auditors relating to the interim and annual financial statements and the accounting and internal control systems in use by the Company. It has unrestricted access to the auditors.
The Board and the Audit Committee review the need for an internal audit function on an annual basis and currently do not consider it to be necessary at this stage in the Company’s development.
The Directors acknowledge their responsibilities for the Group’s system of internal financial controls. They have not, during the year ended 31 December 2017, carried out a formal review of internal financial controls in view of the small size of the Board and employees. The Group’s financial reporting arrangements are designed to provide the Directors with reasonable assurance that problems are identified on a timely basis and dealt with appropriately.
The Remuneration Committee reviews the scale and structure of the Executive Directors’ remuneration and benefits and the terms of their service contracts. The remuneration of the Non-Executive Directors is determined by the Board as a whole. The Committee has formal terms of reference and meets at least twice a year. It is the duty of the Committee, inter alia, to determine and agree with the Board the framework or broad policy for the remuneration of the Company’s executive Board members. The remuneration packages are designed to motivate and retain Executive Directors to ensure the continuing development of the Company and to reward them for enhancing value to shareholders.
The directors consider that the Company is not currently of a size to warrant the need for a separate nominations committee and any decisions which would usually be taken by the nomination committee will be taken by the Board as a whole.
Share Dealing Code
The Company has adopted a Share Dealing Code given the importance of having a clear and effective policy that sets out the rules and procedures for share dealings by the directors and other applicable employees.
Principle 10 – Communicate how the company is governed and is performing by maintaining a dialogue with shareholders and other relevant stakeholders.
The Board is committed to maintaining good communication with its shareholders and in promoting effective dialogue regarding the Company’s strategic objectives and performance. Institutional shareholders and analysts have the opportunity to discuss issues and provide feedback via meetings with the Company. The Annual General Meeting and any other General Meetings that are held throughout the year are for shareholders to attend and question the Directors on the Company’s performance.
Extensive information is provided on the Company’s website, www.immupharma.com and the Company has a twitter account firstname.lastname@example.org ImmuPharma also periodically holds Investor Evenings to meet with shareholders and provide updates on corporate developments.
The Directors also periodically promote ImmuPharma’s activities, following the publication of regulatory announcements, through various media platforms such as Directors Talk, VOX Markets and Proactive Investors.