European biopharma company MGC Pharmaceuticals (ASX:MXC) has bolstered its team of directors with the appointment of Evan Hayes, a 20-year expert of the healthcare and biotech sector.

Hayes has been appointed as an independent non-executive director and strategic adviser.

He is currently Asia-Pacific managing director of Factors Group, Canada’s largest natural health company, and has held senior executive roles within Australia’s largest natural health company Blackmores (ASX:BKL).

Hayes will advise on the company’s global commercialisation strategy for its cannabinoid medicine products and anti-inflammatory medicine currently in clinical trials to treat COVID-19.

Also joining MGC Pharma’s leadership team is Sabina Suljakovic, appointed as qualified person and head of quality at the company’s EU GMP facility in Slovenia, ensuring EU production guidelines are met.

Suljakovic has held leadership roles at leading pharmaceutical companies including PharmaSwiss, holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Ljubljana, and is a registered pharmacist at the Ministry of Health.

Meanwhile, Amir Polak has been appointed chief technology officer and head of pharmaceutical production at MGC Pharma, and brings 10 years experience in the biopharma sector.

He was previously head of chemical production at Nano-Dimension, and project co-ordinator for Teva Pharmaceuticals.


Appointments sharpen MGC Pharma’s biopharma expertise

“We are delighted to welcome Evan, Sabina and Amir to MGC Pharmaceuticals and have no doubt their respective experience and expertise will be highly valuable,” co-founder and managing director Roby Zomer said.

“We are focused on building and strengthening our biopharma and specific expertise with high-quality people in order to achieve our goals,” he added.

The company has recently secured distribution agreements for its products in the UK and Russia.


Hayes’ background and experience in new product development, sales

At Blackmores, Hayes was director of sourcing and product development and led the procurement, technical, new product development and strategic sourcing divisions, managing a budget of $250m.

Hayes was also executive director, chairman of the scientific advisory board, and chief scientific officer of BioCeuticals, part of the Blackmores group, where he led the product development team and delivered sales from new product development of $120m over five years.

Hayes has a first-class honours Master of Science degree in biotechnology from the National University of Ireland, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the same institution.

During his career, Hayes has worked across Europe, the US and in Australia, and has a strong knowledge of the Food and Drug Administration and Therapeutic Goods Administration regulations.


MGC Pharma on track to be a leading cannabinoid products company

MGC Pharma said its new leadership appointments would ensure the company was well placed to continue its growth strategy, and become a leading manufacturer of high-quality, EU GMP phytocannabinoid-derived medicine products.

MGC Pharmaceuticals’ share price