Daniel Schneider: Photocure’s New CEO
10 December 2018
On September the 20th, Photocure, a company that focusses on improving lives of bladder cancer patients, announced that Daniel Schneider will be the new CEO, starting on November 1st. With his experience, Dan can bring Photocure to the next level. We asked Dan some questions to find out what his motives are, and what exactly he can bring to Photocure.
What steps has let you to become the CEO of Photocure?
Prior to my new appointment at Photocure, I was the General Manager of North America for Ablynx NV a Belgian life science company. Ablynx was a biotech company that is engaged in the development of nanobodies. My role was to start up the company in the United States including finding a head quarter location, obtain licenses and registrations, build up operations and hire the team. Ablynx was acquired by Sanofi earlier this year.
Before my time at Ablynx, I worked as General Manager for BTG an United Kingdom based life science company. BTG originally started in the biotechnology sector. Later on, BTG started moving their focus towards (medical) technology where I was responsible for North American Commercial Operations. After eight years leading in various roles overseeing drugs and devices, I left the organisation as General Manager of the specialty pharma business to start operations for Ablynx in 2017.
The ‘red line’ in my career is that I have always worked with drug and drug-device combinations focused on rare diseases, ultra-rare diseases and oncology. Over the years, I have learned how to build life science companies and launch products, and all my experiences have prepared me well for my new adventure at Photocure. Furthermore, this felt like the natural step to make considering the progression in my career.
What about Photocure makes it such an interesting company for you?
Photocure developed Blue Light Cystoscopy with Hexvix®/Cysview®* to improve the detection of bladder cancer. We deliver this breakthrough technology, recommended in international guidelines and therefore improving the lives of bladder cancer patients every day. The fact that Photocure created this, and the value of it is being recognised, made me interested to see how we can expand this product and the company.
Our vision is to drive change in bladder cancer management. We will continue to build on our deep knowledge of the disease, our clinical trials expertise and the insight to the clinics and urologists providing the care. This is a solid foundation to further develop products and services to make life better for bladder cancer patients. Our next steps are to focus on our capabilities to make Hexvix®/Cysview® accessible to more patients. We also intend to expand our portfolio of transformative products either directly or through partnerships.
Blue light/white light technology? What is the difference?
Hexvix®/Cysview® is a drug that is selectively taken up by cancer cells in the bladder making them glow bright pink during cystoscopy with a blue light enabled cystoscope. Making the tumors visible allows for better detection, more complete removal of tumors and a correct diagnosis leading to better patient management. By using our technology 25-30% more bladder cancer tumors are diagnosed compared to standard white light cystoscopy alone. Thereby leading to a more complete and accurate diagnosis to optimise treatment which is critical to patient outcomes.
What will be your first steps as CEO of Photocure?
Although Hexvix®/Cysview® has been on the market for many years, we still have hurdles to overcome, in order to make the product accessible to more patients. Essentially all bladder cancer patients could benefit from being examined with Blue Light Cystoscopy with Hexvix®/Cysview®. It is a complex sales process including multiple stakeholders: investing in capital equipment (blue light cystoscope), training of nurses and urologists, and securing a seamless patient workflow in each individual clinic. We have work to do in every step of the process to bridge the gap between the intended use and the actual use of the technology.
Overall, I am very happy to be at Photocure. I am looking forward to taking the company to the next level by refining the successful technology that we already have and explore new opportunities within the field of urology. I hope to speak to you again in a couple of months to talk to you about the development at the company.
Thank you, Dan for taking the time to talk to us. We wish you all the best at Photocure, and we hope to talk to you in a few months!
*Cysview® is the tradename in the US and Canada, Hexvix® is the tradename in all other markets. Photocure is commercializing Cysview® /Hexvix® directly in the US and the Nordic region and has strategic partnerships for the commercialization of Hexvix® /Cysview® in Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Please refer to http://bit.ly/PHO-Partnering for further information on our commercial partners.