The research & development committee

The Research & Development Committee consists of up to five members elected by the Board of Directors from among its members. One member is designated as chair and one member is an employee representative.

Members

The Board of Directors has in March 2020 elected the following members to the Research & Development Committee:

  • Martin Mackay (re-elected, member and chair since 2018; independent)
  • Brian Daniels (re-elected, member since the establishment in 2017; independent)
  • Sylvie Gregoire (re-elected, member since the establishment in 2017; independent)
  • Kasim Kutay (elected, member since 2020; not independent)
  • Thomas Rantzau (re-elected, member since 2018; employee representative; not independent)

Roles and responsibilities

The Research & Development Committee assists the Board with oversight of a) the research and development strategy, b) the pipeline, c) the R&D organisation, and d) other tasks on an ad hoc basis as specifically decided by the Board.

Independence

The Research & Development Committee consists of three members who are independent, including the chair, as defined in the Danish Corporate Governance Recommendations and two members who are non-independent. According to the Danish Corporate Governance Recommendations a majority of the members of a board committee should qualify as independent. Hence, the composition of the Research & Development Committee adheres to the Danish Corporate Governance Recommendations.

Attendance

The Research & Development Committee conducted six meetings in 2019. All Research & Development Committee members attended all committee meetings within the member’s term in 2019. Please refer to the Annual Report 2019 on p. 39 for a detailed attendance overview.

Research & development committee report for 2019

The R&D Committee works according to an Annual Work Plan with fixed agenda items. In addition, the R&D Committee meets when developments require additional meetings. The R&D Committee has in 2019 met six times and dealt with the following matters:

R&D pipeline update

  • Regularly reviewed progress of the development project pipeline, including initiation and results of clinical trials, submission of application for marketing authorisations, and receipt of marketing authorisations for key development projects
  • Reviewed progress of the research project pipeline, including key challenges and initiatives within early innovation and new therapeutic areas

Progress within external innovation sourcing

  • Discussed the increased need for external innovation sourcing.
  • Regularly reviewed potential as well as completed external innovation sourcing opportunities, including potential acquisitions and licensing opportunities.
     

Implementation of the R&D Strategy

  • Reviewed the overall investment strategy.
  • Reviewed the research strategy within NASH.
  • Reviewed the long-term succession planning.

R&D Committee matters and governance

  • Reviewed and endorsed the Annual Work Plan for 2020.
  • Reviewed and suggested changes to the R&D Committee charter.
  • Conducted private meetings without the assigned executive being present.
  • Reviewed and endorsed a report on the R&D Committee’s activities.

Special focus areas

  • GLP-1 (subcutaneous and oral): Reviewed results of clinical trials conducted and discussed potential additional research and development activities to further explore opportunities within subcutaneous and oral GLP-1 as well as competitor initiatives.
  • NASH: Discussed the potential opportunities to address unmet needs.
  • External innovation sourcing: Reviewed potential external research collaborations as well as acquisitions.