Published: 2017-01-10 16:44:05 CET

Carsten Hellmann joins ALK as new President and CEO

Copenhagen, 2017-01-10 16:44 CET (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --  

  • Carsten Hellman becomes President and CEO of ALK
  • He joins the company after a highly unusual year
  • Prioritises consolidation of gains in Europe, new strategy for North America, international expansion and a robust supply chain as key areas of focus

ALK announces that its new President and CEO, Carsten Hellmann, has officially taken up his post at the allergy immunotherapy company. 

He takes leadership of ALK after a highly unusual year in which the company helped a record number of patients affected by competitor disruptions in Europe, lost MSD (known as Merck (NYSE: MRK) in the USA and Canada) as US sales partner and launched ACARIZAX® — its new medicine to treat house dust mite allergy and the first such treatment to also be broadly approved for use in allergic asthma. 

At the same time, the company is investing heavily to upgrade manufacturing operations for its subcutaneous allergy immunotherapy (SCIT) product range, a needed action that limits supplies of some products, with a resultant setback in the efforts to provide treatment for as many patients as possible. 

Says Carsten Hellmann: “I am extremely excited to become ALK’s new CEO. ALK has great potential and is well-placed to help people with severe respiratory allergies who are not able to live a normal life despite the use of symptom-relieving medications. 

He said: “Critical to ALK’s development in the coming years will be consolidating the recent market gains made in Europe, investing in establishing a new business model for North America, and continuing the expansion into new international growth markets. All of this must be underpinned by a robust, high quality supply chain.” 

Establishing a new strategy for North America will be one of the first tasks Carsten Hellmann turns his attention to. ALK is currently repatriating its North American tablet franchise from MSD following MSD’s decision in July 2016 to terminate its ten-year partnership with ALK. 

Says Carsten Hellmann: “All options are on the table and our decision-making must be led by what makes most sense for long-term success and value creation. What is clear is that we have a major asset in ACARIZAX®, which is already approved in Europe and Japan and is now under regulatory review in the USA and Canada as well as in Asia. The future strategy must place ACARIZAX® and its potential use in asthma, at its heart.” 

Carsten Hellmann’s appointment was first announced on 17 May 2016. Since then, he has been completing his contractual obligations to Merial – a EUR 2.8 billion animal health company – where he was CEO as well as Executive Vice President and member of the Executive Committee of its parent company, the pharmaceutical giant Sanofi. He has held several leadership positions in healthcare and biopharmaceuticals, including with Novo Nordisk, Chr. Hansen and Nunc Group. 

ALK-Abelló A/S


For further information please contact:
Investor Relations: Per Plotnikof, tel. +45 4574 7527, mobile +45 2261 2525
Media: Jeppe Ilkjær, tel. +45 7877 4532, mobile +45 3050 2014 

About Carsten Hellmann
Carsten Hellmann holds a BSc in Business Administration from Copenhagen Business School from 1989, an MSc from Lancaster University in Information Management from 1990 and an executive programme from INSEAD. Carsten Hellmann began his career in 1990 at Radiometer Medical A/S as a product specialist before moving into a product manager role. He joined Novo Nordisk in 1993 and held different roles in marketing, business development, strategic alliances and business intelligence with increasing responsibilities. In 1996, he joined Synthelabo as Sales- and Marketing Director and in 1997 Pronosco A/S, a diagnostics start up specialised in osteoporosis. In 2000, he was named CEO at Nunc Group, a world leading life science consumable company. After Fisher Scientific (now ThermoFisher) acquired Nunc Group, Carsten Hellmann oversaw the integration processes before joining Chr. Hansen Holding A/S in 2006 as Executive Vice President, Global Sales, and member of the executive management board. He was appointed CEO of Merial ( and Executive Vice President of Sanofi ( in 2013.

About ALK
ALK is a research-driven global pharmaceutical company focusing on allergy prevention, diagnosis and treatment. ALK is a world leader in allergy immunotherapy – a treatment of the underlying cause of allergy. The company has approximately 2,300 employees, with subsidiaries, production facilities and distributors worldwide. ALK has entered into partnership agreements with Torii, Abbott, and Seqirus to commercialise sublingual allergy immunotherapy tablets in Japan, Russia, and South-East Asia, and Australia and New Zealand, respectively. The company is headquartered in Hørsholm, Denmark, and listed on NASDAQ Copenhagen. Find more information at