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Linus  Igwemezie

Linus Igwemezie

Dr. Igwemezie is Chairman/CEO of Denam Group, a diversified company head-quartered in Abuja, Nigeria with focus in three key sectors - Residential Property Development, Pharmaceuticals and Hospitality. The company currently has several property development projects in Guzape and Wuye, Abuja.  Denam Group is positioned to become a leading property development and hospitality company in Nigeria.

Prior to founding Denam, Dr. Igwemezie was a seasoned Pharma Executive with more than 25 years of industry experience. He has broad R&D and product commercialization experience, extensive knowledge of Pharmaceutical Industry and Global Health, and proven strategic and leadership skills.

As Executive Vice President, Novartis Malaria Initiative, Basel, Switzerland, Linus had responsibility for a $100 million business, which included manufacturing, registration, marketing, distribution, and sales for Novartis flagship anti-malarial drug, Coartem. He worked closely with International donors, African Governments, WHO, NGOs and others to deliver up to 100 million doses of Coartem per year through the public sector channel of malaria endemic countries. He also built a profitable Coartem private business in more than 25 countries in Africa. In addition, Linus was responsible for R&D for the next generation anti-malaria drugs with potentials to combat malaria parasites resistant to current treatments and/or cure malaria with a single treatment.

Prior to taking over leadership of Novartis Malaria initiative, Linus was Executive Director, and later Vice President, New Products Strategy in Novartis Oncology, New Jersey, USA where he led the early commercial development of all new drugs (25 compounds).  A number of key anti-cancer drugs were successfully developed and launched during his tenure, including Tasigna, Afinitor, Jakavi and Faridak.

Linus also led the strategic and commercial evaluation of all in-license drugs, and Mergers & Acquisition opportunities. He played a key role in the acquisition of several drugs by Novartis Oncology; notable examples are the JAK1/2 inhibitor, Jakavi (ruxolitinib), licensed from Incyte Pharmaceutical Corporation and CTL019 (CART 19 therapy) licensed from University of Pennsylvania. Linus was a member of the Deal Review Board and Joint Steering Committees overseeing strategic alliances.

Linus also served as Chairman of the Portfolio Management Board for Novartis Oncology (a $10 billion business) for four years. He was responsible for coordinating strategy for the Oncology portfolio and led the annual Portfolio Review and Project Prioritization exercise.

Before joining Novartis Oncology in 2001, Linus worked at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Princeton, New Jersey, where he held several leadership positions, including Director, Global Marketing; Director, Regulatory Affairs; and Senior Research Scientist, Pharmaceutical Development. He started his career in the Pharmaceutical Industry as a Post-doctoral Fellow at Merck Frosst, Montreal.

Dr. Igwemezie’s educational background includes an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia; MS & PhD from University of British Columbia, Vancouver; and BS from University of Ife, Nigeria.

He has been a guest lecturer at many universities, including Harvard, and an invited speaker at the World Economic Forum –Africa. He has published numerous scientific articles in peer review journals.


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