Elna van der Ryst
Dr van der Ryst is a physician with extensive postgraduate training in virology and infectious diseases, including a PhD in molecular virology from the University of the Free State in Bloemfontein, South Africa. In addition she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Molecular Virology Unit of the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France. She joined Pfizer Global Research and Development from a career in academic medicine in February 1999. At Pfizer she held a range of clinical leadership roles in the infectious diseases therapeutic area. She has experience across the development spectrum from exploratory (FIH, proof-of-concept) through phase 2b/3 to post-approval studies. She has authored numerous clinical development plans and has taken primary clinical responsibility for several protocols ranging from first in human studies in healthy volunteers to multi-centre proof of concept studies in patients. She played a major role in the development of maraviroc, a novel CCR5 antagonist for the treatment of HIV, and held several key positions in the development program ranging from Exploratory Clinical Lead through to EU/ROW Clinical Leader for the phase 2b/3 clinical development program. Her personal contribution to the discovery and development of maraviroc was recognised when she was named as one of the recipients of the 2010 PhRMA Discoverers award. This award singles out individuals whose recent discoveries have been of special benefit to mankind.
Dr van der Ryst was also selected for the Pfizer Global Health Fellowship program and spent 6 months developing an HIV Prevention Behaviour Change Communication Strategy for the Foundation for Professional Development, an NGO based in South Africa.
Following her time at Pfizer, Dr van der Ryst joined United Therapeutics as VP for Antiviral Clinical Development. In this role she provided clinical leadership to a NIAID funded development program for a novel, broad-spectrum antiviral compound for the treatment of dengue virus infection.
Dr van der Ryst also has extensive experience in authorship of regulatory documents, including integrated summaries of safety and efficacy and clinical overviews. She regularly participates and presents at meetings with regulatory authorities as well as to advisory boards. She is internationally recognised for her expertise in HIV drug development and has an extensive publication record.