Annmarie Leadman l Palladium - Dec 01 2023
World Renowned Infectious Disease Expert Ian Sanne Joins Palladium

Professor Ian Sanne is joining Palladium as Chief Medical Officer. Prof. Sanne is a medical doctor and infectious disease and clinical research expert known for his innovative leadership in HIV treatment and clinical research in South Africa and around the world.

“Palladium has a long history of transforming societies and economies for the better and an ambitious goal to positively impact the lives of hundreds of millions of people,” says Ricardo Michel, Palladium’s co-CEO. “We are privileged to have Ian Sanne join us. With him on board, Palladium is well-positioned to address the global health challenges of our day and those of the future with novel approaches infused and informed by his deep experience and expertise.”

As Chief Medical Officer, Prof. Sanne will advise and set the strategic direction for Palladium’s clinical and health service delivery activities across several technical areas, including in primary healthcare, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, malaria, TB, and global health security. He will also direct the company’s approach to One Health, which sits at the intersection of human, animal, agricultural, and environmental health.

“My ambition is to address the inequity of health care across low- and middle-income countries through evidence-based medicine, infrastructure, data systems and training,” says Ian Sanne. “This has brought me to Palladium where I will build on this approach working in collaboration with our local partners in communities throughout the world. I couldn’t be more thrilled to work with such a talented and passionate team.”

Prof. Sanne joins Palladium at a time when donors and the global health community are realigning in response to the gaps exposed in pandemic preparedness, the growing threat of climate change, and the efforts to eliminate HIV and AIDS as a public health threat. Governments in lower and middle-income countries and their partners are ready to address remaining gaps in diagnosis, treatment initiation and treatment success across infectious diseases such as HIV and tuberculosis, using innovations in medicine, laboratory testing, and data analytics. Palladium will use Prof. Sanne’s experience in its ongoing support to local leaders in advancing efforts suited to the unique needs of their populations, including in challenging political and policy contexts.

“I can’t think of anyone with the same level of innovation and foresight Ian has had in crafting programming that led to the durable response in both initiation and retention on life-saving antiretroviral treatment across the globe,” says Clint Cavanaugh, Palladium Partner for Global Health. “As the global HIV epidemic control effort evolves across country contexts, Ian is uniquely skilled to intensify and align service delivery models to the hard-to-reach marginalised populations who so desperately need health services.”

Right to Care, a non-profit that Prof. Sanne co-founded, was an early recipient of PEPFAR funding after the emergency funding plan was established. Right to Care was critical to the early HIV response in South Africa, having supported more than 1.1 million people living with HIV, and on life-saving anti-retroviral treatment since 2001. Separately, Dr. Sanne led USAID's PEPFAR technical assistance support under the EQUIP project, which provided support in 18 countries over the life of the project, including in Haiti, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho, Ukraine, Burma, and Namibia. While with Right to Care, Prof. Sanne led the development and expansion of advances in medicine dispensing, distribution, and collection, among other innovations, to improve access, quality, and efficiency of health care delivery and management.

“Ian was a trailblazer during the early days of PEPFAR, securing funding for his innovation in treatment and care in South Africa and beyond,” says Farley Cleghorn, Palladium’s Global Head of Health. “Ian and the folks at Right to Care helped turn the corner on the course of the epidemic’s impact on millions of people. We are lucky to have him on board.”

Starting in 1998, Prof. Sanne has had a long affiliation with the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. He is a professor of medicine and infectious disease and is founder and director at the Health Economics andEpidemiology Research Office (HE2RO) and the Wits Health Consortium, Clinical HIV Research Unit (Wits CHRU). He is also the International Vice Chair of the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) Network. He has coordinated with multiple donor and pharmaceutical industry actors to implement phase I-IV clinical trials in new drug and vaccine development for HIV, tuberculosis, Hepatitis B&C, COVID-19, and antimicrobial resistance.

Prof. Sanne is an advocate for equity, diversity and safeguarding policies and is currently the Co-Chair of the Wits Human Research Ethics Committee. In 2023, he was awarded the Joseph Variava Bioethics Gold Medal for bioethics. He holds a DTM&H and an FCP(SA) from the University of the Witwatersrand.