Karis has been on the board for three years already and chairs the remuneration committee.
A 35-year pharma veteran, Karis was chief executive of the privately-held MAPI Group, which was sold to ICON last year.
Former chairman Andrew Heath stood down at this year’s AGM.
Shield’s flagship product Feraccru is going through the process of US approval, with a decision expected by 27 July.
Feraccru has already been approved in Europe as a treatment for iron deficiency in adults.
In a note to clients, analysts at Liberum Capital said: “Mr Karis looks a good appointment given his background and familiarity with the business, particularly ahead of a what is a pivotal year for Shield with head to head data due in the next few months, the potential US approval of Feraccru before the end of July and on-going EU commercialisation.”
Liberum repeated a ‘buy’ rating and 80p price target on Shield Therapeutics’ shares. In afternoon trading, the stock held steady at 35.50p.
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