Dr Esteban Pombo-Villar has left Novartis after 24 years to become chief operations officer of Oxford BioTherapeutics (OBT).
Dr Pombo-Villar will oversee the UK-based biotech's newly-created clinical development operations in Basel, Switzerland, as the company takes its therapeutic antibody and antibody drug conjugate (ADC) oncology programmes into clinical development.
During his time at Novartis Dr Pombo-Villar had several roles, the most recent of which was head of alliance management at the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research (NIBR), where he focused creating and managing the company's collaborative efforts.
He initially joined Sandoz Neuroscience Research in 1988 to work on drug discovery projects and to investigate the potential of emerging technologies and remained at the company following Sandoz' merger with Ciba-Geigy in 1996 to form Novartis.
Dr Christian Rohlff, CEO of OBT, said: “I am very pleased to welcome Esteban to OBT and to officially open our new clinical operations site in Basel, Switzerland. Esteban's extensive executive leadership experience in the industry will bring considerable value to OBT as we advance our highly promising lead programmes into the clinic.”