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Immunocore names new CEO, Nanoform adds to commercial team and Verona hires CMO

Latest movers in pharma and biotech

Immunocore names new CEO

Bahija Jallal

Bahija Jallal, Immunocore's next CEO

Immunotherapy-focused UK biotech company Immunocore has unveiled Bahija Jallal as its new chief executive and director of the board.

Bahija has more than 25 years of international leadership experience within the pharmaceutical industry, and joins Immunocore from AstraZeneca, where she has served as President of MedImmune, its global biologics research and development arm, and a member of the senior executive team reporting to the CEO.

Since joining MedImmune in 2006, Bahija has overseen the development of several new medicines, including Imfinzi, Fasenra, Lumoxiti, Siliq and FluMist Quadrivalent. Under Bahija’s leadership, MedImmune significantly boosted its pipeline, expanding from 40 to more than 130 molecules in research and development targeting cancer; respiratory, inflammation, and autoimmunity; cardiovascular, renal and metabolic; and infectious diseases.

Sir John Bell, Chairman of Immunocore, said: “Bahija is the ideal candidate to lead Immunocore at this transformational point in its development. A champion for science and diversity, Bahija is a highly seasoned pharmaceutical executive with considerable experience in biologics R&D and immuno-oncology.

“Her appointment will significantly strengthen Immunocore as we advance our lead candidate, IMCgp100, towards commercialisation, and our growing pipeline of TCR candidates through clinical development.”

Jallal will succeed Andrew Hotchkiss, who has served as interim CEO after Eliot Forster (pictured above) left the company to head up cancer disrupter F Star last year.

Nanoform boosts commercial organisation with new appointment


Dr Gonçalo Rebelo de Andrade, Chief of Business Operations, Nanoform

Nanoform, a drug enabling nanotechnology company, has appointed Dr Gonçalo Rebelo de Andrade as its Chief of Business Operations.

It’s a newly created role, which the company has said will significantly strengthen Nanoform’s commercial organisation.

The role combines commercial and operational, and Andrade will work closely with Christian Jones, recently appointed chief commercial officer, to manage operational activities for new projects.

Andrade will also co-ordinate company activities to deliver services to clients, says Nanoform.

Speaking of his appointment, Andrade said: “I can see significant potential for the technology, and I am looking forward to working with the team to deliver breakout growth and position Nanoform as ‘the go-to experts’ for solving solubility and bioavailability challenges in the marketplace.”

Andrade mostly comes from a business development, management and intellectual property background within pharmaceutical and biotech,

He has held roles for Hovione Capital, a life science focused venture capital company, and has served on several life science company boards.

Edward Hæggström, CEO of Nanoform said: “Andrade’s background and experience in drug delivery will be a huge asset to the company. He will play a key role in the international expansion of the business, and I look forward to working with him to deliver this growth.”

Verona Pharma appoints chief medical officer

Clinical stage biopharma Verona Pharma has boosted its team with the appointment of Kathleen Rickard.

Rickard will become Verona’s new chief medical officer, and is expected to start her role next month.

She brings more than 25 years’ experience in clinical research in respiratory medicine, industry, and management and will lead the company’s clinical development of RPL554, a first-in-class candidate in development for the maintenance treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cystic fibrosis.

“We are delighted to welcome Drs. Rickard to Verona Pharma and look forward to working with them to advance RPL554 into late stage clinical development,” said Jan-Anders Karlsson, PhD, CEO of Verona Pharma.

“Dr. Rickard’s extensive expertise in respiratory drug development, combined with her strong leadership skills will be a tremendous asset as we prepare for the pivotal phase 3 clinical development programme for the maintenance treatment of COPD.”

Prior to joining Verona Pharma, Dr. Rickard served in multiple roles at Aerocrine and subsequently Circassia, where she was instrumental in directing clinical and regulatory strategies for NIOX VERO, an airway inflammation test for managing asthma, across key markets such as the United States, China, and Japan, as well as the rest of the world.

Previously, Dr. Rickard was vice president Clinical Development and Medical Affairs of GlaxoSmithKline’s Respiratory Medicines Development Centre and, over a period of 15 years, held a number of other leadership positions in clinical development across GlaxoSmithKline’s global respiratory franchise.

Meanwhile, the group has also made another appointment in the form of Tara Rheault, who joins Verona as its vice president of Research and Development Operations and Global Project Management.

Tara Rheault

Tara Rheault

Rheault has more than 16 years of cross-functional leadership experience across drug discovery and development. Prior to joining Verona Pharma, she was a strategic drug development leader at IQVIA where she helped pharmaceutical companies develop integrated commercial and R&D strategies.

Rheault started her career as a medicinal chemist at GlaxoSmithKline, where she was the inventor of Tafinlar.

She then moved on to global project leadership and portfolio management for early development projects,before moving into late stage clinical development in the respiratory therapy area, contributing to Nucala, Incruse, Breo and Anoro late stage development programmes.

7th January 2019


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