Stevenage, UK; 10 December 2018 – Achilles Therapeutics (“Achilles” or “the Company”), a biopharmaceutical company using neoantigens to develop personalised cancer immunotherapies, today announces that it has appointed Dr Edwin Moses as Chairman of its Board of Directors. In addition, Dr Iraj Ali, currently Interim CEO, will become the permanent, full-time CEO of the Company.
Dr Moses was most recently CEO of Ablynx NV which was acquired by Sanofi for $4.8Bn in 2018. Edwin was CEO at Ablynx for more than 12 years and built it from a small R&D-focused organisation into a five hundred person commercial-ready business with a broad biologics pipeline including a wholly-owned product for a rare hematologic indication which was approved for use in Europe earlier this year. At Ablynx, Edwin led the Euronext Brussels listing, multiple successful private and public financings and the NASDAQ listing in 2017. He was also responsible for delivering a series of multi-billion-pound collaborations with major pharmaceutical companies.
Edwin has more than 25 years of Board level experience, both as CEO and Chairman, in more than 10 European life science companies. During his career to date, Edwin has raised more than €500M in equity and debt financing.
Dr Ali joined Achilles in January 2018 as Interim CEO, whilst also serving as a Partner of Syncona Ltd, Achilles’ founding investor. He joined Syncona in 2012 and was an investment partner and Board member of Nightstar Therapeutics, Blue Earth Diagnostics and Achilles Therapeutics. Dr Ali was previously with McKinsey & Company where he was involved in several major pharmaceutical launches across developed and emerging markets and was a co-founder of McKinsey’s US launch practice and leader of speciality launches in Europe.
Edwin Moses, Chairman of Achilles, said:
“I am delighted to become the Chairman of Achilles. The Company was founded by world-leading experts in the understanding of cancer evolution, bioinformatics and the development of cell-based immunotherapies. The potential of the technology is extremely exciting and together with a dynamic and talented management team and Board, I am very much looking forward to building an international immunotherapeutic company and realizing the full potential of the core science to develop products to improve the lives of patients and create value for investors.”
Iraj Ali, CEO of Achilles, added:
“We are on the brink of a revolution in cancer therapy driven by the convergence of bioinformatics and immuno-oncology, both of which are developing at a staggering pace. I have been involved with the development of the Achilles concept from its inception and I am delighted to become the CEO on a permanent basis and to welcome someone of Edwin’s calibre to be Chairman of our Board. Edwin brings exceptionally relevant experience to Achilles and together with his stewardship, I look forward to leading this business through its next phase of growth.”
Dr Martin Murphy, Chief Executive Officer of Syncona Investment Management Ltd commented:
“Iraj has played an integral role in the development of Syncona and has played an instrumental part in the foundation and subsequent progress of Achilles. We are delighted that he has chosen to transition from being the interim CEO to take on the role on a full-time basis. It serves to underscore our shared belief in Achilles, which is a truly innovative healthcare business with an opportunity to grow into a globally competitive commercial company.”
Achilles also recently announced the appointment of industry leader Michael F. Giordano, M.D., previously the Head of Immuno-Oncology and Oncology Development at Bristol-Myers Squibb responsible for approvals of Yervoy and Opdivo, as a non-executive director to its Board.
The Achilles Board composition is now as follows:
Edwin Moses, Chairman
Iraj Ali, Chief Executive Officer
Martin Murphy, Non-Executive Director
Elisa Petris, Observer
Professor Karl Peggs, Founder Director
Ian Walker, Non-Executive Director
Michael F. Giordano, Non-Executive Director
– Ends –
Dr Iraj Ali – Chief Executive Officer
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Notes for Editors:
About Achilles Therapeutics
Achilles Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel cancer immunotherapies targeting clonal neoantigens: protein markers unique to each individual that are expressed on the surface of every cancer cell. Achilles uses DNA sequencing data from each patient, together with proprietary bioinformatics technology, to identify clonal neoantigens specific to that patient and enable the development of personalised therapies.
Targeting multiple clonal neoantigens that are present on all cancer cells, but not on healthy cells, reduces the risk that new mutations can induce immune evasion and therapeutic resistance, and allows individualised treatments to target and destroy tumours without harming healthy tissues. Achilles was founded by lead Investor Syncona Ltd and its shareholders include the CRT Pioneer Fund, UCL Technology Fund, Cancer Research Technology, with the support of UCL Business (UCLB) and the Francis Crick Institute. For further information please visit the Company’s website at: www.achillestx.com
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