(Oxford, UK and Philadelphia, PA, 4 March, 2015). Adaptimmune, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the use of T-cell therapy to treat cancer, today announces that it has strengthened its senior management team with the appointment of Dr. Rafael Amado, as Chief Medical Officer, and Adrian (Ad) Rawcliffe, as Chief Financial Officer. Both appointments are effective from 16 March.
Dr. Amado will lead Adaptimmune's clinical strategy and assume responsibility for the company's clinical trials across the US and Europe under its strategic collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). He will also lead the development of the company's pipeline of wholly-owned research programs.
Prior to joining Adaptimmune, Dr. Amado served as Senior Vice President and Head of Oncology R&D at GSK, where he was responsible for integrating oncology global R&D activities, from drug target identification to clinical development and registration. Dr. Amado joined GSK in 2008 as Vice President of Clinical Development, and served in positions of increasing responsibility, including Senior Vice President and Head of Oncology Clinical Development. He oversaw the development and registration globally of over fifteen novel indications across six products and led the development of a pipeline of products in novel areas of cancer biology.
Prior to joining GSK, Dr. Amado was Executive Director of Therapeutic Oncology at Amgen where he was responsible for development activities of several assets. An area of his interest is biological characterization of tumors for patient selection, which he applied to targeted drug development with anti-EGFR agents in colorectal cancer, as well as the development of drug combinations. He trained as a Hematologist/Oncologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he remained as faculty until joining Amgen in 2003.
Mr. Rawcliffe will lead Adaptimmune's financial management and operations functions including compliance and risk management. He joins from GSK where he was Senior Vice President, Finance of its North American Pharmaceuticals business. Prior to this, Mr. Rawcliffe held a variety of senior finance and business development roles at GSK, including Senior Vice President Worldwide Business Development and R&D Finance, where he was responsible for all Pharmaceuticals R&D business development and finance activities, and Managing Partner and President of SR One Ltd, GSK's venture-capital business. Mr. Rawcliffe joined GSK in 1998 and holds a BSc degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Durham, UK. He qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Coopers & Lybrand.
"I am delighted that Rafael and Ad are joining the company", said James Noble, Chief Executive Officer of Adaptimmune. "Each brings a wealth of invaluable experience to complement the expertise of our existing senior management team. I am confident that Rafael and Ad will play key roles as we continue to progress our clinical programs and strengthen our strategic partnership with GSK, as well as drive the development of our internal pipeline."
Dr. Amado said: "I am pleased to be joining Adaptimmune at this exciting time. I have been impressed by the quality of the science and look forward to working with the team as we seek to bring potential breakthrough cancer therapies to patients."
Mr. Rawcliffe said: "Adaptimmune has already made great progress and I look forward to joining the team and contributing to the company's next phase of growth."
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Adaptimmune is focused on the use of T cell therapy to treat cancer. Established in 2008 with a research base in Oxford, UK and a clinical base in Philadelphia, US, the company aims to utilise the body's own machinery – the T cell – to target and destroy cancerous cells by using engineered, increased affinity T cell receptor (TCRs) as a means of strengthening natural patient T cell responses. Adaptimmune's lead program, NY-ESO TCR therapy, has demonstrated signs of efficacy and tolerability in Phase 1/2 trials in solid tumors and in hematologic cancer types. In June 2014, Adaptimmune announced that it had entered into a strategic collaboration and licensing agreement with GlaxoSmithKline for the development and commercialisation of the NY-ESO TCR program. In September, the company completed a $104 million Series A financing round. Adaptimmune has over 80 staff. For more information: http://www.adaptimmune.com