Immunocore Limited Appoints Dr Jonathan Knowles As Chairman Of The Board

(Oxford, UK, 14 November 2013) Immunocore Limited, the Oxford-based biotechnology company developing novel biological drugs to treat cancer and viral disease, today announced the appointment of Dr Jonathan Knowles as the new executive Chairman of the Board of Directors with immediate effect. Dr Knowles succeeds Nicholas Cross who has been Chairman since the company was founded in 2008 and will remain on the Board as Deputy Chairman. 

Dr Knowles has been a Non-Executive Director of Immunocore since 2010 and was formerly President of Group Research and a Member of the Executive Committee at F.Hoffman-LaRoche Limited, Basel, Switzerland for 12 years. Dr Knowles also served as a Board member at Genentech Inc. for over ten years and was a Member of the Board of Chugai Pharmaceuticals, Tokyo, Japan. Prior to joining Roche in 1997, he was Research Director, Glaxo Wellcome Europe.

Dr Knowles has also served as Chairman of the Hever Group and the EFPIA Research Directors Group. He was instrumental in creating the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) and was the first Chairman of the Board of IMI (a Joint Undertaking with the EU Commission). He is a Distinguished Professor (FiDiPro) at the University of Helsinki, Finland, holds a visiting chair at the University of Oxford, and is a visiting scholar of Pembroke College, Cambridge.

James Noble, Chief Executive Officer of Immunocore, commented: "We are extremely fortunate to have appointed someone of Jonathan's calibre as the Executive Chairman of the Immunocore Board. His significant industry experience will support Immunocore as we continue to build our ImmTAC product pipeline and seek further partnerships with pharmaceutical companies. His willingness to commit to Immunocore is a great testament to the potential of our company. 

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank Nick Cross for his hard work and significant commitment to Immunocore as Chairman over the past five years. He supported the negotiation of the spin-out from Medigene in 2008 when Immunocore was formed and helped to secure the funding for the company since its inception. He has played an invaluable role in supporting us through our early growth phase, including with our first major commercial agreements, and we are pleased that he will continue to serve as Deputy Chairman."

Dr Knowles said: "I am delighted to have been appointed as the new Chairman and look forward to working more closely with my Board colleagues and the rest of the team at Immunocore to grow the company, creating novel agents that we hope will contribute significantly to curing cancer." 

Contact

Margaret Henry

PR Consultant

Immunocore Ltd, UK

T: + 44 (0) 1865 261491

M: + 44 (0) 7771 377363

E: [email protected]

About Immunocore

Founded in 2008, Immunocore Ltd is a privately owned, clinical-stage biotechnology company developing a highly innovative platform technology that generates novel drugs called ImmTACs for the treatment of cancer and viral infection. Immunocore traces its roots to Avidex Ltd, founded in 1999 as a spin-out from the University of Oxford to develop novel T Cell Receptor technology invented by the founder and chief scientist, Dr Bent Jakobsen. 

Immunocore has major discovery collaborations ongoing with leading pharmaceutical companies Genentech and GlaxoSmithKline. The company was recently listed in the top 15 private biotech firms globally for 2013 by Fierce Biotech and named Best Biotech Dealmaker of 2013 at the OBN Awards. 

Immunocore has approximately 80 staff and is located in Abingdon, Oxfordshire.

About ImmTACs

Immunocore's ImmTAC (Immune mobilising mTCR Against Cancer) technology enables the immune system to recognise and kill cancer or viral cells. 

T Cell Receptors naturally recognise diseased cells and Immunocore's competitive advantage is its ability to engineer high affinity T Cell Receptors and link them to an antibody fragment, anti-CD3, which can activate the immune system to kill the targeted cancer or viral cells. These bi-specific proteins, called ImmTACS, have the potential to be extremely potent anti-cancer or anti-viral agents.

Immunocore has completed development of the ImmTAC technology, including the generation of a Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) compliant, fully scalable manufacture route. The company has also established regulatory pathways approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) that will form the basis of all future ImmTAC programmes.

The most advanced ImmTAC drug, IMCgp100, has entered Phase IIa clinical trials in melanoma patients in both the US and UK. 

For more information: www.immunocore.com 

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