Posted on January 7, 2019 by staff

Biotech firm appoints AstraZeneca exec as CEO


A leading biotechnology firm has appointed a new CEO and director of the board.

Oxford-based Immuncore welcomes Bahija Jallal from bio-pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, where she is president of MedImmune, its global biologics research and development arm.

The company delivers biological therapies that have the potential to transform the lives of people with serious diseases.

Since joining MedImmune in 2006, Jallal has overseen the development of several new medicines, and has 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.

Jallal has authored more than 70 peer-reviewed publications and holds more than 15 patents. She serves on the board of Anthem in Indianapolis, Indiana and on the board of trustees of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

She is a member of the US Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (GUIRR) of the National Science Foundation and is the immediate past president of the board of the Association of Women in Science. In 2017, Jallal was named Woman of the Year by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to head Immunocore, the leader in cutting-edge TCR bispecifics,” said Jallal.

“With its strong platform, with potential to be applicable in multiple therapy areas, Immunocore has successfully translated its innovative science into the clinic with ongoing pivotal trials in uveal melanoma and clinical and pre-clinical stage programs in other disease areas.

“I am looking forward to helping the company, and its talented employees, bring innovative T cell receptor-based medicines to patients.”

Sir John Bell, chairman of Immunocore, believes Jallal is the ideal candidate to lead the company.

“A champion for science and diversity, Bahija is a highly seasoned pharmaceutical executive with considerable experience in biologics R&D and immuno-oncology,” he said.

“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.

“I would like to extend my thanks also to Andrew Hotchkiss, who has been a highly capable interim CEO of Immunocore, for his support.”