Immunocore appoints David Berman as R&D chief

Immunocore on Tuesday announced that it has hired David Berman as its new head of R&D. According to the company, Berman joined Immunocore in September 2018 to advance its gp100 T cell receptor (TCR)-based bispecific T cell redirector IMCgp100 "towards commercialisation and progress [our] growing pipeline of TCR candidates through clinical development."

Prior to joining Immunocore, Berman served as senior vice president and head of AstraZeneca's immuno-oncology franchise, holding responsibility for the strategy and execution of the drugmaker's late-stage immuno-oncology programme. In addition to previously heading the early-stage oncology programme at AstraZeneca's MedImmune unit, Berman also held senior development positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb, including head of the immuno-oncology exploratory development team and global clinical lead for the first approved immune checkpoint inhibitor.

Immunocore CEO Bahija Jallal, who joined the drugmaker from AstraZeneca earlier this month, said Berman "has a unique pedigree in immuno-oncology and is ideally qualified to drive our R&D operations at this exciting and important time in our development." Jallal added that Berman's appointment "strengthens Immunocore's leadership team and supports us as we advance our growing pipeline of TCR candidates through clinical development and our lead candidate, IMCgp100, towards commercialisation."

Meanwhile, Berman remarked that "by unlocking the [TCR] with its leading technology platform, Immunocore's technology has the potential to bring the benefits of immuno-oncology to those patients and tumours who do not respond to current therapies."

Separately on Tuesday, Voyager Therapeutics disclosed the appointment of Roche's global head of neuroscience translational medicine and rare diseases Omar Khwaja as its chief medical officer.

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