– UK, London – Achilles Therapeutics plc (NASDAQ: ACHL), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing precision T cell therapies to treat solid tumors, today announced the appointment of Julie O’Neill to its Board as a Non-Executive Director and Dr. Markwin Velders, Ph.D. to its Scientific Advisory Board.
Both come to Achilles with strong track records of experience in cell therapy and cell therapy manufacturing.
“Given the importance of manufacturing in cell therapy, we are delighted to welcome Julie to our Board and Markwin to our Scientific Advisory Board,” said CEO, Iraj Ali. “As we scale up our fully-closed and automated end-to-end manufacturing process for our expanding clinical work and eventual commercial production, their combined operations and manufacturing management expertise are a welcome complement to the capabilities of our current Board and team.”
The company also announced that Dr. Rogier Rooswinkel has indicated that he will be resigning from the Board of Directors effective immediately.
About Julie O’Neill
Ms. O’Neill is a business professional with more than two decades of executive experience in senior leadership roles. She was previously EVP, Global Operations at Alexion Pharmaceuticals. where she led the Global Operations business including product development, manufacturing, quality, supply chain and global real estate functions. Prior to joining Alexion, she was VP, Operations at Gilead Sciences.
Ms. O’Neill serves as an Independent Director on the boards of ICON, DBV Technologies and Hookipa Pharma. She is also on the Board of Ireland’s National Institute for Bioprocessing Research & Training and serves as the Chairperson of the Strategic Advisory Board at the School of Pharmacy, Trinity College Dublin.
“Achilles’ precision T cell therapies have the potential to significantly benefit patients with melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer, as well as other solid tumor disease. As the Company gets closer to breaking ground on expanded manufacturing capacity for clinical and commercial use, operations, manufacturing and quality control are growing in importance,” commented Julie O’Neill. “I am looking forward to joining the Achilles team and supporting them as they move along the clinical path. I am excited to be able to contribute at such an important stage in the company’s development.”
About Dr. Markwin Velders.
Dr. Markwin Velders is the former VP, Operations and Managing Director at Kite Pharma EU. Before joining Kite, he was CSO at Dutch AM-Pharma, Business Unit Manager at TNO Biosciences, and CEO at SomantiX. After mediating the sale of the start-up T Cell Factory to Kite, he joined Kite Pharma to establish the company’s EU headquarters in Amsterdam, helping to advance clinical development. Most recently, he was involved in the establishment of Kite’s CAR-T commercial manufacturing site in Hoofddorp, The Netherlands.
About Achilles Therapeutics
Achilles is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing precision T cell therapies targeting clonal neoantigens: protein markers unique to the individual that are expressed on the surface of every cancer cell. The Company has two ongoing Phase I/IIa trials, the CHIRON trial in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer and the THETIS trial in patients with recurrent or metastatic melanoma. Achilles uses DNA sequencing data from each patient, together with its proprietary PELEUS bioinformatics platform, to identify clonal neoantigens specific to that patient, and then develop precision T cell-based product candidates specifically targeting those clonal neoantigens.
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