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.”