Oxford BioTherapeutics has announced the appointment of Eugen Leo, MD, PhD, MBA, as Head of Clinical Development. Dr. Leo brings substantial clinical development experience of targeted and first-in-class molecules, as well as extensive translational research experience, and will be responsible for driving the Company’s attractive pipeline of ADCs into clinical development.
Dr. Leo has more than 15 years of experience in phase I-III clinical development of targeted molecules including antibodies, antibody derivatives, kinase inhibitors, vaccines and antisense molecules. He previously worked at Micromet, where he held several positions with increasing seniority and was instrumental in developing the company’s BiTE (bi-specific T-cell engager) antibody platform to clinical proof-of-concept, which received “breakthrough therapy” designation by FDA on July 1, 2014.
Thereafter he held senior development positions at major pharmaceutical companies including Johnson & Johnson and Merck Serono, developing various first-in-class molecules in phase I and II.
Dr. Leo is a board-certified haematologist and medical oncologist, and is ESMO-certified. He studied medicine at the Universities of Freiburg, Aachen, Muenster, Zuerich (Switzerland) and Cincinnati (USA), and spent three years as a research fellow at the Sanford-Burnham Institute, La Jolla, CA (USA), working on signal transduction in cancer. He holds an Adjunct Professorship for Experimental Oncology at the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Heidelberg University, Germany. He also obtained an MBA from Colorado State University.
“Recruiting someone of Eugen’s calibre is a key step for the company as we progress our pipeline of exciting ADC candidates into the clinic. With Eugen’s appointment, as well as the recent appointment of Dr. Keith Wilson as Chief Scientific Officer, we have an exceptionally strong team in place to accelerate the development of our novel antibody drug conjugate programs into their first clinical trials,” said Dr. Christian Rohlff, Oxford BioTherapeutics’ CEO.
Commenting on his appointment, Dr. Leo said: “Oxford BioTherapeutics has developed a highly attractive pipeline of novel antibody drug candidates that could advance cancer treatment substantially. This pipeline has been generated using the company’s very own proprietary target discovery platform, which provides access to a wealth of unique and selective cancer targets, and by accessing state-of-the-art ADC conjugate and toxin technologies. I am extremely glad to be able to work with the OBT team in bringing these highly promising cancer therapeutics into the clinic and to patients.”