Oxford BioTherapeutics (OBT) has announced the appointment of Dr Esteban Pombo-Villar as Chief Operations Officer (COO) of the OBT group.
In this position he will lead the company’s newly created clinical development operations based in Basel, Switzerland.
The establishment of a dedicated development operation represents a key milestone in OBT’s global expansion as it progresses its most advanced therapeutic antibody and antibody drug conjugate (ADC) oncology programs into clinical development. Dr Pombo-Villar will also become an executive member of OBT’s Board.
Prior to joining OBT, Dr Pombo-Villar was at Novartis for over 20 years, the last 12 years of which he focused on all aspects of creating and managing alliances.
Most recently he was Head of Alliance Management at the Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research (NIBR), responsible for alliances up to proof-of-concept in man.
He has a PhD in organic chemistry and completed postdoctoral studies at the ETH in Zurich before joining Sandoz Neuroscience Research in Basel in 1988.
At Sandoz he worked on drug discovery projects as well as leading collaborative projects investigating the potential of emerging technologies. Dr Pombo-Villar is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Dr Pombo-Villar commented, “I am delighted to join OBT at this exciting stage in the company’s development as it transitions into a clinical development organization. This is a compelling opportunity to directly impact the future treatment of cancer by helping to shape the direction and success of OBT as an emerging leader in the field.”
Dr Christian Rohlff, CEO of OBT, commented, “I am very pleased to welcome Esteban to OBT and to officially open our new clinical operations site in Basel, Switzerland. Esteban’s extensive executive leadership experience in the industry will bring considerable value to OBT as we advance our highly promising lead programs into the clinic.”
OBT’s clinical development operation in Basel, Switzerland, represents an important site for the company’s future expansion, in addition to its corporate headquarters and discovery labs located in Oxford, UK, and R&D facility in San Jose, California.
In 2011, OBT made significant progress in the ADC field, announcing a collaboration with Seattle Genetics, Inc. for the discovery of multiple ADC programs for cancer and an out-licensing deal with Sanofi for a preclinical ADC program for the treatment of solid tumours.