AdAlta appoints new CEO, secures licensing deal

Monday, 14 October, 2019

AdAlta appoints new CEO, secures licensing deal

Melbourne drug development company AdAlta has announced the appointment of experienced global pharmaceutical executive Dr Tim Oldham as the company’s Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, commencing today.

Dr Oldham brings more than 20 years’ executive leadership experience to AdAlta. His expertise spans life sciences strategy and business development, commercial and manufacturing operations and alliance management across Europe, Asia and Australia, with a particular focus on biologic and cellular therapies and pharmaceuticals.

Immediately prior to AdAlta, Dr Oldham was Executive Leader at Tijan Ventures, providing strategic planning, capital raising, interim executive management and board leadership to transform and grow life sciences companies with a focus in the fields of immunotherapy and cell and gene therapy. Other previous roles have encompassed the development and commercialisation of pharmaceuticals, devices, biologics and cellular therapies and industry advocacy.

Dr Oldham is currently Non-Executive Director of transdermal drug delivery company Acrux and bispecific antibody company Immunexus. He is also a member of the board of BioMelbourne Network.

“We are delighted to have someone of Tim’s calibre and experience join AdAlta as our new Chief Executive Officer,” said AdAlta Executive Chairman Paul MacLeman. “Tim brings a diverse and international skillset, but his biologics and commercialisation expertise will be invaluable as we approach a number of important milestones.”

One such milestone is AdAlta’s recent signing of a commercial agreement for its i-body platform — a new class of protein therapeutics with applications as therapeutic drugs to treat disease — with global medical technology firm GE Healthcare. AdAlta has a proprietary technology platform to generate i-bodies, and the licensing deal will see the company work with GE Healthcare to develop i-bodies for diagnostic imaging.

These candidates, if successful, could help identify molecular markers of activated T-cells, and they could potentially help in the selection and monitoring of patients receiving immunotherapy. Initial work will focus on Granzyme B, a serine protease commonly secreted by immune cells in cancer.

“We recognise that PET imaging plays a vital role in the development and use of cancer immunotherapies as it is a non-invasive way to measure patient response before, during and after treatment,” said Sanka Thiru, Head of Molecular Imaging Oncology in GE Healthcare’s Pharmaceutical Diagnostics business. “We are partnering with companies like AdAlta to build a portfolio of molecular imaging agents for those disease biomarkers that will help accelerate the development of the next generation of immuno-oncology treatments.”

“We are thrilled to have secured this licensing deal with one of the world’s largest healthcare companies,” said MacLeman. “This is a key step toward AdAlta’s goal of becoming a global player in next-generation antibodies. The small size and flexibility of the i-body makes it ideal as an imaging agent.”

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