Scancell Holdings PLC (LON:SCLP) has appointed Dr Gillies O’Bryan-Tear to the position of chief medical officer (CMO) and Dr Robert Miller as medical director.

The appointments reflect the AIM-listed company’s continuing focus on advancing the clinical development and commercialisation of its programmes for the treatment of cancer and in developing a vaccine for COVID-19, it said.

READ: Scancell is cashed up and looking to extend its capabilities

They will add clinical expertise to complement the existing research and development activities led by Scancell’s chief scientific officer, Professor Lindy Durrant, and chief development officer, Dr Sally Adams.

O’Bryan-Tear, a Fellow of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine in the UK and Chair of its policy and communications group, as well as a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, has over 30 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry, spanning clinical development, medical management and commercial roles.

During his previous senior leadership roles in large and small pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in the US and Europe, he has overseen multiple product approvals.

Norway-listed Algeta, where he was CMO, launched a radiopharmaceutical for prostate cancer in 2013 and was subsequently acquired by Bayer for US$2.9bn, since when O’Bryan-Tear has been a retained adviser to a number of global biotechnology companies, including Audentes before its acquisition by Astellas, as well as Fusion Pharmaceuticals and Clarity Pharmaceuticals.

Miller, who is a managing partner at drug development consultancy Artemida Pharma, has provided strategic expertise, medical management and clinical development support for both small and large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies during his 30-year career in the industry, particularly in the fields of oncology and immune-oncology.

He is a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine and the Royal Society of Medicine, as well as being a member of the European Society of Medical Oncologists and an affiliate member of the American Society of Clinical Oncologists.

Scancell chief executive Dr Cliff Holloway said the new pair’s experience in clinical development within the sector “will be invaluable as we progress our pipeline of products through the clinic and towards commercialisation”.

Following the recent GBP33mln fundraise, which was backed by shareholders earlier this month, Holloway said the company’s initial focus is to progress the clinical development of lead products Modi-1 and SCIB1, in addition to starting the COVIDITY clinical trial in 2021, and said the board was looking forward to “the advice and guidance that Gillies and Robert will be able to provide in advancing these trials”.

O’Bryan-Tear said it was a “critical time in the evolution of the company”.

“With first class, innovative science, and a recent successful series of fundraisings, the company is poised to exploit this world leading technology to the full in the clinical arena. Robert and I look forward to advancing this clinical development effort and enabling the company to reach important clinical milestones in the coming years.”

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