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Avacta Appoints Dr Christina Coughlin as Non-Executive Director

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Avacta Appoints Dr Christina Coughlin as Non-Executive Director | Pharmtech Focus

Avacta Group plc (AIM: AVCT), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative cancer therapies and powerful diagnostics based on its proprietary Affimer® and pre|CISION™ platforms announces the appointment of Christina Coughlin, M.D., Ph.D., as Non-executive Director to the Board with immediate effect.

Dr. Coughlin is the Chief Executive Officer of CytoImmune Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical stage biotechnology company, focused on the development and commercialisation of novel cancer immunotherapy products utilising engineered allogeneic natural killer cells to stimulate the patient’s immune system and eliminate cancer cells. Dr. Coughlin has a broad background in biotechnology and global pharmaceuticals, with comprehensive drug development experience spanning programmes in pre-Investigational New Drug (IND) studies through late-stage trials and regulatory approval filings, and a track record of building drug development teams in global companies.

Dr. Coughlin previously served as Chief Medical Officer to Rubius Therapeutics, Inc., where she led the clinical development, translational medicine and regulatory efforts for the company’s programmes emerging from its allogeneic red cell therapy platform. Prior to Rubius, Dr. Coughlin was with Tmunity Therapeutics, Inc., where she served as Chief Medical Officer and was responsible for the development of autologous CAR-T and TCR-T cellular therapies.

Dr. Coughlin has held other leadership roles in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology fields in her career, including Chief Medical Officer at Immunocore, heading the development of the soluble TCR platform, and Oncology Asset Team Leader at Pfizer. Dr. Coughlin received her M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and completed fellowships in Haematology and Oncology at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and in the Translational Research Group under the direction of Carl June, M.D., at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Christina Coughlin, commented: “I find the Affimer® and pre|CISION™ platforms to be highly innovative in the oncology field. I look forward to joining the Board and working with my new colleagues and the Avacta management team to develop novel therapies that will improve the lives of patients suffering from cancer.”

Dr. Alastair Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Avacta Group, commented: “I am very pleased, indeed, to welcome Christina to Avacta and the Board. Christina is a vastly experienced biotech executive and oncologist, and Avacta will benefit greatly from her knowledge and expertise in shaping the future strategy for the therapeutic business.”

Dr. Eliot Forster, Chairman of Avacta Group, commented: “I am delighted that Christina will be joining the Board of Avacta. Christina will bring a wealth of clinical and drug development experience and expertise which will be invaluable as we progress our pipeline of proprietary Affimer® and pre|CISION™ programmes in the clinic. I look forward to working with her again on the Avacta Board.”

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