Ipsen strengthens oncology R&D team with two experts

French pharma company Ipsen has hired two R&D leaders to boost the company’s oncology arm.

The new recruits – Dr Yan Moore and Dr Alexander (Sandy) McEwan – will bring their expertise to the company, which specialises in oncology, neuroscience and rare diseases.

Dr Yan Moore is the former chief medical officer and senior vice president R&D at BioCanCell Therapeutics – now known as Anchiano Therapeutics – where he led clinical development and strategic corporate initiatives.

Anchiano’s most advanced product candidate is the pioneering gene therapy inodiftagene vixteplasmid (BC-819), which is in development as a treatment for non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.

He also held senior oncology roles at Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi Oncology, GlaxoSmithKline, Bristol-Myers Squibb, GPC Biotech, and Oncura Inc, which is a subsidiary of GE Healthcare.

In November, Dr McEwan will join as vice-president and head of radiopharmaceuticals. He was professor in the department of oncology and adjunct professor for the department of radiology and diagnostic imaging at the University of Alberta.

Additionally, he is on the medical staff at the department of radiation oncology and department of oncologic imaging for the Cross Cancer Institute as well as consulting medical staff for the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Calgary and Stollery Children’s Hospital, Edmonton, among other roles.

Alexandre Lebeaut, executive vice president R&D and chief scientific officer, Ipsen, said: “I am thrilled to welcome Yan and Sandy as talented leaders who will assume pivotal roles in the next phase of our R&D transformation, and whose unique goal is to accelerate the development and deliver innovative therapeutic solutions to cancer patients.”

He said Dr Moore brings more than 18 years of industry experience in oncology development across solid tumours, haematology‐oncology, gene and immune‐therapy.

Dr McEwan, he added, is a world-renowned expert in oncology and nuclear medicine, who he hoped will “play a defining role in the acceleration of the development of Ipsen’s radiotherapeutics pipeline.”

Ipsen has several drug development programmes in train, nine of which are at the phase 3 stage. The company invested €266 million (£237m) in R&D last year, equivalent to 14% of sales. It employs 550 people in R&D at various sites worldwide.

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