Avacta appoints Chief Scientific Officer of therapeutics division

Avacta has appointed Dr Fiona McLaughlin as Chief Scientific Officer of its therapeutics division, effective immediately. Dr McLaughlin is an experienced oncology drug developer, bringing over 25 years’ experience in research and translational drug development in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors, having led teams from early research through to clinical development.

Dr McLaughlin started her career at GlaxoSmithKline and has subsequently held leadership positions in multiple biotech companies including Vice President of Translational Research at Antisoma and Director of Pre-clinical Development at BTG (now part of Boston Scientific).

Dr McLaughlin has also gained broad experience during her career as a consultant, providing scientific and strategic advice to biotechs, not-for-profit organisations, and venture capitalists in UK, Europe, USA and Australia, including helping drive oncology strategy at the CRUK/AstraZeneca Alliance Laboratory. She received a PhD from the Haematology Department at Cambridge University and has a BSc in Biochemistry from Glasgow University.

Dr Alastair Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Avacta, commented: “Fiona is a seasoned drug developer with an outstanding track record in developing oncology drug candidates and taking them into clinical development. She brings a huge amount of experience, deep insight and strong leadership that will be major assets to Avacta in driving forward both the Affimer and pre|CISION clinical and preclinical pipelines and I look forward working with her.”

Dr McLaughlin commented: “I am delighted to join Avacta’s Therapeutics Division at this pivotal time, as the company transitions to become a clinical stage development organisation. I look forward to the opportunity of driving the strategic leadership of the company’s therapeutics research and am excited by the potential of the pre|CISION and Affimer platforms, to develop first and best-in-class oncology therapeutics, to ultimately provide patients with important new treatment options.”

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