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Former CEO of Novartis' US operations joins board of cancer immunotherapy firm

Published on: 15/01/19

ImmunSYS, a Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based firm focused on the development of innovative cancer immunotherapy products, today announced that Douglas G Watson, the former CEO of Novartis Corporation (formerly known as Ciba-Geigy Corporation), will join the clinical stage biotech’s Board of Directors as the company’s Lead Independent Director.

“Doug has a stellar track record in senior executive leadership and board roles at both publicly-traded and private companies and brings a wealth of pharmaceutical and biotech industry expertise to the ImmunSYS Board of Directors,” said Eamonn Hobbs, Chairman and CEO of ImmunSYS. “His appointment as Lead Independent Director comes as we enter our next phase of growth and his insights will be critical to our success moving forward.”

Having graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1966, Watson quickly established a career within Geigy/ Ciba-Geigy/ Novartis Group during which period he was President of Ciba-Geigy US Pharmaceutical Division for a decade between 1986 and 1996. During this period, Watson switched between roles in the UK, Switzerland and the United States for more than 30 years before being made President and CEO of Novartis US Corporation in 1996 – a position which he held for just three years.

Just a month after retiring from his leadership position at Novartis Corporation in May 1999, Watson founded leadership development company Pittencrieff Glen Associates, named after a glen near Dunfermline in Fife, close to where the Scottish CEO was born. While President of Cibe-Geigy, Watson was an active member of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA) board in Washington, DC. Watson has also sat on the boards of various different biotechs and non-profit organisations.

“ImmunSYS has developed a unique, innovative, outpatient immunotherapy that has demonstrated very impressive early clinical results in the treatment of late stage metastatic prostate cancer,” said Mr. Watson. “By applying IP-protected technology and following a rigorous development program, I believe that the ImmunSYS technology can generate clinical results that will dramatically improve late stage metastatic prostate cancer patients’ quality and quantity of life and reduce healthcare costs. I’m delighted to be joining the ImmunSYS Board as the company advances the development of this potential breakthrough in late stage metastatic prostate cancer therapy.”

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