AZ oncology head leaves to become Innate Pharma chairman

pharmafile | December 19, 2016 | News story | Manufacturing and Production, Sales and Marketing AstraZeneca, Innate Pharma 

French firm Innate Pharma has announced that the current-AstraZeneca head of oncology is joining the company as chairman of the executive board, effective 30 December, alongside other key changes to its leadership team and board.

Mondher Mahjoubi succeeds company co-founder Hervé Brailly in the position, who will become chairman of the Supervisory Board, replacing Gilles Brisson who will remain on the board. Finally, longest-serving board member Phillipe Pouletty is to resign.

Mahjoubi currently serves as AstraZeneca’s senior vice president, therapeutic area head – Oncology, Global Product and Portfolio Strategy and previously worked at Genetech. With 20 years clinical development and marketing experience and a proven track record of driving oncology strategy for companies including AstraZeneca, Sanofi, Actavis and Roche-Genetech, he is poised to be one of the leading forces in the company’s “evolution”.

Brailly said of Mahjoubi’s appointment: “After these 17 years building Innate Pharma, I am convinced that now is the time for new leadership to take the company to the next level. I am delighted that an industry leader of Mondher Mahjoubi’s experience has accepted this opportunity. He brings extensive pharmaceutical and biotechnology experience, medical and regulatory expertise and leadership talents to support Innate Pharma’s evolution towards a fully-integrated immuno-oncology company. We have known him for many years and this is a perfect evolution at the right time for the management team to drive this organization to the next stage of its growth.”

On his own shift within the company, he said: “I am honoured to succeed Gilles, whose contribution to building our company has been absolutely critical, and I would like to thank Philippe Pouletty for the blend of entrepreneurial spirit and vision on immuno-oncology that he has brought to our board since 2002.”

Mahjoubi himself said of his appointment: “This is a really great opportunity for me to be joining Innate Pharma as chairman of the executive board. Immuno-oncology is transforming in depth the way we can treat cancer patients.

“Building on a unique and differentiated expertise in innate immunity, Innate Pharma has been a pioneer in immuno-oncology,” he continued. “The team has demonstrated its impressive ability to deliver in research, discovery and exploratory development, and the Company has now reached a key inflection point to emerge as a major player for the second wave of immuno-oncology agents. I look forward to working closely with Hervé Brailly, the board and the team as we build Innate Pharma into a global, fully-integrated company, working in the best interests of patients, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders.”

In addition to these changes, Innate announced that Laure-Hélène Mercier will take up the mantle of chief financial officer and Catherine Moukheibir will leave the executive board but maintain a close relationship with the company in an advisory capacity.

Matt Fellows

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