Coulter Partners Recruits Chief Science Officer for F-star

April 13, 2016 – Global life sciences search specialist Coulter Partners has placed Dr. Neil Brewis as chief scientific officer and Michael Davies as vice president of protein science at F-star, a biopharmaceutical company developing novel bispecific antibodies with a focus on immuno-oncology.

F-star asked Coulter Partners to conduct global searches to identify experts in the discovery and development of complex biologics. The company also sought individuals who could lead its current and future research programs.

The firm was able to attract candidates with the prospect of being placed into Cambridge (U.K.), an expanding center for biotechnology in Europe and a key hub for biopharmaceutical companies and academic excellence within antibody drug discovery and development.

Dr. Brewis joins F-star from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), where as VP / head of biopharmaceutical research he led a global team of 300 scientists who advanced numerous monoclonal antibodies, antibody fragments, and protein therapeutics from target validation into early clinical development. This involved leading teams focused on pipeline discovery, platform innovation, translational medicine, clinical immunology, manufacturing process research, and cell line development. He has 20 years of experience in drug discovery and development. Prior to joining GSK, he played a key leadership role as head of research of Domantis until the company was acquired by GSK in 2007.


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Mr. Davies was formerly head of analytical strategy, biologics at the Centre for Process Innovation before joining F-star. Prior to this, he held a number of leadership roles within Lonza, culminating in his appointment as head of analytical services. He has extensive experience in leading biopharma CMC programs, the management of regulatory submissions and regulatory inspections for clinical & commercial products and the application of operational excellence tools.

“It has been a great pleasure to work with everyone at Coulter Partners – an outstanding search team, whose professionalism has impressed us throughout. These two appointments will greatly strengthen our experienced management team and I would like to thank all those involved,” said John Haurum MD, chief executive officer of F-star.

F-star is a clinical-stage company developing bispecific antibody immunooncology products selected for their potential to transform the treatment of cancer.

According to Deloitte’s just released 2016 global sector outlook on life sciences, persistent talent shortages and the need to develop and retain employees with critical business and technology skill sets will continue to challenge global life sciences companies as they try to navigate a new world of work — one that requires a dramatic change in strategies for leadership, talent, and human resources.

Our sector has changed beyond anyone’s expectations over the last two decades,” said CEO Bianca Coulter. “We need to understand the appetites and needs of the major multinationals. This requires reach into all corners of the market. While our office network is growing, the key has been to have multilingual, multi-market experienced and connected researchers and consultants. Our team speaks many languages and has worked in all major bio-pharma markets and is organized as one P&L, to ensure collaborative information and experience sharing.”

The sector has recently enjoyed a healthy stream of consistent investment for the development of new therapies for unmet medical needs. “This spans the entire gamut of existing therapeutic areas from CNS, respiratory, immunology and inflammation to oncology, hematology, ophthalmology and rare diseases,” said Helga Long, a life sciences search specialist who recently merged her practice into RSVP Group. She noted there is a need and reliance on the biotech sector for innovation and early science, and this has led to a surge of investment in biotech startups. “All of these segments now require world class leadership,” said Ms. Long.

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media

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