TxCell SA, a biotechnology company developing cell-based immuno-therapies for the treatment of severe chronic inflammatory diseases with high medical need, announced the appointment of Dr. François Meyer as its chief executive officer. “The appointment of François is a timely and important step in securing the leadership and management structure of the company, as we prepare to further the development of our lead product candidate for the treatment of refractory Crohn’s disease patients into PhIIb and move our second product candidate into a PhI/II clinical trial for the treatment of refractory rheumatoid arthritis patients,” said Marc Lemaire, chairman of the supervisory board of TxCell. “François’ extensive experience in pharma and biotech will prove invaluable as TxCell pursues its strategy of building a leading company for novel treatments of severe chronic inflammatory diseases.”
“I have had the opportunity for an in-depth assessment of the company’s technology platform and I fully appreciate its unique potential,” said François Meyer. “Most importantly, the first clinical data observed in the PhI/II study in refractory Crohn’s disease patients, a very challenging patient population, is very appealing. The company is now entering the most exciting phase of its development and that is to confirm these initial findings with a controlled PhIIb study.
“In light of the recent breakthrough of the cell therapy business in the oncology area, TxCell has the potential to lead the way in a new wave of treatments for severe chronic inflammatory diseases, an area, where the clinical need remains high. I am looking forward to working with the team and leading the company to achieving its goals and bringing the benefit of this new potential treatment to patients,” he said.
Dr. François Meyer, PhD, has more than 25 years of pharmaceutical and biotechnology experience. During the early part of his career, he held various executive positions in R&D at Ciba-Geigy Pharma, where he headed the Molecular Genetics department in the newly formed Biotechnology division and at Sandoz Pharma, where he led the Gene and Cell Therapy business. After joining Rhone Poulenc Rorer in 1996, where he first headed R&D at Gencell, a biotechnology division of Rhone Poulenc Rorer, he was promoted to head of Global Research in 1998 and became head of R&D at Aventis Pharma, France after the merger with Hoechst in 2000. Lately he was CEO of Centelion until 2006, a biopharmaceutical affiliate company of Aventis Pharma. He has been member of the board of directors of several privately owned biopharmaceutical companies in the US and in Europe and is currently member of the supervisory board of Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics (NL). He graduated from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ), in Zurich. He received his PhD from the Institute for Molecular Biology at the University of Zurich.
About TxCell SA
TxCell, a spin off of Inserm (France’s National Institute for Health and Medical Research) located in the technology park of Sophia Antipolis, near Nice in southern France, is developing cell-based immuno-therapies for the treatment of severe chronic inflammatory diseases with high medical need using its unique and proprietary technology platform based on the properties of Type 1 regulatory T lymphocytes (Tr1 cells). The company has completed enrollment of a PhI/II study in refractory Crohn’s disease patients and has reported first positive results. The company plans to initiate a PhIIb study in the same patient population and bring a second product candidate into a PhI/II study in refractory rheumatoid arthritis patients.