Our client:

Oxford BioMedica is a leading gene and cell therapy company focused on developing life changing treatments for serious diseases. The company has built a sector-leading lentiviral vector delivery platform (LentiVector®) through which it develops in vivo and ex-vivo products both in-house and with partners. Oxford BioMedica has created a valuable proprietary portfolio of gene and cell therapy product candidates in the areas of oncology, ophthalmology and CNS disorders and has entered into a number of partnerships, including with Novartis, Sanofi, GSK, and Immune Design, through which it has long-term economic interests in other potential gene and cell therapy products. Oxford BioMedica is listed on the main market of the LSE.


The challenge:

Responsible for c.70% of the company’s headcount, the Chief Operating Officer was a new position. The successful candidate would be a key member of the Senior Executive Team, playing an important role in the strategy, planning, direction and oversight of the company’s operational policies, rules, initiatives and objectives. Specifically, the COO would be responsible for the Manufacturing, Clinical Operations, Regulatory, Validation, Quality Control and Estates & Services functions in the business.


How our approach made a difference:

We were able to identify a broad range of individuals with both operational and manufacturing experience. The focus was on operational excellence, scale up, QA and alliance management including the ability to support the CEO in business development activities and due diligence. The ideal profile would also include an understanding of Cell & Gene Therapy (CGT), which made the available talent pool much narrower. Presenting the company’s future opportunities, but also its risks, became an important part of RSA’s value proposition to ensure the candidate joined for the right reasons and in full knowledge of the bigger picture.

Key markets for our search included the US, Switzerland, Germany, China and the UK and we included generics companies with a focus on biologics. We managed to present our Short List report within the expected timeline of eight weeks and also supported the candidate with his negotiations relocating back from Germany to the UK including taxation support and cost of living comparisons.

Having an in-depth understanding of the leadership style of the CEO and the company’s culture and values allowed us to calibrate on soft skills and present the opportunity in a balanced and transparent manner.



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