- GlaxoSmithKline's Frédéric Lehmann is leaving his position at the pharma giant to become VP of immuno-oncology at Celyad, a Belgium-based biotech company.
- This the second big Glaxo oncology executive to leave for Celyad (formerly Cardio3 BioSciences) since January, when Celyad bought OnCyte and their CAR-T platform.
- Lehmann has been at GSK for 12 years.
Celyad's CAR-T program seems ambitous given the $40 million—much of it from an IPO in June—that has been allocated towards the advancement of new immuno-oncology programs for development of blood cancer therapies for myeloid leukemia and multiple myeloma and treatments for solid tumors.
Celyad has chosen Lehmann to head up this effort, because of his deep experience in this field as GSK's R&D and Early Clinical Development Business Unit for Cancer Immunotherapeutics. In that role, he was responsible for the R&D process across the development timeline, with a focus not only on drugs, but also biomarkers and companion diagnostics.
Lehmann will be joining his former colleague, Vincent Brichard, who was formerly an SVP at GSK. Brichard came over in Jaunary and took the lead role in the new immuno-oncology program and was appointed Vice President of Immuno-oncology. Now that Lehmann is taking over, Brichard will stay on in a consultancy capacity.