Dr Francois Bertelli appointed as Head of Platform Development

London, UK, 18 November 2021 – Avvinity Therapeutics Limited (“Avvinity”), an immuno-oncology company developing Alphamer® immunotherapies for solid and haematological cancers, today announces the appointments of Francois Bertelli as Head of Platform Development.

Avvinity’s proprietary Alphamer immunotherapy platform harnesses a novel and powerful immune adaptation found in humans to selectively kill cancer cells. Alphamers recruit endogenous anti-sugar polyclonal antibodies to tumour cells, stimulating a broad, amplified immune response which drives high, durable efficacy against target cancer cells.

As the Head of Platform development, Francois will lead the optimisation of the Alphamer platform by bringing new targeted delivery modalities, conjugation design and linker-effector ideas and their application to novel targets. The company’s lead programs are antibody based Alphamers, whereby proprietary conjugation templates have been developed to allow the site specific conjugation of the company’s proprietary rhamnose based linkers.

Francois has over 20 years of experience in the Pharma industry, having worked at Pfizer, Abbott, Spirogen, MedImmune, Astrazeneca, and LifeArc where he gained experience of both small molecules and Antibody Drug Discovery. Francois is an expert in Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs) and immuno-oncology where his antibody and small molecules background bring the two fields together. He has an antibody development CMC background and most notably he made major contributions to transitioning several ADCs into the clinic.

Francois holds a Protein Engineering PhD from the University of Paris-Sud Orsay University in the field of Enzymology followed by postdoctoral work at Park Davis/Warner Lambert, Cambridge, focusing on pain and inflammation.

Francois commented “Avvinity’s Alphamer technology platform is a refreshingly new approach in immunooncology that aims to harness the power of the immune system to reject tumour cells. I am excited by the opportunity to further develop the platform and apply the technology to novel cancer targets, including targeting undesirable immune cells.”

Nick Staples, CEO commented “I am delighted to welcome Francois to the Avvinity team. As our lead Alphamers are novel immune stimulating antibody conjugates, Francois expertise in antibody design and development will help us drive our technology forward as build our development pipeline, further build our IP and know how, and look to establish key platform capabilities in house.”

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