Adaptimmune R&D chief Amado hits the exit amid a top-level shakeup as new CEO tries to revive ebbing enthusiasm
Adrian Rawcliffe doesn’t have any time to waste in making over the top team at Adaptimmune $ADAP, a high profile TCR-focused biotech that was once a darling of the I/O crowd, with hybrid operations in the UK and the US in a major alliance with GlaxoSmithKline.
Still a few weeks out from actually assuming the CEO title from founder James Noble, Rawcliffe said today that R&D president Rafael Amado — a GSK vet based in their Philadelphia facility — is on the way out to pursue other opportunities in the industry.
There’s no word in the release of exactly what that could entail. Amado joined Adaptimmune as CMO in the spring of 2015.
John Lunger, the senior vice president of manufacturing and supply chain, is taking on a new title as chief patient supply officer. And Rawcliffe is now searching for a chief medical officer as well as a new CFO to take his old spot on the top team at Adaptimmune.
That $350 million alliance with GSK now dates back 5 years, and Rawcliffe is out to spur some forward motion at the biotech, which notably captured a $191 million IPO. But time hasn’t been kind to the company. Its shares — initially priced at $17 — have swooned since last fall, when the stock was at $13.90.
It’s opening at $3.29 today, a painful 76% plunge.
The company burned its way to a $68 million loss in the first half, leaving it with about $35 million in cash on hand and $133 million in liquidity. That gives Adaptimmune enough runway to make it to the third quarter of next year.
The theme now is making things happen, with Rawcliffe highlighting 3 new clinical trials in the space of just weeks. The lead program is focused on the NY-ESO antigen, which was handed off to GSK last year.