Oxford Biomedica taps Frank Mathias as its new CEO

Gene and cell therapy specialist Oxford Biomedica announced the appointment of Dr Frank Mathias as its new chief executive officer and a board director on Tuesday, effective from March.

The London-listed company said Dr Mathias would bring “world-class innovation and contract development and manufacturing experience” to the firm.

Since 2016, he has served as CEO of Rentschler Biopharma, which he developed into a full-service contract development and manufacturing organisation.

During the last six years, Oxford said Dr Mathias had overseen a tripling of revenue, transformed the business, increased efficiencies and enhanced profitability faster than revenues.

At Rentschler, he also led the acquisition and integration of a new site from Shire in Milford near Boston, Massachusetts, and the launch of a new gene therapies unit in Stevenage.

During his tenure, Rentschler was also the first contract development and manufacturing organisation (CDMO) in Europe to support the commercial production of the mRNA Covid-19 vaccine for BioNTech, and also transferred the commercial production process for Curevac’s mRNA vaccine.

“Frank is an outstanding patient-centric leader with impressive experience from a top-end CDMO as well as from innovative biopharma companies,” said chair and interim CEO Dr Roch Doliveux.

“He has a strong track record of delivering growth and driving performance and innovation which are core strengths required to implement our strategy of becoming an innovative global viral vector leader.

“I know that Frank will drive our viral vector leadership to unleash the potential of cell and gene therapy for biopharma companies to save many lives.”

Before Rentschler, Dr Mathias was CEO of the publicly-listed Medigene – an immuno-oncology company focusing on the development of T-cell-based cancer therapies.

Over the course of his 30-year career, Dr Mathias also served in senior roles at global pharmaceutical companies including Amgen, Servier and Hoechst.

In 2019 he was awarded the title of ‘EY Entrepreneur of the Year’ in Germany.

Dr Doliveux would remain as interim CEO of Oxford Biomedica until March, at which point Dr Mathias would fully take over the role of CEO, and Dr Doliveux would resume the role of non-executive chair.

“Oxford Biomedica is a world-leader in the innovative development and manufacture of viral vectors for life-saving cell and gene therapies, demonstrated by the ever-expanding customer base of now more than 20 programmes across all vector types,” said Dr Frank Mathias.

“With momentum continuing to build across the business, I am excited by the potential for the company.

“I look forward to joining Oxford Biomedica and working with all of the staff, the board and partners to execute the strategy and deliver the next phase of growth as a world-class, innovation-led CDMO helping to improve the lives of patients.”

At 1015 GMT, shares in Oxford Biomedica were down 0.41% at 361p.

Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.