Ixaka Expands Management Team with Multiple Appointments

  • Nick Robbins-Cherry, ex-Midatech, joins as CFO
  • George O’Rourke, joins as VP & GM Ixaka France, from Novartis Gene Therapy

London, UK, 10th February 2022: Ixaka Ltd, an integrated cell and gene therapy company focused on the natural power of the body to cure disease, today announces the appointment of Nick Robbins-Cherry as Chief Financial Officer and board Director George O’Rourke as Vice President and General Manager of Ixaka France.

Nick Robbins-Cherry joins Ixaka with 30 years of experience in fund-raising, public markets and PE gained through finance and commercial roles in international pharmaceuticals, technology services, software, and telecoms businesses. Most recently, Nick was CFO of a private equity backed telecoms infrastructure business, Vorboss Limited. Prior to Vorboss, he was CFO at Midatech Pharma PLC, a listed pharmaceutical business with R&D facilities in the UK and a manufacturing operation in Spain. He successfully steered Midatech through its IPO on AIM, a dual listing on NASDAQ and subsequent fundraises. Nick is a Chartered Accountant and holds an MBA and a BSc in Pharmacology from Bath University.

George O’Rourke, who joins as Vice President and General Manager of Ixaka France, is a seasoned pharmaceutical and biotech executive. Most recently, holding the position of Vice President and General Manager of France for Novartis Gene Therapy (formerly Avexis), a gene therapy company focused on transforming rare genetic diseases. During his time at Novartis Gene Therapy, George led the launch of Zolgensma (onasemnogene abeparvovec), a gene therapy, for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy. George has accumulated a wealth of experience working in America as well as several locations in Europe including the UK, France, Poland, and the Baltic states, creating productive environments where teamwork and ambition are harnessed to accelerate the delivery of ground-breaking therapies.

Nick and George join Ixaka’s leadership team following positive interim Phase 3 clinical trial data for its lead REX-001 cell therapy candidate, and in the run-up to entering the clinic with its lead targeted nanoparticle program, CELTIC, for hematological malignancies.

Commenting on the appointments, Joe Dupere, CEO at Ixaka, said:
“We are thrilled to welcome Nick and George to our leadership team. Nick has a strong track record of performance in pharmaceutical businesses and a wealth of knowledge and experience in the industry and fund raising. George has extensive experience in the biopharmaceutical sector driving high performance in teams, most recently in the gene therapy sector. Adding their expertise to that of the existing management team will be invaluable as we continue to expand the company and work towards upcoming milestones for our multicell therapies and in vivo gene delivery platform.”

Nick Robbins-Cherry, newly appointed CFO at Ixaka, commented:
“Ixaka has an innovative approach to cell and gene therapies, high-potential new therapy candidates and a technology platform that can be applied to a broad range of poorly treated disease. I look forward to working with Joe and the rest of the team and supporting them through the business’s development.”

George O’Rourke, newly appointed VP and GM of Ixaka France, added:
“Ixaka’s targeted nanoparticle approach to in vivo gene delivery has the potential to usher in a new generation of therapies with significantly reduced manufacturing costs and improved efficacy. With this technology poised to enter the clinic in 2022, it’s clear to see Ixaka has a bright future, in which I’m delighted to be involved.”

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