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Dr. Stefanos Theoharis. Image / OneChain Immunotherapeutics.

Stefanos Theoharis, new CEO of OneChain Immunotherapeutics

OneChain Immunotherapeutics (OCI), a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the development of CAR T therapies for the treatment of oncologic diseases, announced Stefanos Theoharis as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer. He succeeds Jorge Alemany, who has served as CEO since the creation of the company, based in the Barcelona Science Park, in June 2020 and will now retire.

Stefanos has more than twenty years of experience in the field of cell and gene therapy, business development, program management and manufacturing. His career includes key roles such as Chief Business Officer at Bone Therapeutics, a Belgium-based company specializing in cell therapies for orthopedic disorders, Senior Vice President at Cell Medica, and Chief Business Officer at Apceth Biopharma GmbH. He also held positions as Business Development Director at the antisense RNA drug company Isarna, and Business Development Director at Roche, focused on partnering activities for emerging technologies. Prior to this, he also worked at Lazard, the global investment bank, advising various life sciences companies on M&As and financing transactions. He received his Ph.D. from Imperial College London in 2004, in gene therapy and immunology.

“I’m thrilled to bring my perspective to the exceptional team of scientists and business leaders who make up this company,” explains Stefanos. “What truly excites me about this position is that the company is young enough to have a significant potential for growth and development yet mature enough to have established a solid track record and engage in challenging projects,” he adds.

Under the leadership of the former CEO Jorge Alemany, Ph.D., OCI has rapidly achieved significant milestones in the field of CAR T therapies. Founded in June 2020 as a spin-off by  Josep Carreras Leukemia Research Institute, ICREA– Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies, and Dr. Pablo Menéndez, the company reached the clinical stage in less than three years and has strengthened its pipeline with a new allogeneic platform, a second program against hematological tumors and another against solid tumors. In addition, OCI successfully closed a pre-series A funding round just seven months ago, raising €15 million in total, between dilutive and non-dilutive funding.

Stefanos joins OCI at a crucial moment, with the goal of leading the company into a new phase of development of its therapies. The new CEO plans to focus on aspects such as manufacturing, patient recruitment and market access, and emphasizes the importance of establishing strategic partnerships to advance OCI’s projects to the next stage. “An essential part of my role will be to bring to the company the international reputation and network of contacts that I have built during my 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry. I am excited to contribute to this new phase of the company, where we aim to grow not only in our product portfolio but also in the internal development of our team,” he states.

In this context of change and opportunity, OCI board members have expressed their enthusiasm for his arrival. “Stefanos possesses an exceptional combination of scientific knowledge and business savvy, developed through key positions in biotech and pharmaceutical companies. His profound understanding of cell and gene therapies, CAR therapeutics, and immuno-oncology aligns seamlessly with the innovative potential of the company. With Stefanos at the helm, OneChain is well-prepared to embark on its next phase of growth,” remarks Laura Rodríguez, Principal at Invivo and Board member at OneChain.

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