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Former Lonza biologics CSO joins Cobra board

By Gareth Macdonald , 23-Oct-2012

Cobra expands board
Cobra expands board

Cobra Biologics says former Lonza biopharmaceutical science officer brings strategic insight, process development and manufacturing expertise.

The UK contract manufacturing organisation (CMO) named John Birch, former Chief Scientific Officer for Lonza Biopharmaceuticals, as a non-executive director of its board earlier today, explaining that the appointment adds expertise to its senior team.

CEO Peter Coleman told Outsourcing-pharma.com that: “The Cobra board are hoping that John can help Cobra in many areas, in particular helping Cobra developing a strategy for its intellectual property portfolio and leverage its existing expertise and experience   

Cobra prides itself on a broad provision of services; however, John’s knowledge and experience will be invaluable as Cobra builds for the future.”

Coleman cited the role Birch played in setting up the process development and manufacturing division of Celltech – which was acquired by Lonza in 1996 – as an example of the experience Cobra is looking for.

He agreed with the suggestion that Birch will help Cobra win customers, commenting that: “I am certain it will help, however Cobra already has an extensive 14 year track record in delivering services for our customers and this year Cobra has signed x3 more business than both 2011 and 2010 prior to John’s appointment.”

The appointment comes after a period of expansion at the UK CMO. In the last 12 months the firm has increase its workforce by 40 per cent, added manufacturing and fill finish capacity through the acquisition of Unitech and added new benchtop reactor technology .

Cobra has also signed manufacturing contracts with Alligator Bioscience AB, KAHR Medical and Algeta.