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AstraZeneca's senior VP for I-O to move to Immunocore as R&D head

Immunocore Ltd. appointed David Berman, senior vice president of AstraZeneca PLC's immuno-oncology franchise, as head of research and development.

Berman joined Immunocore in September 2018 to work on its skin cancer therapy IMCgp100, the company said in a news release. Abingdon, U.K.-based biotechnology company Immunocore counts Malin Corp. PLC, Eli Lilly and Co. and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation among its investors.

Aside from heading the late-stage programs of the AstraZeneca's immuno-oncology pipeline, Berman also previously served as head of AstraZeneca unit MedImmune LLC's early-stage oncology program and as head of Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.'s immuno-oncology exploratory development team.

AstraZeneca, the U.K.'s second-largest pharmaceutical company, has experienced a shakeup in its senior management in the first weeks of 2019 amid the company's decision to restructure its research and development and commercial operations into two distinct units for oncology and biopharmaceuticals. Berman is the second executive to leave AstraZeneca for Immunocore in January alone after Bahija Jallal, who previously headed Medimmune, left the U.K. drugmaker Jan. 4 to join the U.K. biotech as CEO.

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca's chief medical officer Sean Bohen is also departing the drugmaker in the middle of the reorganization.