Shaun Chilton is appointed Non-Executive Chairman of the Avacta Board of Directors

Avacta Group plc (AIM: AVCT), a life sciences company developing innovative, targeted cancer treatments and powerful diagnostics, announces that Shaun Chilton has been appointed Non-Executive Chairman replacing Eliot Forster, who is also stepping down from the Board. The changes will occur with immediate effect.

Shaun Chilton has served as a Non-Executive Director at Avacta since June 2023, having previously held the position of Chief Executive Officer of Clinigen Group plc, a global pharmaceutical services group offering access to medicines, operating in over 100 countries. Shaun is an entrepreneurial biopharma executive and Chair with over 30 years’ experience leading and managing both private and public businesses and a track record of delivering growth in sales and business enterprise value.

As CEO, he led the sale of Clinigen in 2022 to Triton Partners for a total consideration of c. £1.3 billion. Mr. Chilton has considerable board experience within UK public companies and has held several other board level roles including serving as Non-Executive Chair of MAP Patient Access Ltd and C7 Health Ltd. As Chair of C7 Health Ltd, he led the sale of the business to a strategic buyer in 2022.

Avacta’s Board of Directors signaled ongoing plans in April 2024 for an evolution of the Board to meet the demands of being a clinical stage oncology company, as Avacta accelerates the clinical development of its pre|CISION™ platform. Avacta also recently appointed Christina Coughlin MD PhD, formerly Head of Research & Development, as Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Coughlin has previously served as CEO of Cytoimmune Therapeutics, and as Chief Medical Officer at Tmunity, Rubius and Immunocore.

Further evolution of the Board membership is planned in the near future to support the Company in the transition to a therapeutics-focused organisation. 

Shaun Chilton, Chairman, commented: 

“I’ve worked in biopharma businesses for three decades and, having spent a year on the Board of Avacta, I understand the potential of the pre|CISION platform to transform the way we treat cancer. Avacta’s Board will continue to evolve to provide support for this platform and to ensure that we optimise the tremendous opportunity for patients and shareholders alike. I’m excited to be stepping into the role of Chair and to be working even more closely with the management team and wider Board. 

“I’d also like to thank Eliot for his guidance and leadership of the Board and the expertise he has brought to bear. Avacta and the Board have benefitted from his deep drug development and company building experience as well as his contacts in the sector across both public and private companies in Europe and the US.” 

Christina Coughlin, CEO, continued:

“I look forward to working with Shaun in his new role as Chairman of the Board and continuing to focus on the key goals and priorities for the Company. Shaun is keenly aware of the potential that exists in our oncology pipeline to bring value to patients and shareholders alike and we will work together to deliver on that potential. I am grateful to Eliot for his guidance he has provided to Avacta and for his leadership across this transition.”