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ValiRx Plc (LON:VAL), the cancer drug developer, has recruited three people to its advisory board whose job it is to provide “strategic guidance and technical advice” to the firm’s main board of directors. Seppo Mäkinen, Dr Ajay Agrawal and Andrew King bring with them a wealth of industry and commercial experience. Heavyweight team Mäkinen, previously a ValiRx non-executive director, has spent more than 30 years in senior advisory and executive roles. His career includes ten years as director in life sciences at Sitra, the Finnish Government Fund, followed by 13 years as co-founder and managing partner in Bio Fund Management Oy. Agrawal, currently the chief business officer at ValiRx, sits on the boards of companies in the UK, Europe and US. He also has editorial input for six peer-reviewed international scientific journals published by Bentham Press in California. Finally, King has almost twenty years' experience working in the biotech and life-science sectors, serving for nearly ten years as finance director biotech NeuTec Pharma, leading the business through its IPO to its sale in 2006 to Novartis for £305mln. ValiRx chief executive, Dr Satu Vainikka, said: “I would like to extend a warm welcome to our advisory board and am delighted that we have attracted such experienced and talented individuals to our team. “I strongly believe that their counsel and ability to draw on such a spread of proven experience and contacts in our sector, will be of substantial benefit to ValiRx and in the shaping of its strategic direction.” Cancer trial underway Last week the company said recruitment has concluded for an early-phase study of VAL401, a potential treatment for non-small cell lung cancer. VAL-401 is being developed jointly by ValiRx and Tangent Reprofiling as part of the pair’s ValiSeek collaboration. Early data from the trial should be processed and analysed by the third-quarter, although ValiSeek can dose patients for up to six months. This means the trial will be fully complete by the year-end following another round of processing and analysis.
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