Molecular Partners names Regeneron cancer leader as CSO in reshuffle of leadership team | Tech News

Molecular Partners has rejigged its leadership team, hiring Pamela Trail, Ph.D., from Regeneron to serve as CSO and shunting Michael Stumpp, Ph.D., across to the COO position.

Trail joins Molecular Partners after seven years at Regeneron that ended with her holding the title of VP of oncology strategy and program direction. Earlier in her career, Trail held senior, cancer-focused research positions at MedImmune, Seattle Genetics, Bayer and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

At Molecular Partners, Trail will apply experience gained in these positions to a pipeline of oncology prospects based on the DARPin platform. The platform generates small protein therapeutics derived from the ankyrin repeat binding proteins. Molecular Partners is using these proteins to build drugs that act on multiple pathways, potentially making them better suited to complex diseases than single-target therapies. 

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With two wholly owned cancer assets in the clinic and multiple immuno-oncology prospects coming down the preclinical pipeline, Molecular Partners thinks now is the time to strengthen its leadership team. 

“Pam brings a wealth of expertise in oncology drug development to this role, having contributed to three FDA-approved cancer therapies Nexavar, Stivarga and Adcetris, across a diverse set of therapeutic modalities, including biologics and small molecule drugs,” Molecular Partners CEO Patrick Amstutz said in a statement.

Amstutz’s appointment to the CEO role in late in 2016, initially on an interim basis, ultimately led to this week’s reshuffle. In taking up the CEO post, Amstutz vacated the COO role. Molecular Partners opted against immediately filling the COO role. But now, 13 months after Amstutz became permanent CEO, the biotech has reassigned Stumpp to the position.

Stumpp has overseen Molecular Partners’ DARPin pipeline since the foundation of the biotech and was involved in the University of Zurich repeat protein research that spawned the company in 2004. But he is now moving from CSO to COO, leaving the former position free for Trail.

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