CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Mersana Therapeutics, a platform-based cancer therapeutics company, today announced that Nicholas G. Bacopoulos, Ph.D., has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Bacopoulos has served on Mersana's Board of Directors since 2007 and has more than 25 years of leadership experience with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Dr. Bacopoulos succeeds Julie A. Olson, Ph.D., who has been appointed to the newly created role of Chief Technology Officer.
"We are pleased that Nick has decided to join Mersana as President and CEO," said C. Boyd Clarke, Chairman of the Board. "His extensive operational leadership and drug development experience will be invaluable as we continue to exploit the broad therapeutic applications of our Fleximer®-based platform."
"Since joining the Mersana Board three years ago, I have had the opportunity to see, first-hand, the promise that the Fleximer platform holds for transforming molecules into drugs with potentially superior pharmacological qualities," said Dr. Bacopoulos. "I am excited about the opportunity to lead Mersana and look forward to building upon the company's ongoing Fleximer-based programs and business development activities relating to small molecule and biologics drug development and siRNA delivery."
Dr. Bacopoulos previously served as President and CEO of Aton Pharma, Inc, which developed the first commercial HDAC inhibitor, Zolinza®, and was acquired by Merck & Co. Prior to Aton, he served as President and Head of R&D at OSI Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where he worked on the development of Tarceva® and the R&D integration of the British Biotechnology and Gilead Oncology acquisitions. In his 18 years at Pfizer, Dr. Bacopoulos helped lead the development of Zoloft© and Geodon© and also served as President and CEO of Anaderm Research Corporation, a Pfizer subsidiary. Prior to joining Pfizer, Dr. Bacopoulos was on the Pharmacology faculty of Dartmouth Medical School. He received a B.A. from Cornell College, a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa and conducted post-doctoral research at Yale University School of Medicine. He has 52 research publications and is a co-inventor on 12 patents.
Fleximer is a novel, biodegradable and bio-inert polymer that can be chemically linked to small molecules, biologics and nucleic acids to enhance their pharmacokinetic and safety profiles. Fleximer has been proven to transform existing and experimental agents into new, patentable drugs with superior properties. The Fleximer platform has broad and versatile applications across many therapeutic categories and enhances the delivery of small molecule, protein and nucleic acid-based therapeutics, such as siRNA.
About Mersana Therapeutics, Inc.
Mersana Therapeutics is a private, venture-backed company that employs its biodegradable polymer platform (Fleximer®) to create new and better medicines. The company has developed a pipeline of novel, clinical stage compounds with the potential to address multiple oncology indications. Mersana's lead compound, XMT-1001, a novel camptothecin conjugate, is completing Phase 1 studies. The company's second clinical compound, XMT-1107, a novel fumagillin conjugate, which was licensed to Teva Pharmaceuticals in 2010, is currently in Phase 1 studies. Mersana has also developed a proprietary Fleximer-based siRNA delivery system that is currently in preclinical studies. Mersana Therapeutics has operations in Cambridge, MA and London, England. For more information, visit www.mersana.com.
Fleximer® is a trademark of Mersana Therapeutics, Inc.
Zolinza® is a registered trademark of Merck.
Tarceva® is a trademark of OSI Pharmaceuticals.
Zoloft® and Geodon® are registered trademarks of Pfizer.
SOURCE Mersana Therapeutics