SAN DIEGO, April 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Seragon Pharmaceuticals Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the development of drugs for hormone-driven cancers, today announced the expansion of the company's Clinical and Scientific Advisory Board (CSAB) and the appointment of Debasish Roychowdhury, M.D., who will serve as Seragon's Acting Chief Medical Officer.
Dr. Roychowdhury is a leader in the pharmaceutical industry with a strong background in research and development, regulatory and commercial operations in the oncology field, having previously served in key senior leadership roles at Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline and Lilly. He joins the founding members of the Seragon CSAB that includes distinguished academic scientists Charles Sawyers, M.D., Jose Baselga, M.D., Ph.D., and Ronald M. Evans, Ph.D.
"We are pleased to welcome Debasish, who will work closely with the Seragon R&D team to advance our pipeline of therapeutics in his role as Acting Chief Medical Officer and will join the distinguished founding members of our CSAB," said Richard Heyman, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Seragon. "Together with our team, Debasish will implement and provide valuable guidance as we advance our selective estrogen receptor degrader (SERD) platform for breast cancer and other hormone-driven cancers. The depth of experience of our clinical and scientific advisors, along with the recent appointment of Tony Coles, M.D. to our Board of Directors, solidifies Seragon as an emerging biotech company."
Dr. Roychowdhury most recently served as Senior Vice President of Global Oncology and Head of the Global Oncology Division at Sanofi from August 2009 to September 2013. Prior to that, he served as the Vice President for Clinical Development at GlaxoSmithKline since 2005. In 2008, he was a member of the team that created GSK's new Oncology R&D Unit. Dr. Roychowdhury served in oncology clinical research and later in regulatory affairs for Eli Lilly and Company. During his tenure in industry he was involved in the approval of nine drugs, including, Alimta, Tykerb and Jevtana. Prior to his role in industry, he served as faculty member at the University of Cincinnati, where he directed a number of clinical programs. He moved to the United States in 1989 where he specialized in internal medicine, hematology and oncology at the University of California at San Francisco. Dr. Roychowdhury received his Doctorate of Medicine from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.
Dr. Sawyers is an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Director of the Human Oncology and Pathogenesis Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Sawyers has focused his research on mechanisms of cancer drug resistance and has been integral in the development of novel therapeutics, including Gleevec. He has won numerous honors and awards, including the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences and the 2009 Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine and in 2010 was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Baselga is Physician-in-Chief at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. An internationally recognized physician scientist with a key passion on translational research and early clinical development, Dr. Baselga's research has focused on development of novel molecular targeted agents for breast cancer. Dr. Baselga was the lead investigator in both the first published study demonstrating clinical activity of trastuzumab in patients with HER2 over-expressing breast cancer, and has been involved in the clinical development of therapies including Tykerb as well as the pivotal study that led to the approval of everolimus in the treatment of patients with hormone receptor positive breast cancer.
Dr. Evans serves as Professor and Director of the Gene Expression Laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is a leader in the field of nuclear hormone signaling and metabolism and his laboratory was instrumental in the discovery of a large receptor superfamily of molecules, which include steroid receptors that are primary therapeutic targets for cancer, osteoporosis, asthma and metabolic diseases. He has received numerous awards including the Wolf Prize in Medicine, the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research and the Gairdner Foundation International Award. He was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1989 and the Institute of Medicine in 2003.
About Seragon Pharmaceuticals
Seragon Pharmaceuticals is focused on the development of small-molecule drugs for the treatment of estrogen receptor dependent breast cancer. Seragon Pharmaceuticals' orally active selective estrogen receptor degraders (SERDs) represent a potential new treatment for progressive metastatic breast cancer that may circumvent the problem of resistance to anti-hormonal therapies. The company's lead SERD compound, ARN-810, is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1 clinical trial in breast cancer patients who have failed first generation anti-hormonal therapies such as tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors. In addition to endocrine-resistant breast cancer, SERD agents also have potential to treat other estrogen dependent cancers such as endometrial and ovarian cancers. Seragon is a privately held company founded in 2013 and headquartered in San Diego, California. For more information, visit www.seragonpharm.com.
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