Affini-T Expands Board of Directors with Appointments of Michael Varney, Ph.D., and Daniel Faga
“I am thrilled to welcome Mike and Dan to our board as both have demonstrated success in driving innovation and guiding groundbreaking companies,” said Jak Knowles, M.D., Co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer, Affini-T Therapeutics. “Mike’s broad oncology expertise and storied career at Genentech establishing its cell therapy capabilities and Dan’s sharp business acumen and deep expertise in novel modalities will enable continued growth for Affini-T as we look to develop potentially curative therapies for solid tumor patients with oncogenic driver mutations.”
Dr. Varney and Mr. Faga join a powerhouse of industry leaders across biotechnology, venture capital, drug development and cell and gene therapy on Affini-T’s board including Directors Jak Knowles, M.D., Arjun Goyal, M.D., M.Phil., and Lucio Iannone, Ph.D., along with Observers Sebastián Bernales, Ph.D., Rakhshita Dhar and Sean Parker.
Dr. Varney is a pioneer drug discovery leader and biotech veteran with deep expertise in diverse drug platforms. He is currently the Chair of R&D, Scientific Advisory Board Member and Board Director at Erasca, and Board Director of Pardes Biosciences, Interline Therapeutics and Atomwise. Most recently, he served as Genentech’s Executive Vice President and the Head of Research and Early Development (gRED) in addition to serving as a member of the Roche Corporate Executive Committee in Basel. Under Dr. Varney’s leadership, gRED teams discovered and developed numerous successful medicines for cancer. Additionally, Dr. Varney expanded the organization’s drug development capabilities to include personalized therapeutic vaccines and cell therapies. Dr. Varney holds a B.S. in chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles, and earned a Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry from the California Institute of Technology.
“I am excited to join Affini-T’s board of directors as this team works to develop potentially transformational T cell therapies for patients with intractable solid tumor cancers,” said Dr. Varney. “My career has been dedicated to discovering and developing novel oncology medicines and I look forward to helping Affini-T realize its vision of powering T cells to cure cancer.”
Mr. Faga has more than 20 years of business and advisory experience in life sciences and recently served as Chief Operating Officer of Mirati Therapeutics. Before Mirati, he was Chief Business Officer at Spark Therapeutics until its acquisition by Roche. Previously, Mr. Faga was Managing Director at CenterView Partners and began his career in private equity, investment banking and consulting. He currently serves as interim Chief Executive Officer of AnaptysBio. Mr. Faga earned a B.S. in engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
“I am looking forward to working with Affini-T’s accomplished leadership team and am encouraged by the potential of their novel therapeutic approach,” said Mr. Faga. “By targeting core oncogenic drivers, such as KRAS and p53, this team is poised to deliver potentially transformative medicines to solid tumor patients in need of durable and effective treatments.”
About Affini-T Therapeutics
Affini-T is unlocking the power of T cells and targeting core oncogenic drivers to develop potentially curative therapies for solid tumor cancers. Our differentiated cell therapy platform harnesses state-of-the-art engineering and synthetic biology capabilities to target even the most devastating cancer-driving mutations, beginning with KRAS. We leverage these tools to optimize T cell functions and rewrite the rules of the solid tumor microenvironment, enabling the potential for sustained clinical outcomes in patients. Building on the world-class innovation inherent in our leadership team, founders and technologies, we are powered to develop transformational medicines that last. Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
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Source: Affini-T Therapeutics, Inc
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