Medivation Exec Jumps Ship to Become CMO at BeiGene

Published: Aug 26, 2016

Medivation Exec Jumps Ship to Become CMO at BeiGene August 25, 2016
By Mark Terry, Breaking News Staff

Only days after Pfizer announced it was acquiring San Francisco-based Medivation , the California company’s vice president of Clinical Development left.

BeiGene , located in Waltham, Mass., announced that Amy Peterson would be joining the company as chief medical officer, Immuno-oncology. She will direct BeiGene’s global clinical development of BGB-A317, a PD-1 inhibitor, BGB-290, a PARP inhibitor, and an expanding pipeline of other immuno-oncology compounds.

Peterson was the vice president of Clinical Development at Medivation. There, she was responsible for developing enzalutamide and talazoparib in breast cancer, and of pidilizumab in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. Prior to joining Medivation, Peterson was associate group medical director at Genentech .

She received her M.D. from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Penn, and completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. She finished a Fellowship in Hematology and Oncology at the University of Chicago.

Pfizer is acquiring Medivation for about $14 billion. Medivation had been fending off a hostile takeover bid from Paris-based Sanofi , although a number of other companies had expressed interest, including Celgene .

Medivation’s Xtandi for prostate cancer was the company’s big driver, with U.S. sales exceeding $1 billion last year. It had $330.3 million in U.S. net sales in the second quarter of this year alone.

BeiGene focuses on immuno-oncology, and has over 250 scientists, clinicians and staff in mainland China (which probably explains the name), the U.S., Australia and Taiwan.

Eric Hedrick is currently acting as BeiGene’s interim chief medical officer, and will continue to lead global clinical hematology development, including the company’s BGB-3111, a BTK inhibitor.

“We are delighted to have Dr. Peterson join our team,” said John Oyler, founder, chief executive officer, and chairman of BeiGene, in a statement. “BeiGene continues to expand its senior medical leadership in response to emerging global development opportunities, particularly in immuno-oncology. Amy’s broad experience in oncology drug development and her academic background in immuno-oncology research are well-suited to our expanding clinical development efforts. We very much look forward to her contribution in the continued growth and development of our existing and future pipeline and the company as a whole.”

“BeiGene has a robust pipeline of clinical stage, internally discovered molecules against validated targets as well as an expanding roster of candidates in the preclinical pipeline,” said Peterson in a statement. “I look forward to leveraging my past experiences to successfully build an organization that can bring these assets to market while continuing to expand the clinical pipeline.”

BeiGene announced on Aug. 18 that it had received Clinical Trial Application (CTA) approval from the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) to conduct clinical trials in China for BGB-290. It has also been approved to start trials in Australia and the U.S.

“The CTA approval for BGB-290 represents the third molecule from the BeiGene portfolio to receive regulatory clearance for initiation of clinical trials in China,” said Oyler in a statement. “We look forward to commencing the development of BGB-290 in China, in addition to continuing global development of BGB-290, both as a monotherapy and in combination with BGB-A318, our PD-1 antibody.”

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