Black Diamond Therapeutics Appoints Sergey Yurasov, M.D., Ph.D., as Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Yurasov brings over 25 years of experience in oncology drug development and regulatory expertise

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and NEW YORK, June 01, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Black Diamond Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: BDTX), a precision oncology medicine company pioneering the discovery and development of MasterKey therapies, today announced the appointment of Sergey Yurasov, M.D., Ph.D., as Chief Medical Officer. In conjunction with the appointment of Dr. Yurasov, Karsten Witt, M.D., is transitioning from his current role as the Company’s Interim Chief Medical Officer to a clinical advisory role.

“We are delighted to welcome Sergey to Black Diamond as Chief Medical Officer. His considerable expertise in precision oncology medicine, specifically with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), positions Sergey as an invaluable leader for our drug development team,” said David Epstein, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Black Diamond Therapeutics. “We remain focused on advancing our MasterKey therapies, including our lead clinical program, BDTX-1535, and BDTX-4933, currently in IND-enabling studies, and Sergey’s diverse clinical and regulatory experience in the development of targeted oncology therapies for the treatment of solid tumors will be essential as we further advance our pipeline and utilize our innovative MAP drug discovery engine to develop novel MasterKey therapies.”

Dr. Yurasov joins Black Diamond Therapeutics from Nuvation Bio, an oncology therapeutics company. As Chief Medical Officer at Nuvation Bio, Dr. Yurasov was instrumental in the company’s successful public offering in February 2021, and spearheaded the company’s clinical development strategy in multiple oncology indications for a number of small molecule programs. Prior to Nuvation Bio, Dr. Yurasov was the Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Clinical Development at Immune Design Corp., an immune-oncology company, which was acquired by Merck in March 2019. He was previously Senior Vice President of Clinical Development at Clovis Oncology, where he oversaw clinical development and led clinical teams through regulatory filings for multiple oncology development programs, including rociletinib for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and RUBRACA® (rucaparib) for homologous-recombination deficient ovarian cancer. Earlier in Dr. Yurasov’s career, he was a senior physician at ImClone Systems, a subsidiary of Eli Lilly and Company, leading the approval of CYRAMZA® (ramucirumab) in NSCLC and a clinical lead on multiple oncology early development programs at Roche. Dr. Yurasov holds an M.D. from the Russian State Medical University and a Ph.D. from the Research Institute for Pediatric Hematology, in Moscow, Russia.

“Black Diamond’s MAP drug discovery engine represents a novel approach to addressing major unmet medical needs for patients within the precision oncology treatment landscape by targeting overlooked mutation families, and I was particularly drawn to this differentiated way of tackling the gaps in genetically defined cancer treatment. I am excited to be joining this team to further execute on the development of Black Diamond’s pipeline programs as the Company prepares for key milestones across its programs in 2023,” said Dr. Yurasov. “This is a crucial time for Black Diamond with a newly refined pipeline strategy and clear prioritization of programs in development and I look forward to joining this fantastic group of leaders and scientists as we work together to expand the reach of precision medicines in oncology.”

Dr. Yurasov succeeds Dr. Witt, who was Black Diamond’s founding Chief Medical Officer and will continue to support the Company in an advisory capacity.

“On behalf of everyone at Black Diamond, the management team and Board of Directors, we thank Karsten for his significant contributions to our progress and mission of expanding the reach of precision cancer medicines. Karsten has been instrumental in the building of Black Diamond, and we are grateful for the integral role he has played in our growth. I want to thank him for his leadership and continued commitment to the value proposition of MasterKey therapies,” said Dr. Epstein.

About Black Diamond Therapeutics, Inc.

Black Diamond Therapeutics is a precision oncology medicine company pioneering the development of novel MasterKey therapies. Black Diamond is addressing the significant unmet need for novel precision oncology therapies for patients with genetically defined cancers who have limited treatment options. Black Diamond is built upon a deep understanding of cancer genetics, onco-protein function, and drug discovery. The Company’s proprietary Mutation-Allostery-Pharmacology, or MAP, drug discovery engine, is designed to allow Black Diamond to analyze population-level genetic sequencing tumor data to predict and validate oncogenic mutations that promote cancer across tumor types as MasterKey mutations. Black Diamond discovers and develops selective MasterKey therapies against these families of oncogenic mutations. Black Diamond was founded by David M. Epstein, Ph.D., and Elizabeth Buck, Ph.D. For more information, please visit

Forward-Looking Statements

Statements contained in this press release regarding matters that are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding: the continued discovery and development of MasterKey therapies, the continued development and advancement of BDTX-1535 in clinical studies and BDTX-4933 in Investigational New Drug (IND)-enabling studies, including the timing and potential achievement of upcoming clinical and preclinical milestones for each program, and the continued development of the MAP drug discovery engine. Any forward-looking statements in this statement are based on management’s current expectations of future events and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those set forth in or implied by such forward-looking statements. Risks that contribute to the uncertain nature of the forward-looking statements include those risks and uncertainties set forth in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021, filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and in its other filings filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date on which they were made. The Company undertakes no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made.


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