OncoResponse Appoints Robert Lechleider, MD as Chief Medical Officer; Promotes Kamal Puri, PhD to Chief Scientific Officer
SEATTLE, Washington – April 14, 2020 – OncoResponse, a biotechnology company developing human antibodies as product candidates for multiple high-value targets associated with immunosuppressive myeloid biology for application to cancer immunotherapy, today announced the appointment of Bob Lechleider, MD, as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Lechleider joins OncoResponse from Seattle Genetics, where he most recently served as Senior Vice President, Clinical Development. The company also announced the promotion of Kamal Puri, PhD, from Vice President, Research and Development to Chief Scientific Officer.
"OncoResponse is proud to bring two experienced leaders to our senior management team in order to further our mission of advancing high-value product candidates as cancer medicines," said Clifford Stocks, Chief Executive Officer of OncoResponse. "We congratulate Dr. Puri on earning a promotion following his key contributions to the company and we are pleased he will continue to serve in directing our research discovery and development programs. We are also thrilled to welcome Dr. Bob Lechleider to our team. He has the ideal background to help guide our translational efforts and he is the right medical expert to lead our clinical development programs."
Bob Lechleider, MD brings over 20 years of academic and industry experience in medical oncology and cancer research to OncoResponse. Dr. Lechleider was previously at Seattle Genetics where he was responsible for directing clinical development of the early and late-stage portfolios, including the successful initial licensing of Padcev for the treatment of metastatic urothelial cancer. Prior to his contributions at Seattle Genetics, Dr. Lechleider held key roles with increasing responsibility at several biopharmaceutical companies, including MacroGenics, Human Genome Sciences and MedImmune/Astra Zeneca. Before joining the biotechnology industry, he served as Assistant Professor of Pharmacology at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and Associate Professor of Cell Biology at Georgetown University Medical School.
Dr. Lechleider received his A.B. cum laude from Princeton University, his MD from the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago, and clinical training in internal medicine at Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and in medical oncology at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda. He was also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholar and a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell postdoctoral fellow.
"I am excited to join the team at OncoResponse and look forward to bringing our drug candidates into the clinic to improve the lives of cancer patients. The science behind the pipeline and the promise of the drug candidates we have identified is unique and has the potential for broad application in cancer care."
Kamal Puri, PhD, who previously served as Vice President, Research and Development at the company, joined OncoResponse in early 2018 from Celgene where he led a preclinical research group to discover new molecular entities for the immunology pipeline as well as identified and supported new indications for existing portfolio molecules. Prior to Celgene he was Associate Director of Research at Gilead, where he contributed to the approval of Zydelig™, a first-in-class PI3K delta inhibitor for the treatment of hematological malignancies. Prior to Gilead, which acquired Calistoga Pharma, Dr. Puri was Head of Biology at Calistoga and was responsible for a wide range of activities with success in advancing three drug candidates into clinical development for multiple indications. Earlier in his career, Dr. Puri also led drug discovery efforts at ICOS Corporation and CytoTherapeutics.
Dr. Puri received his PhD from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India. During his research period, he was a Research Fellow of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India. Dr. Puri undertook his immunology training with Timothy A. Springer, PhD Latham Family Professor at the Harvard Medical School. Dr. Puri has published 55 peer-reviewed journal articles with greater than 7000 citations.
"I am delighted to be working with a fantastic team of scientists and collaborators, and I look forward to continuing to direct our research discovery and development programs through a new and exciting period of growth. OncoResponse is transforming the way new therapies are discovered and has built a strong pipeline with a potential to deliver life-changing treatment options to cancer patients."
OncoResponse, Inc., an immuno-oncology focused biotech company, in a broad strategic alliance with MD Anderson Cancer Center uses a proprietary B-cell technology platform to mine the immune system of cancer patients who have responded to cancer immunotherapy to discover novel targets and antibodies, and develop therapeutic monoclonal antibodies to treat cancer. OncoResponse has several antibodies directed at modulating immunosuppression of the tumor microenvironment in pre-clinical development. OncoResponse, Inc. is a privately held company backed by investment from MD Anderson Cancer Center, Rivervest Venture Partners, Qatar Investment Authority, Redmile Group, ARCH Venture Partners, GreatPoint Ventures, Helsinn Investment Fund, Canaan Partners, Shire, Buchang Pharma (China), Alexandria Real Estate Equities and William Marsh Rice University. For more information please visit: www.oncoresponse.com.