-Industry Leaders Bring Deep Oncology and Company Building Experience-
Cambridge, MA – May 27, 2009 – Agios Pharmaceuticals, the first biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing novel drugs in the rapidly emerging field of cancer metabolism, today announced the appointment of its new leadership team; David Schenkein, M.D. will join as Chief Executive Officer in August and Duncan Higgons will join as Chief Operating Officer in May. Dr. Schenkein currently serves as Senior Vice President, Clinical Hematology/Oncology at Genentech, Inc. and Mr. Higgons most recently served
as Chief Operating Officer, President and interim Chief Executive Officer at Archemix Corp.
The vision of Agios is to lead the development and translation of cancer metabolism biology and decades of metabolic biochemistry into novel cancer therapeutics that will make a difference for patients. To date, Agios has put in place a world-class scientific team of more than 40 people, built a fully integrated cell metabolism platform within the largest research laboratory dedicated to cancer metabolism and created an emerging product development pipeline including a lead program targeted to enter the clinic within 12 months.
“Agios is at the forefront of one of the most exciting new areas in cancer biology. I believe this approach holds the potential to create a new class of breakthrough therapies that will ultimately change how cancer patients are treated,” said David Schenkein, Agios incoming Chief Executive Officer. “The company already has a significant foundation in place with a compelling vision, great people, deep science and an advanced pipeline. I’m excited to lead Agios into the next stage of development that includes continuing to build a world class team and culture as well as a adding a strong clinical dimension to the company.”
Dr. Schenkein brings to Agios a proven track record in drug development and one of the deepest oncology skill sets in the industry. He has led the development of several first-in-class cancer therapeutics through all stages of development including the submission and approval of numerous NDAs, sBLAs and INDs. Currently, Dr. Schenkein serves as Senior Vice President, Clinical Hematology/Oncology at Genentech with responsibility for leading the medical and scientific strategies for the Development BioOncology portfolio, as well as overseeing the BioOncology Clinical Science and Medical Science Liaison functions with a staff of more than 130 people. He is currently an adjunct Professor of Medicine at the Stanford University Cancer Center. Before his tenure at Genentech, he served as Senior Vice President of Clinical Research at Millennium Pharmaceuticals. While there, he led the clinical development of the drug candidate, Velcade® (bortezomib), which was approved during his tenure and has since become a blockbuster cancer therapy, significantly helping the lives of cancer patients. Prior to Millennium he was Director of the Cancer Center and Lymphoma Service at Tufts Medical Center.