Chief Medical Officer

Client Team Lead: Andy Cronin
CMO | 20220608

Client: Athenex, Inc. 

Athenex, Inc., (NASDAQ: ATNX), a global biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel therapies for the treatment of cancer and related conditions, today announced the appointment of Darrel P. Cohen, MD, PhD as Chief Medical Officer of Cell Therapy to lead its clinical development, clinical operations, and regulatory affairs functions. He will be replacing Kurt Gunter, MD, who has decided to pursue other opportunities outside of cell therapy.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Cohen to Athenex during this transformative period, as we strategically pivot to focus on advancing first-in-class therapies from our differentiated NKT cell platform,” said Dr. Johnson Lau, Chief Executive Officer of Athenex. “Darrel’s proven leadership plus extensive experience in the clinical development and multinational regulatory approvals of several new cancer drugs over the past decade will position us well for success as we continue to rapidly advance our investigational cell therapy pipeline in the clinic.”

“We are enthusiastic about the promising benefits NKT cells may offer cancer patients and to the scientific community, and we look forward to working with Darrel to bring these much-needed products closer to regulatory approval,” said Daniel Lang, MD, President of Athenex Cell Therapy. “Additionally, we would like to thank Kurt for his dedication and meaningful contributions to the company, and we wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”

Dr. Cohen is a hematologist/oncologist with over 25 years of oncology clinical research and drug development experience in both solid tumors and hematological malignancies. He has held leadership positions of increasing responsibility at Pharmacia, Sanofi-Aventis, and Pfizer, including Vice President of Late-Phase Clinical Development at Pfizer Oncology where he was involved in multiple successful regulatory submissions of new molecularly targeted cancer drugs such as SUTENT® (sunitinib), XALKORI® (crizotinib), and IBRANCE® (palbociclib). More recently, Dr. Cohen was Head of Clinical Development at EUSA Pharma then Chief Medical Officer at Biosight Pharmaceuticals, having been a principal investigator on several clinical trials in the past and co-authored numerous peer-reviewed publications. Darrel received his MD and PhD degrees in Medicine and Microbiology from Boston University School of Medicine, trained as a resident in Internal Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center, and completed a fellowship in Hematology/Oncology at Duke University Medical Center.

“Athenex is pioneering the development of NKT cell immunotherapy, offering an outpatient treatment with potential for improved safety, efficacy, and accessibility over existing approved cell therapy options,” said Dr. Cohen. “The early clinical trial data from patients with solid tumors or hematological malignancies are very encouraging, and I am truly excited to join the company to further advance its cell therapy pipeline and unlock its full therapeutic potential.”

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