AVEO Pharmaceuticals Appoints William J. Slichenmyer, M.D., Sc.M., as Chief Medical Officer and Robert C. Young, M.D., to Board of Directors
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., September 16, 2009 – AVEO Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company leveraging breakthrough discoveries in cancer biology to discover, develop and commercialize targeted oncology therapies, today announced the appointment of William J. Slichenmyer, M.D., Sc.M., to the position of chief medical officer. Dr. Slichenmyer brings 15 years’ experience leading the clinical development of novel cancer therapeutics at biopharmaceutical companies including Pfizer, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Merrimack Pharmaceuticals. In addition, AVEO has appointed Robert C. Young, M.D., president of RCY Medicine and former chancellor of Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, PA, to its Board of Directors.
“We are thrilled to announce these strategic additions to our management team and Board of Directors as they position the company for our next phase of growth and further support us as we achieve steps toward our goal of building a fully-integrated oncology company,” said Tuan Ha-Ngoc, president and chief executive officer of AVEO. “Bill’s appointment as chief medical officer is a key step forward for AVEO. Notably, Bill’s experience as leader of the Pfizer oncology clinical development group, which guided Sutent® through FDA approval in less than six years, will add critical value to AVEO as we move our lead oncology drug candidate, tivozanib, into Phase 3 development. Similarly, Bill’s experience developing monoclonal antibodies as cancer therapeutics will be invaluable as AVEO continues to advance antibody candidates from our in-house drug discovery engine into the clinic.”
“There is a clear and growing need for new targeted VEGF therapies that do not compromise safety for efficacy in treating cancer,” commented Dr. Slichenmyer. “The AVEO team is deeply committed to addressing this serious unmet need for patients battling cancer. I am pleased to join the AVEO team at such an exciting and pivotal juncture as the company prepares to launch a global Phase 3 trial with tivozanib in patients with renal cell cancer later this year.”
Dr. Slichenmyer’s pharmaceutical industry career spans 15 years in both large and small biopharmaceutical companies where he has contributed to the development of anticancer agents of many classes including cytotoxic drugs, monoclonal antibodies, oligonucleotide therapeutics and targeted small molecules. Prior to joining AVEO, Dr. Slichenmyer most recently served as chief medical officer at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals, where he led the development of novel protein-based therapeutics for patients with cancer and autoimmune diseases. Before his tenure at Merrimack, Dr. Slichenmyer spent seven years at Pfizer in roles that included global head of oncology clinical development, where he led the development and FDA approval process of the Sutent program, as well as positions in medical affairs and regulatory affairs. Prior to joining Pfizer, Dr. Slichenmyer held various senior level positions at Parke-Davis Pharmaceuticals, Hybridon Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute and Burroughs-Wellcome. Dr. Slichenmyer received his B.A. and M.D. from Case Western Reserve University. He received postgraduate training in pathology and internal medicine, followed by subspecialty training in medical oncology at the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center, where he also earned a master’s degree in clinical investigation.
“AVEO is also pleased to welcome Bob Young, a world-renowned leader in the field of oncology, to our Board of Directors,” commented Mr. Ha-Ngoc. “Bob’s addition to the AVEO Board continues to strengthen our team of strategic counselors and advisors, and provides us with an even broader base of oncology expertise upon which to draw as we develop our pipeline.”
“AVEO is developing several exciting novel cancer therapeutics that would address clear unmet medical needs. Guided by their unique biology platform, the company is more likely to develop the right drugs for the right cancer patients,” stated Dr. Young. “I look forward to working with the AVEO management team and Board of Directors as the company continues to build meaningful industry partnerships and collaborations, and moves toward commercialization.”
Dr. Young is president of RCY Medicine, a consulting service focused on cancer center productivity, health care quality and health policy. He previously served as chancellor of Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia for two years and for 18 years prior to that was its president and chief executive officer. Dr. Young is internationally known for his work in the treatment of lymphoma and ovarian cancer. He is a past-president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the American Cancer Society and the International Gynecologic Cancer Society. A medical oncologist, Dr. Young is the author of more than 400 peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Young served for seven years as chairman of the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Cancer Institute. He is a former member of the National Cancer Policy Board at the Institute of Medicine and is past chairman of the board of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. A fellow of the American College of Physicians, Dr. Young is also a member of the prestigious American Society of Clinical Investigation. He has also served on the subspecialty board on medical oncology for the American Board of Internal Medicine, on the experimental therapeutics study section of the National Cancer Institute and on the ovarian cancer implementation committee for the Department of Defense. Dr. Young was an associate editor of the Journal of Clinical Oncology from 1987 to 2001 and currently chairs the editorial board of Oncology Times. Dr. Young received his B.Sc. in zoology from Ohio State University and his M.D. from Cornell University Medical College. He is board-certified in internal medicine, hematology and oncology by the American Board of Internal Medicine.
AVEO is a late-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel, targeted cancer therapeutics. AVEO’s proprietary, integrated cancer biology platform enables the company to pursue highly efficient drug development strategies in oncology that increase the probability of clinical success and provides a discovery engine for high-value targets and therapies. This approach has resulted in a balanced pipeline of novel cancer therapies focused on well-validated targets (VEGFR, EGFR) and promising novel targets (HGF, FGFR, ErbB3 and NOTCH), as well as collaborations with Eli Lilly, Merck, OSI Pharmaceuticals, Schering-Plough and Biogen Idec. The company’s lead product, tivozanib (AV-951), a triple VEGF receptor inhibitor, recently completed Phase 2 clinical development in patients with metastatic renal cell cancer and is expected to enter Phase 3 development in 2009. Through a combination of internal drug discovery and selective in-licensing of targeted therapeutics, AVEO is building a diversified product pipeline and moving toward its vision of becoming a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company. For more information, please visit the company's website at www.aveopharma.com.