Iterion Therapeutics Hires Jean Chang as Chief Operating Officer
Accomplished Healthcare Executive Brings to Iterion Extensive Experience in Pharmaceutical Oncology Program Management, Asset Strategy and Corporate Development
Iterion Therapeutics, Inc., a venture-backed, clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel cancer therapeutics, announced the appointment of Jean Chang to the position of Chief Operating Officer. Ms. Chang brings a proven 25-year track record of success in business and corporate development, commercial strategy and operations to Iterion, with exceptional depth in early-stage oncology pharmaceutical development. Ms. Chang will lead Iterion’s corporate and clinical operations and will oversee the ongoing development of the company’s lead product, Tegavivint.
Tegavivint is a potent and selective first-in-class inhibitor of Transducin βeta-like Protein One (TBL1), a novel downstream target in the Wnt-signaling pathway. Binding of TBL1 to beta-catenin facilitates the localization of beta-catenin to the oncogenes and activates beta-catenin-dependent gene transcription. As such, Tegavivint enables silencing of Wnt-pathway gene expression without affecting other Wnt/beta-catenin functions in the cell membrane, thus avoiding toxicity issues common to other drugs in this pathway. Iterion expects to soon initiate clinical programs investigating Tegavivint in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and pediatric cancers having established the drug’s safety in a proof-of-concept Phase 1 study in desmoid tumors.
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“Jean possesses more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical oncology industry. As our newly appointed Chief Operating Officer, she will be responsible for driving the growth of Iterion’s clinical development programs and market positioning of Tegavivint,” said Rahul Aras, CEO of Iterion. “During her impressive career, which includes tenures at Dynavax, Nurix, Genzyme and Gilead Sciences, Jean led the advancement of numerous drug technologies, from early clinical trial work to product launch and beyond. We are delighted that Jean is joining Iterion’s executive team to lead our operations as we prepare to initiate clinical programs investigating Tegavivint in three high-need oncology indications – AML, pediatric cancers and NSCLC.”
Ms. Chang added: “I am excited to join Iterion at a pivotal time for the company as we advance Tegavivint into the clinic for three types of cancers ideally suited to the drug’s unique mechanism of action. Tegavivint has already demonstrated safety in a proof-of-concept Phase 1 clinical trial in desmoid tumors and has shown strong preclinical efficacy signals in the indications we’re now targeting for its next phase of development. I look forward to working with Iterion’s R&D team and our investigators leading each of the clinical programs as we seek to demonstrate Tegavivint’s ability to inhibit nuclear beta-catenin, a historically ‘undruggable’ oncology target implicated in cell proliferation, differentiation, immune evasion and stem cell renewal.”
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Ms. Chang was most recently Vice President Program Management and Asset Strategy at Nurix Therapeutics where she led the transition of pre-clinical assets into clinical programs, including filing and FDA acceptance of the company’s first Investigational New Drug application (IND). She was a member of the executive team and led efforts across the company’s key operational activities. Prior to this she spent nine years at Dynavax Technologies where she held senior positions in Corporate and Program Development, most recently as Vice President Business Development and Oncology Lead, where she was responsible for oncology strategy and transactions. Earlier in her career, she held commercial and new product planning positions at Cypress Bioscience, Corgentech and Gilead Sciences, where she launched HepseraÒ, the first oral nucleotide antiviral developed for chronic hepatitis B, and at, Genzyme Corporation, including Director Global Commercial Operations for CeredaseÒ and CerezymeÒ, the company’s lead therapeutic franchise. Ms. Chang holds a B.A. in Biology from Smith College.
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