– UK, London – Mereo BioPharma Group plc (LON: MPH | NASDAQ: MREO), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on oncology and rare diseases, today announced the appointments of Dr Brian Schwartz and Dr Jeremy Bender to its Board of Directors.
Dr. Brian Schwartz is the former Chief Medical Officer of Arqule, Inc. and Dr Jeremy Bender is the former VP Corporate Development at Gilead Sciences and recently appointed CEO of Day One Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. They bring significant oncology drug development and corporate development experience to Mereo.
“Mereo is entering an exciting new chapter and we are delighted to welcome Brian and Jeremy to our distinguished Board of Directors.” said Board Chairman, Peter Fellner.
“We are very pleased to strengthen our board of directors at this important stage in Mereo’s evolution,” said CEO, Dr. Denise Scots-Knight. “Brian and Jeremy are industry veterans with deep experience in clinical and corporate development specifically within oncology and rare diseases. Their collective skill sets will be an asset to Mereo as we prepare to advance etigilimab, our anti-TIGIT antibody, into a Phase 1b/2 combination study in the fourth quarter this year and continue to execute on our broader rare disease pipeline strategy.”
In addition, in order to maintain the maximum number of board members at nine, Paul Blackburn will be leaving the Board of Directors after a five-year tenure as a Non-Executive Director effective from October 1, 2020.
Peter Fellner added: “On behalf of the Board, we would also like to thank Paul for his contributions over the past five years especially for his leadership as Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee. He leaves the Board with the Company well-financed and in a strong position to execute on our strategy. We wish him the best in his future endeavours.”
About Dr. Brian Schwartz
Dr. Schwartz brings significant experience in oncology drug development in both the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Dr. Schwartz most recently served as Chief Medical Officer of Arqule Inc. (acquired for $2.7 billion by Merck & Co. in 2020) where he served as a key member of the management team and managed diverse interdisciplinary teams to advance preclinical and clinical drug development programs in oncology and rare diseases. Prior to joining Arqule in 2008, Dr. Schwartz served as Chief Medical Officer and SVP, Clinical and Regulatory Affairs, at Ziopharm Oncology, Inc., where he built and led clinical, regulatory, and quality assurance departments responsible for the development of new cancer drugs. Earlier in his career, Dr. Schwartz held a number of positions at Bayer Healthcare and Leo Laboratories. At Bayer, Dr. Schwartz was a key physician responsible for the global clinical development of sorafenib and has extensive regulatory experience working with the FDA’s Oncology Division, the European Medicines Evaluation Agency, and numerous other health authorities.
Dr. Schwartz received his medical degree from the University of Pretoria, South Africa, practiced medicine, and worked at the University of Toronto prior to his career in the biopharmaceutical industry.
About Dr. Jeremy Bender
Dr. Bender is a senior biopharma leader with broad experience driving strategic decisions and transactions. Dr. Bender was recently appointed CEO of DayOne Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. He previously served as VP Corporate Development at Gilead Sciences, Inc. where he was responsible for the development and negotiation of partnerships, alliances, joint ventures, equity investments, licensing agreements, and M&A transactions including Gilead’s $4.9 billion acquisition of Forty Seven, Inc., and the establishment of a 10-year partnership with Arcus Biosciences Inc. to advance next-generation cancer immunotherapies. Dr. Bender joined Gilead from Tizona Therapeutics, Inc. where he was COO responsible for finance, operations, alliance, and corporate development activities. Prior to Tizona, Dr. Bender was Chief Business Officer of Sutro Biopharma, Inc. where he was responsible for business development, alliance and project management, external communications, and intellectual property strategy. During his time at Sutro, he completed partnering transactions with Celgene Corporation and EMD Serono.
Dr. Bender received his undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences from Stanford University and his Ph.D.in Microbiology & Immunology from the University of Colorado, where he worked on peripheral T-cell selection in the labs of Philippa Marrack and John Kappler. He also received an M.B.A. from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
About Mereo BioPharma
Mereo BioPharma is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative therapeutics that aim to improve outcomes for oncology and rare diseases. Mereo’s lead oncology product candidate, etigilimab, has completed a Phase 1a dose-escalation clinical trial in patients with advanced solid tumors and has been evaluated in a Phase 1b study in combination with nivolumab in select tumor types. Mereo’s rare disease product portfolio consists of setrusumab, which has completed a Phase 2b dose-ranging study in adults with osteogenesis imperfecta, as well as alvelestat, which is being investigated in a Phase 2 proof-of-concept clinical trial in patients with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and in a Phase 1b/2 clinical trial in COVID-19 respiratory disease.
For more information: https://www.mereobiopharma.com
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