– USA; CA – Xencor, Inc. (NASDAQ: XNCR), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing engineered monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, asthma and allergic diseases, and cancer, today announced the appointment of Kurt Gustafson to its board of directors. Mr. Gustafson will also serve as chair of Xencor’s audit committee and as a member of the compensation committee. Xencor also announced the promotion of John R. Desjarlais, Ph.D., to senior vice president of research and chief scientific officer.
“Kurt brings a tremendous amount of experience and a fresh perspective to the board as we grow our company and expand our drug development efforts,” said Bassil Dahiyat Ph.D., president and CEO of Xencor. “His expertise in biotechnology and finance will be of particular value as we advance our drug development programs and evaluate additional opportunities for partnering and licensing our technology.”
Mr. Gustafson has more than 20 years of industry-related experience. Currently, Mr. Gustafson serves as executive vice president, chief financial officer and principal accounting officer at Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Prior to that, he served as chief financial officer at Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc., and before that he had a long career at Amgen in various financial and planning roles, most recently as vice president, finance. He earned a B.A. in accounting from North Park University in Chicago and an M.B.A. from University of California, Los Angeles.
“John has driven the company’s technology development and engineering efforts for the past eight years,” said Dr. Dahiyat. “In addition to his critical involvement in our clinical-stage antibody programs, John has played a key role in the creation of our entire XmAb technology and pipeline, including our new bispecifics programs, which we are beginning to advance into development.”
Dr. Desjarlais joined Xencor in 2001 and was promoted to vice president of research in 2006, where he oversees all aspects of discovery and research at the company including technology development, protein and antibody engineering and generation of drug candidates. Prior to joining Xencor, Dr. Desjarlais was an assistant professor of chemistry at Penn State University. Dr. Desjarlais received a B.S. in physics from the University of Massachusetts and a Ph.D. in biophysics from Johns Hopkins University. He conducted postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley.
About Xencor, Inc.
Xencor is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing engineered monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, asthma and allergic diseases, and cancer. Currently, seven candidates are in clinical development internally and with partners that have been engineered with Xencor’s XmAb® technology. Xencor’s internally-discovered programs include XmAb5871, in Phase 1b/2a clinical trials for the treatment of Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, XmAb7195 in Phase 1 development for the treatment of asthma, and XmAb5574/MOR208 which has been licensed to Morphosys AG and is in Phase 2 clinical trials for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Xencor’s XmAb antibody engineering technology enables small changes to the structure of monoclonal antibodies resulting in new mechanisms of therapeutic action. Xencor partners include Amgen, Merck, Janssen R&D LLC, Alexion and Boehringer Ingelheim.
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