eFFECTOR Appoints Barbara Klencke, M.D., to Board of Directors
SAN DIEGO, Nov. 01, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- eFFECTOR Therapeutics (NASDAQ: EFTR), a leader in the development of selective translation regulator inhibitors (STRIs) for the treatment of cancer, today announced the appointment of Barbara Klencke, M.D., Chief Medical Officer and Chief Development Officer at Sierra Oncology, to the company’s board of directors. Concurrent with Dr. Klencke’s appointment, Larry Lasky, Ph.D., has resigned from the company’s board of directors.
“Dr. Klencke is a phenomenal leader with an extensive track record of success in oncology drug development, from R&D through approval and commercialization,” said Steve Worland, President and Chief Executive Officer of eFFECTOR. “Her expertise will be invaluable to eFFECTOR as we expand our clinical development and operational capabilities. We are thrilled to be working with her and grateful for the opportunity to benefit from her insights as we work to providing better outcomes to patients in need.”
Dr. Worland continued, “I also want to express my deep gratitude to Dr. Lasky, one of our founding investors, for his service over nearly a decade. His early belief in our platform’s potential, as well as his scientific and operational expertise and guidance over the years, have been invaluable to me and the company.”
Dr. Klencke has over 28 years of experience in oncology across strategic roles at biopharmaceutical companies and leading academic institutions. She currently serves as Chief Medical Officer and Chief Development Officer of Sierra Oncology, a late-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on delivering targeted therapies that treat rare forms of cancer. She previously served as Senior Vice President of Development at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, before and after its acquisition by Amgen, with responsibility for the development pipeline including Kyprolis (carfilzomib). Prior to her position at Onyx, she served as Group Medical Director in Product Development, Oncology, at Genentech. In this period, she led a variety of oncology programs including those for Kadcyla (ado-trastuzumab emtansine), Avastin (bevacizumab), and Tarceva (erlotinib). Prior to that, Dr. Klencke served as the Medical Director at Chiron Corporation, a biotechnology company later acquired by Novartis International AG, and as an assistant professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. She holds a B.S. from Indiana University and an M.D. from the University of California, Davis.
“eFFECTOR has made significant progress to date and in my opinion has all of the makings to set new standards of patient care through its platform of novel STRI candidates,” said Dr. Klencke. “I look forward to working with eFFECTOR and its seasoned board of directors to expand its already broad horizons as we advance toward the common goal of providing much needed therapies to cancer patients.”
“I am thrilled to see eFFECTOR continue to advance as a company, including its recent listing as a publicly traded company,” said Dr. Lasky, “I look forward to seeing the data from their Phase 2 clinical programs for tomivosertib and zotatifin.”
About eFFECTOR Therapeutics
eFFECTOR is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on pioneering the development of a new class of oncology drugs referred to as STRIs. eFFECTOR’s STRI product candidates target the eIF4F complex and its activating kinase, mitogen-activated protein kinase interacting kinase (MNK). The eIF4F complex is a central node where two of the most frequently mutated signaling pathways in cancer, the PI3K-AKT and RAS-MEK pathways, converge to activate the translation of select mRNA into proteins that are frequent culprits in key disease-driving processes. Each of eFFECTOR’s product candidates is designed to act on a single protein that drives the expression of multiple functionally related proteins, including oncoproteins and immunosuppressive proteins in T cells, that together control tumor growth, survival and immune evasion. eFFECTOR’s lead product candidate, tomivosertib, is a MNK inhibitor currently being evaluated in KICKSTART, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2b trial of tomivosertib in combination with pembrolizumab in patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Zotatifin, eFFECTOR’s inhibitor of eIF4A, is currently being evaluated in Phase 2a expansion cohorts in certain biomarker-positive solid tumors, including ER+ breast cancer and KRAS-mutant NSCLC. eFFECTOR has a global collaboration with Pfizer to develop inhibitors of a third target, eIF4E. In addition to the company’s oncology focus, zotatifin is being evaluated as a potential host-directed anti-viral therapy in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 in collaboration with the University of California, San Francisco, under a $5 million grant sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
eFFECTOR cautions you that statements contained in this press release regarding matters that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements are based on our current beliefs and expectations and include, but are not limited to: the future clinical development of our product candidates, including the potential that STRI candidates could set a new standard of patient care; and the potential therapeutic benefits of our product candidates. Actual results may differ from those set forth in this press release due to the risks and uncertainties inherent in our business, including, without limitation: potential delays in the commencement, enrollment and completion of clinical trials; disruption to our operations from the COVID-19 pandemic, including clinical trial and manufacturing delays; our dependence on third parties in connection with product manufacturing, research and preclinical and clinical testing; the results of preclinical studies and early clinical trials are not necessarily predictive of future results; the success of our clinical trials and preclinical studies for our product candidates is uncertain; regulatory developments in the United States and foreign countries; unexpected adverse side effects or inadequate efficacy of our product candidates that may limit their development, regulatory approval and/or commercialization, or may result in recalls or product liability claims; our ability to obtain and maintain intellectual property protection for our product candidates; we may use our capital resources sooner than we expect; and other risks described in our prior filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including under the heading “Risk Factors” in our most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q and any subsequent filings with the SEC. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof, and we undertake no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement, which is made under the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
Heidi Chokeir, Ph.D.