eFFECTOR Appoints Kristen Harrington-Smith to Board of Directors
SAN DIEGO and REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Feb. 16, 2022 (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 Kristen Harrington-Smith, Senior Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer at ImmunoGen, to the company’s board of directors. Concurrent with Ms. Harrington-Smith’s appointment, Jonathan Root, M.D., has resigned from the company’s board of directors.
“Kristen is an exceptional strategic thinker with a track record of success launching novel products in oncology,” said Steve Worland, President and Chief Executive Officer of eFFECTOR. “Her two decades of commercial expertise, coupled with her drive to rapidly bring transformative therapies to patients in need, will add tremendous value as we advance our pipeline and initiate new product planning activities.”
Dr. Worland continued, “I want to express my deep gratitude to Dr. Root, one of our founding investors, for his service over nearly a decade. Jon helped me build the original investment syndicate to launch eFFECTOR and since then he has consistently provided rigorous analysis of business opportunities and the operational approaches required to capitalize on these opportunities.”
Ms. Harrington-Smith has more than 20 years of pharmaceutical experience across oncology, rare diseases and primary care. She currently serves as Senior Vice President & Chief Commercial Officer at ImmunoGen, a biotechnology company focused on the development of antibody-drug conjugate therapeutics for the treatment of cancer. Prior to this, she held numerous leadership roles at Novartis Pharmaceuticals, including VP & Head of U.S. Hematology, where she led the commercial teams responsible for a portfolio of therapies in both benign and malignant hematologic diseases and positioned the company for multiple consecutive product launches. Before that, she was VP & Head of U.S. CAR-T Franchise, where she was responsible for the successful launch of the first chimeric antigen receptor t-cell therapy, including creating the go-to-market model for this novel treatment modality. Previously, she was responsible for the global commercial strategy for Novartis Cell & Gene Therapies, and, prior to that, she held the role of Head of Marketing, Multiple Sclerosis Franchise. She holds an M.B.A from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a B.S. in psychology from Williams College.
“eFFECTOR is the industry leader in advancing STRI’s for the treatment of cancer, and I look forward to working with eFFECTOR and its impressive board of directors as the company continues to execute both in the clinic and across its development pipeline,” said Ms. Harrington-Smith.
Dr. Root added, “eFFECTOR has made great progress over the years and I am proud to have served on its board since the formation of the company. I look forward to seeing eFFECTOR’s next stage of growth as it brings its promising drug candidates closer to patients in need.”
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.
Heidi Chokeir, Ph.D.