Press Release Details

eFFECTOR Therapeutics Announces Transition in Clinical Leadership


Premal Patel, M.D., Ph.D., chief medical officer, has resigned to pursue a new career opportunity

Robert Sikorski, M.D., Ph.D., to take on expanded role as senior clinical development advisor

SAN DIEGO and REDWOOD CITY, Calif., April 04, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- eFFECTOR Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: EFTR), a biopharmaceutical company pioneering the development of selective translation regulator inhibitors (STRIs) for the treatment of cancer, today announced that its chief medical officer Premal Patel, M.D., Ph.D., has resigned to pursue a new opportunity. Robert Sikorski, M.D., Ph.D., who currently serves as a clinical advisor to the company, will take on an expanded role as senior clinical development advisor while the company conducts an executive search for a new chief medical officer. Dr. Sikorski, who played a similar role for eFFECTOR in 2020, has a deep knowledge of the company’s STRI development programs and will lead clinical development of both tomivosertib and zotatifin. In addition, Dr. Patel will serve as a consultant to eFFECTOR through September 30, 2022.

“We want to extend our sincere gratitude to Premal for his work to execute on our clinical programs and wish him the best in his new role,” said Steve Worland, Ph.D., president, and chief executive officer of eFFECTOR. “It is a pleasure to welcome Bob in his expanded role at eFFECTOR as his expertise and legacy knowledge of our programs will augment our already excellent team overseeing the progress of both tomivosertib and zotatifin through the clinic.”

Dr. Patel commented, “eFFECTOR’s novel STRI platform offers multiple exciting new mechanisms with potential to address many of the shortfalls of existing treatment options, and I look forward to following the clinical development of the company’s promising programs.”

Dr. Sikorski added, “I am enthusiastic about the opportunity to increase my engagement with eFFECTOR and with their excellent array of investigators and scientific advisors to advance tomivosertib and zotatifin to the next stage. Both programs have matured significantly, and I am excited to participate in the development of truly novel medicines that have the potential to better the lives of cancer patients with high unmet needs.”

About Dr. Sikorski

Dr. Sikorski has more than 20 years of clinical development experience and has a long history with the company, having served as a clinical advisor since May 29, 2019 , including presenting the tomivosertib Phase 2a results to the FDA in 2020. He is managing director of Woodside Way Ventures, a consulting and investment firm that helps biotechnology companies and investors advance lifesaving technologies through clinical development. Prior, he served as the chief medical officer of FivePrime Therapeutics, a public biotechnology company, which was acquired by Amgen in 2021, where he led the development of a biologics pipeline that spanned preclinical discovery through proof of concept to pivotal registration trials. Earlier in his career, Dr. Sikorski led an early-stage clinical development group at Medimmune/AstraZeneca. Before joining Medimmune, he led late-stage clinical development and post marketing efforts for several commercial drugs and drug candidates at Amgen. Dr. Sikorski completed his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital and an Oncology fellowship at The Johns Hopkins Oncology Center after receiving a combined M.D. and Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is a former editor of the journal Science and the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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.


Stephanie Carrington
Westwicke, an ICR Company

Heidi Chokeir, Ph.D.
Canale Communications