Press Release Details

eFFECTOR Therapeutics Appoints Douglas Warner, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer


SAN DIEGO and REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Aug. 08, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- eFFECTOR Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: EFTR), a leader in the development of selective translation regulator inhibitors (“STRIs”) for the treatment of cancer, today announced it has appointed Douglas Warner, M.D., as chief medical officer. Dr. Warner will develop strategies to continue advancing eFFECTOR’s two clinical-stage STRIs into advanced and potentially registrational trials.

“Dr. Warner has extensive experience in oncology therapeutic development, and his expertise designing and executing clinical trials across all developmental stages, especially Phase 3, will be invaluable as we continue to advance our pipeline in a range of cancers,” said Steve Worland, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of eFFECTOR. “We are very excited to welcome him to the team. We also want to thank our senior clinical development advisor, Dr. Bob Sikorski, who has provided exceptional work ensuring the smooth advancement of all our trials as we conducted the search for a new CMO and who will continue to work closely in an advisory role.”

Dr. Warner will be responsible for overseeing eFFECTOR’s ongoing clinical trials, including its KICKSTART Phase 2b trial of tomivosertib in combination with pembrolizumab in non-small cell lung cancer, its Phase 1/2 study of zotatifin in oncology and its Phase 1 study of zotatifin in COVID-19. He will also be responsible for developing registration strategies for both programs and exploring expansion into additional oncology indications.

“I appreciate the vision that eFFECTOR has for oncology drug development as well as the company’s commitment to discovering and developing an entirely new class of medicines that has the potential to overcome tumors’ mechanisms of resistance,” Dr. Warner said. “The data from early trials are compelling, and I’m eager to steer future development for our two clinical compounds.”

Prior to eFFECTOR, Dr. Warner held roles of increasing responsibility over 18 years at Amgen where he oversaw extensive clinical development programs in multiple indications across oncology and general medicine. In his most recent position, Executive Medical Director, Group Product Area Lead, Dr. Warner provided development guidance and oversight over a broad portfolio of solid tumor immune-oncology and pathway inhibitor development programs that ranged from phase 1 to marketed products. Prior to this position, Dr. Warner was the Global Development Lead for several products including Vectibix®, XGEVA®, and Prolia®.   In this role, Dr. Warner led evidence generation and oversaw the design, execution, and analysis of studies across the phases of development, including large global phase 3 trials, and was the clinical development leader for major regulatory filings worldwide. Dr. Warner is co-author on numerous peer-reviewed articles including those in The Lancet, The Lancet Oncology, and The Journal of Clinical Oncology. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, his M.D. from the Duke University School of Medicine, and his M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

About eFFECTOR Therapeutics
eFFECTOR is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company 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 a network of 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.

Forward-Looking Statements

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, statements regarding: the future clinical development of our product candidates, including potential registrational clinical trials; 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; additional disruptions 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; we may use our capital resources sooner than expected and they may be insufficient to allow clinical trial readouts; 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; and other risks described in our prior filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 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.


Stephanie Carrington
ICR Westwicke

Heidi Chokeir, Ph.D.
Canale Communications

Editors’ note: head shot available upon request