Zymeworks (ZYME) Announces Succession Plan for Chief Medical Officer

April 19, 2021 8:38 AM EDT

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Zymeworks Inc. (NYSE: ZYME), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing multifunctional biotherapeutics, today announced that Diana Hausman, M.D., will be transitioning out of her role as Zymeworks’ Chief Medical Officer (CMO) and assuming an executive advisory role until November 15th, 2021. Neil Josephson, M.D., who currently oversees Zymeworks’ global clinical studies in his role as Senior Vice President, Clinical Research, will assume the role of interim CMO.

“I am extremely grateful for Diana’s contribution to our clinical programs, as a member of the executive team, and to Zymeworks as a whole,” said Ali Tehrani, Ph.D., Zymeworks’ President and CEO. “I look forward to working with Diana through the transition as she continues to help us advance zanidatamab and ZW49 to the next set of clinical and commercial inflection points.”

“For the past two years, alongside Diana, Neil has been one of the key architects and contributors to our clinical strategy, accomplishments and growth,” Dr. Tehrani added. “Under Neil’s leadership, I am confident that we are in good hands as we proceed toward the commercialization of zanidatamab.”

“It has been an honor to lead the talented clinical team at Zymeworks during the last five years,” said Dr. Hausman. “I feel extremely proud in having been able to help advance our lead candidate, zanidatamab, from preclinical studies to our first pivotal trial in biliary tract cancer last year and our recent IND submission to the FDA for Zymeworks’ first randomized phase 3 study in 1st line HER2-positive gastric cancer.”

Dr. Hausman added, “I look forward to continuing to work with Neil over the next few months as we launch the phase 3 trial in gastric cancer and I’m confident in his leadership and the strength of our experienced clinical team as we enter this next phase of clinical development through to commercialization.”

Dr. Hausman has had a rewarding 20-year career in clinical drug development at several biopharmaceutical companies including Oncothyreon Inc., ZymoGenetics, Inc., Berlex, Inc., Immunex Corporation, and as Zymeworks’ first CMO, since 2016. During her tenure, Dr. Hausman built the clinical research division at Zymeworks from two to over 120 people and oversaw the clinical development of ZW49 and zanidatamab, the latter currently in five phase 2 clinical trials including a pivotal trial in relapsed or refractory HER2‑amplified biliary tract cancer (HERIZON-BTC-01).

Assuming the role of interim CMO is Dr. Neil Josephson, who joined Zymeworks in 2019 as Vice President, Clinical Research and was promoted to Senior Vice President, Clinical Research last year. Prior to joining Zymeworks, Dr. Josephson spent nearly six years at Seagen Inc., most recently as Vice President of Clinical Development, where he worked on multiple early and late-stage programs, including leading the approval of ADCETRIS® for the 1st line treatment of advanced Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Before joining Seagen, he was an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Hematology at University of Washington. He received an M.D. degree from Columbia University and an A.B. from Dartmouth College.

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