Zymeworks Inc. (Nasdaq: ZYME), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing a diverse pipeline of novel, multifunctional biotherapeutics to improve the standard of care for difficult-to-treat diseases, today announced the appointment of Dr. Alessandra Cesano to its board of directors effective February 8, 2024.
Dr. Cesano succeeds Dr. Kenneth Hillan, who will step down effective today after a successful 7-year tenure as a director of Zymeworks.
“Zymeworks is honored to welcome Dr. Cesano to our board of directors,” said Kenneth Galbraith, Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Zymeworks. “She brings more than 25 years of experience in drug development, diagnostics, and cancer immunology. Her appointment further refreshes and strengthens the governance structure of the company, and her guidance will be an important asset for us as we work to rapidly advance and expand our pipeline of novel antibody-drug conjugates and multispecific antibodies. She joins three other new directors appointed in 2023: Mr. Derek Miller, Mr. Carlos Campoy, and Dr. Nancy Davidson.”
“The Zymeworks board of directors is sincerely grateful to Dr. Hillan for his dedicated service and significant contributions to the board. We thank him for the important impact he has had on the Company and we wish him continued success,” said Dr. Susan Mahony, lead independent director of Zymeworks.
“I'm excited to join the board of directors of Zymeworks and help further its mission to make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients around the world who are impacted by difficult-to-treat cancers and other serious diseases,” said Dr. Cesano. “I look forward to collaborating with the talented team and experienced board of directors and leveraging my insights in global clinical development to further advance the company’s next-generation oncology therapeutics.”
Dr. Cesano currently serves as a director at Puma Biotechnology and Summit Therapeutics. Since July 2019, she has served as the Chief Medical Officer of ESSA Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company developing therapies for the treatment of prostate cancer. Prior to joining ESSA, Dr. Cesano was the Chief Medical Officer of NanoString Technologies, Inc. from July 2015 to July 2019, where she focused on development of translational and diagnostic multi-plexed assays for the characterization and measurement of mechanisms of immune response and resistance. Dr. Cesano has also held management positions at Amgen Inc., Biogen Inc. (formerly Biogen Idec) and SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, where she helped to advance various oncology drugs through late-stage development and FDA approval. She currently serves as associate editor for the Biomarker section of the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer and co-chair of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) regulatory committee. She has been an author on more than 140 publications. Dr. Cesano received an M.D. summa cum laude, a board certification in oncology and a Ph.D. in tumor immunology from the University of Turin, Italy.
Dr. Cesano was also appointed to serve as a member of the research and development committee and nominating and corporate governance committee of the board of directors. In addition, Mr. Miller was appointed as the chair of the nominating and corporate governance committee. (PR)