Mereo BioPharma strengthens its management team

Mereo BioPharma has named new positions this week, thus reaffirming it’s management team with those appointments.

John Lewicki, PhD, as Chief Scientific Officer, and Ann Kapoun, PhD, as Senior Vice President (SVP) of Translational Research and Development. Drs. Lewicki and Kapoun join Mereo having previously served tenures at OncoMed Pharmaceuticals and were involved in the discovery and development of etigilimab (“Anti-TIGIT”), prior to the 2019 merger of OncoMed and Mereo BioPharma.

“John and Ann bring invaluable expertise to Mereo as we prepare to advance etigilimab, our novel antibody against TIGIT, into a Phase 1b study in the fourth quarter of 2020,” said Dr. Denise Scots-Knight, Chief Executive Officer of Mereo. “John and Ann are seasoned leaders with a deep understanding of oncology drug development, and we are delighted to have them join us as we build the team to advance etigilimab.”

“Having been closely involved in the discovery and development of etigilimab, I am thrilled to formally join Mereo to advance this potential best-in-class anti-TIGIT antibody,” said Dr. Lewicki. “I look forward to working closely with Ann and the entire Mereo team to advance etigilimab into a Phase 1b study later this year building on our current clinical data.”

John Lewicki, the Chief Scientific Officer

Most recently, Dr. Lewicki served as President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors of OncoMed Pharmaceuticals prior to the 2019 merger with Mereo BioPharma. Dr. Lewicki joined OncoMed in 2004 as the company’s Senior Vice President of Research and Development before subsequently assuming additional leadership roles within Research and Development. Dr. Lewicki was named the company’s Executive Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer in 2009 and then became Executive Vice President, Research and Development in 2016. Earlier in his career, Dr. Lewicki served in various capacities at Scios, Inc., where as Vice President of Research, he managed the company’s organization across diverse therapeutic areas. Among his achievements while at Scios was the co-discovery of human B-type natriuretic peptide and its development as an FDA-approved treatment for acute congestive heart failure. Dr. Lewicki received his PhD from U.C San Diego and has co-authored more than 70 research papers and over 30 issued patents.

Ann Kapoum, SVP of translational research and development

Dr. Kapoun joins Mereo with more than two decades of leadership in Research and Development advancing over 10 drug discoveries into IND and through early clinical development. She most recently served as SVP of R&D at ESCAPE Bio. Prior to joining ESCAPE, Dr. Kapoun served as SVP of Translational Medicine at OncoMed Pharmaceuticals where she oversaw the transition of the company’s drug discoveries into the clinic and executed multiple science-driven clinical biomarker programs. Dr. Kapoun previously held scientific leadership roles at ALZA and Scios Inc., a biopharma unit of Johnson & Johnson. She received her PhD at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Indiana University and has co-authored more than 50 scientific publications and patents.

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