VANCOUVER, Canada--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Zymeworks Inc. (“Zymeworks”), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of next-generation multifunctional biotherapeutics, initially focused on the treatment of cancer, today announced that Dr. Kenneth Hillan, CEO of Achaogen Inc., and Hollings Renton, former CEO and President of Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc., have been appointed to Zymeworks’ board of directors.
Concurrent with the appointment of Dr. Hillan and Mr. Renton, Zymeworks also announces that Dr. Donald Drakeman has retired from the Company’s board of directors, and is transitioning to the position of special advisor to Zymeworks and the board of directors. Dr. Drakeman will continue to contribute his knowledge and perspective to Zymeworks’ management and the board of directors.
“We are delighted to welcome Kenneth and Hollings to our board of directors,” said Ali Tehrani, Ph.D., Zymeworks’ President & CEO. “Their collective experience working at the highest levels of the biotech and pharmaceutical industries will provide Zymeworks with valuable guidance as we move our lead product candidate, ZW25, through clinical trials and our preclinical assets closer to the clinic. We would also like thank Don for his service on the board since 2010. We look forward to continuing to benefit from his expertise as advisor to Zymeworks”
“Zymeworks’ next-generation therapies aim to advance the practice of medicine and make patients’ lives better, which is one of the most important contributions we can make to the healthcare challenges we face today,” said Dr. Hillan. “I look forward to working with the board members and the Zymeworks leadership team to support the company’s mission of creating biotherapeutics that allow patients to return home to their loved ones, disease free.”
Mr. Renton added, “I am very pleased to join Zymeworks’ board of directors, and to work with the team to advance their versatile bispecific antibody capabilities. Zymeworks is well-positioned with their lead product candidate in clinical trials, and an exciting preclinical pipeline.”
Dr. Kenneth J. Hillan is the CEO of Achaogen Inc. He has served as CEO and a member of the board of directors of Achaogen since October 2011. Prior to joining Achaogen, Dr. Hillan worked at Genentech Inc., a pharmaceutical company and a member of the Roche Group. Dr. Hillan worked in progressively senior roles after joining Genentech in 1994. He was responsible for numerous successful drug approvals and led the medical and scientific strategies for Genentech’s immunology, tissue growth and repair drug portfolio. Dr. Hillan also served on the board of directors of Relypsa Inc., a publicly traded biotechnology company that was acquired in 2016 by Galencia AG for $1.5 billion. Dr. Hillan has an M.B. Ch.B. (Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery) degree from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Glasgow in the United Kingdom. Dr. Hillan is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, and a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists. Dr. Hillan has authored dozens of scientific publications and is a named inventor on approximately 50 issued patents.
Hollings Renton served as CEO and President of Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. from 1993 to 2008 and was the chairperson of the board of directors of Onyx from 2000 to 2008. Onyx was acquired by Amgen Inc. in 2013 for $10.4 billion. Before joining Onyx, Mr. Renton was the President and Chief Operating Officer of Chiron Corporation, a pharmaceutical company. Mr. Renton served in a variety of executive roles at Cetus Corporation from 1983 prior to its acquisition by Chiron in 1991. Mr. Renton currently serves as chairperson of the board of directors of Portola Pharmaceuticals Inc. and on the board of directors of AnaptysBio Inc. Mr. Renton received his M.B.A. from the University of Michigan and his B.S. in Mathematics from Colorado State University.
About Zymeworks Inc.
Zymeworks is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and commercialization of next-generation multifunctional biotherapeutics, initially focused on the treatment of cancer. Zymeworks’ suite of complementary therapeutic platforms and its fully-integrated drug development engine provide the flexibility and compatibility to precisely engineer and develop highly-differentiated product candidates. Zymeworks’ lead product candidate, ZW25, is a novel bispecific antibody currently being evaluated in an adaptive Phase 1 clinical trial. Zymeworks is also advancing a deep pipeline of preclinical product candidates and discovery-stage programs in immuno-oncology and other therapeutic areas. In addition to Zymeworks’ wholly-owned pipeline, its therapeutic platforms have been further leveraged through multiple strategic partnerships with global biopharmaceutical companies.