NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--SpringWorks Therapeutics, a clinical-stage rare disease and oncology company focused on sourcing and developing innovative treatments for underserved patient populations, today announced that the company’s Board of Directors has appointed Saqib Islam as chief executive officer. Mr. Islam, who previously served as chief financial and chief business officer at SpringWorks Therapeutics, will also join the Board of Directors.
“After a thorough and thoughtful search process, we are pleased to appoint Saqib as SpringWorks Therapeutics’ inaugural CEO and a member of our Board. Saqib has demonstrated exceptional leadership in building SpringWorks and brings to bear a broad set of skills and experiences that will enable our future success. With Saqib as CEO, we are extremely well positioned to execute on our multiple initiatives to deliver promising science to underserved patient populations,” said Daniel S. Lynch, Executive Chairman of SpringWorks Therapeutics.
Mr. Islam has led SpringWorks Therapeutics’ key business operations and strategic corporate planning activities since the company’s launch in September 2017. He joined SpringWorks Therapeutics from Moderna Therapeutics, where he served as chief business officer and oversaw global strategic planning, corporate development and business development. Prior to Moderna, Mr. Islam served as executive vice president, chief strategy and portfolio officer at Alexion Pharmaceuticals. Mr. Islam has over 25 years of international business management experience and an extensive background in the healthcare banking sector, having held managing director positions in the investment banking divisions of Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse Securities. He received a bachelor’s degree from McGill University and a J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.
“I joined SpringWorks Therapeutics because I saw a unique opportunity to build a company centered around the ambition of developing transformative medicines for severe diseases that do not currently have a cure, starting with our two lead development programs for patients with desmoid tumors and neurofibromatosis type 1, two rare and devastating tumors,” said Mr. Islam. “I am honored to have the opportunity to lead SpringWorks and am very pleased to have assembled an experienced management team comprised of leaders who share our mission-driven approach to serving patients, each of whom will play a critical role in advancing and building upon the great work that has been done thus far.”
Experienced Leadership Team
SpringWorks Therapeutics has built a team of highly talented executives with deep industry experience and a proven track record in their respective areas of expertise.
- Jens Renstrup, M.D., MBA, Chief Medical Officer: Dr. Renstrup is responsible for developing and driving execution of the clinical development programs and oversees medical affairs. He has extensive experience building medical affairs organizations at pharmaceutical and biotech companies, shaping early- to late-stage development pipelines, and a proven track record accelerating time to market and new drug approvals. Prior to joining SpringWorks Therapeutics, Dr. Renstrup served as senior vice president and head of global medical affairs at Alexion Pharmaceuticals and vice president and head of global medical affairs at GSK Vaccines. Earlier in his career, Dr. Renstrup served in progressive leadership positions at Merck & Co, and he started his career at IPSEN Scandinavia A/S. Dr. Renstrup holds an M.D. and specialist medical degree in anesthesiology and intensive care medicine from the University of Copenhagen, as well as an MBA from the Copenhagen Business School.
- Badreddin Edris, Ph.D., Chief Business Officer: Dr. Edris is responsible for corporate strategy, business development and capital formation for the company. His professional experience spans private and public equity investing, company formation and operations, corporate and business development, and strategic and product planning in the biotechnology industry. Prior to joining SpringWorks Therapeutics, Dr. Edris was an investment and operating professional on the private equity team at OrbiMed, where he was involved in deal sourcing, evaluation and execution, as well as post-investment strategic and operational support for biotechnology companies across a range of therapeutic areas and stages of development. Dr. Edris also co-founded and held operating roles at two OrbiMed portfolio companies, Silverback Therapeutics (where he was chief business officer) and Edgewise Therapeutics (where he was chief operating officer). Before OrbiMed, Dr. Edris was a management consultant at Bain & Company, where he collaborated with global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies on a range of strategic and operational projects. Dr. Edris received his Ph.D. in genetics from Stanford University, where he was an NSF research fellow.
- L. Mary Smith, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, Clinical Research and Development: Dr. Smith is responsible for designing and running the clinical development programs for SpringWorks Therapeutics. Prior to joining SpringWorks Therapeutics, Dr. Smith was the executive vice president of gene therapy at Bamboo Therapeutics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pfizer, where she led several key gene transfer programs for rare genetic diseases. Prior to joining Bamboo, Dr. Smith was the vice president of product development at United Therapeutics, with responsibility for biological development in oncology, as well as regenerative medicine and virology. Dr. Smith holds a Ph.D. in microbiology/immunology from the University of New Hampshire and received her post-doctoral training at Emory University.
- Michael Greco, J.D., General Counsel and Secretary: Mr. Greco is responsible for the company’s legal and compliance functions. He is an experienced legal executive who previously served as senior vice president of law and corporate secretary for Alexion Pharmaceuticals. He joined Alexion shortly prior to the launch of Alexion’s first and lead product and during his tenure assumed positions of increasing responsibility in the company’s legal department. In his most recent role, he was responsible for overseeing corporate governance initiatives, public reporting and securities compliance and corporate transactions. He was also responsible for managing the legal department’s corporate, R&D, business development and employment law legal teams. Prior to Alexion, Mr. Greco was a corporate attorney at Wiggin and Dana LLP and Bingham McCutchen LLP (now Morgan Lewis). Before law school, Mr. Greco served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Mr. Greco received a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School and a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy, West Point.
- Lisa Sinclair, Head of Program and Alliance Management: Ms. Sinclair is responsible for portfolio management and alliance development with the company’s biopharmaceutical partners, including the collaboration with Pfizer. Ms. Sinclair brings significant experience in driving the delivery of medicines from IND through approval in top-tier global biopharmaceutical companies and has a proven track record of accelerating medicines to key decision points in rare diseases. Prior to joining SpringWorks Therapeutics, she served as vice president of R&D strategy, portfolio and project management at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, where she led the development and execution of the five-year R&D strategic plan across multiple disease franchises and built portfolio and project management capabilities that supported pipeline speed, growth and value. Prior to Alexion, Ms. Sinclair was vice president of R&D portfolio and performance at AstraZeneca, where she was accountable for transforming global portfolio management across R&D and implemented R&D therapeutic area planning, portfolio prioritization, resource management, and performance metrics and analytics. Prior to AstraZeneca, she held various roles of increasing responsibility at Pfizer. Ms. Sinclair received a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Vermont.
- Kim Diamond, Head of Communications and Investor Relations: Ms. Diamond is responsible for the company’s internal and external communications strategy and investor relations. She has significant experience across the biopharmaceutical industry, including an established track record of launching rare disease therapies and broad therapeutic area expertise in oncology, hematology, nephrology, neurology and metabolic disorders. Prior to joining SpringWorks Therapeutics, Ms. Diamond served as executive director of corporate communications at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, where she was responsible for global external communications, including company reputation and branding, global product launches, and digital communications. Prior to Alexion, Ms. Diamond was director of corporate communications at OSI Pharmaceuticals, and she also held roles of increasing responsibility in the healthcare practice of Edelman earlier in her career. Ms. Diamond received a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College.
About SpringWorks Therapeutics
SpringWorks Therapeutics is a clinical-stage rare disease and oncology company focused on sourcing and developing innovative treatments for underserved patient populations. The company was launched in September 2017 with $103M in Series A funding led by Orbimed, Bain Capital and Pfizer. SpringWorks Therapeutics has rights to four clinical therapies from Pfizer and has a strategic model that provides promising investigational therapies a new avenue for development through a collaborative approach with patient groups, academic collaborators, investors and biopharmaceutical partners. SpringWorks Therapeutics’ most advanced drug candidate, nirogacestat, is a gamma-secretase inhibitor with Orphan Drug Designation in the U.S. for the treatment of desmoid tumors, a rare, non-metastatic tumor of connective tissue cells, which can cause severe morbidity, pain and loss of function in children and adults. The company’s MEK inhibitor, PD-0325901, is being studied as a monotherapy for neurofibromatosis type 1 patients with plexiform neurofibromas, a rare genetic disorder caused by NF1 gene mutations that leads to growth of nervous system tumors. Clinical candidates in earlier stages of development include a fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) inhibitor (PF-04457845) for CNS applications and senicapoc, a Gardos Channel blocker, for hematologic conditions. For more information, please visit www.springworkstx.com.