CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 22, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Akrevia Therapeutics, a privately-held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing highly-potent, tumor-targeted immuno-oncology therapeutics, today announced that René Russo, PharmD, has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors of the company.
"I am delighted to welcome Dr. René Russo as the Chief Executive Officer of Akrevia Therapeutics. René brings a tremendous depth of experience in company building, pipeline development, and public and private capital markets – all of which rests on a foundation of clinical research," said Nessan Bermingham, Ph.D., Chairman of the Board at Akrevia. "René, together with Tim Clackson, President and EVP of R&D, are well-positioned to progress Akrevia's lead programs into the clinic and unlock the full potential of the Company's multi-platform approach to address the critical needs of patients living with cancer."
Dr. Russo is an accomplished biotechnology executive with more than 20 years of experience in pharmaceutical research and development, including executive leadership roles spanning early clinical research through successful commercialization. Most recently, Dr. Russo served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Arsanis, Inc., a publicly-traded biotechnology company focused on applying monoclonal antibody technologies to prevent and treat serious infection. From April 2016 to November 2018, she led the company through two private financing rounds and a successful initial public offering, and earlier at Arsanis, Dr. Russo held the position of Chief Development Officer. Previously, Dr. Russo served in various research and development roles of increasing responsibility over a 12-year period at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a public pharmaceutical company, focused on the development and commercialization of anti-infective therapeutics, most recently as its Vice President, Global Medical Affairs. From 1999 to 2004, she held roles of increasing responsibility at Bristol-Myers Squibb in Medical Operations and Clinical Pharmacology/Experimental Medicine.
"I am excited to join forces with Tim Clackson, a deeply experienced research and development leader in the field of oncology who has built an exceptional team and culture at Akrevia. Under Tim's leadership, the Company's scientists have developed an extensive platform of tumor-targeting technologies designed to unlock important immuno-therapeutics," said Dr. Russo. "With the approach of taking well-understood therapies with known efficacy and activating them in the tumor microenvironment, our goal of providing therapeutic hope to patients with cancer through effective treatments is within reach."
"It's a pleasure to welcome René to Akrevia. Her extensive experience in building and financing companies from pre-clinical stage through commercialization will be instrumental in advancing the Company's αCTLA-4 and cytokine programs," said Tim Clackson, Ph.D., President and EVP of R&D at Akrevia. "With her passion for the science and proven leadership track record, I look forward to working with René as we build a leading oncology company dedicated to delivering new, life-changing therapies to patients."
Dr. Russo currently serves as a Director of X4 Pharmaceuticals, a publicly-traded company focused on restoring healthy immune system function by developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of rare diseases, following its recently completed merger with Arsanis; and Life Science Cares, a rapidly growing nonprofit organization leveraging the collective impact of the Boston life sciences industry to address the cycle of poverty in the Boston area.
About Akrevia Therapeutics Akrevia Therapeutics, LLC is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing highly-potent, tumor-targeted immuno-oncology therapeutics. The company's proprietary Aklusion platform technology allows biologics to be specifically activated in the tumor microenvironment, and with precisely tailored properties, expanding the universe of immune-activating proteins that can be safely delivered. Akrevia is applying its technology to build a broad pipeline of engineered cytokines, antibodies and other immune modulators as potential new options for patients living with cancer. To learn more, please visit www.akrevia.com.