SAN CARLOS, Calif., May 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Apexigen, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, today announced the appointment of Frances Rena Bahjat, Ph.D. as Vice President, Discovery Research. In this newly-created position, Dr. Bahjat will report to Xiaodong Yang, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Apexigen, and will lead the discovery and preclinical development of the Company's immuno-oncology (I-O) therapeutics pipeline.
"Rena has significant experience in immunology and pharmaceutical research and development, including the discovery of numerous drug candidates across a diverse array of target classes and therapeutic areas. She has specific expertise leading immuno-oncology drug discovery, spanning from early lead to preclinical through translational medicine," said Xiaodong Yang, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Apexigen. "Rena will lead discovery of our new generation of I-O therapeutics and support the development of our lead I-O program APX005M. We welcome her to our growing team."
"I am very excited to be joining the Apexigen team and helping to build upon the progress and promise demonstrated to date from the APX005M program," said Rena Bahjat, Ph.D., Vice President, Discovery Research. "I look forward to leading the discovery and development of a pipeline of additional programs to bring the promise of I-O to fruition for the benefit of patients."
Dr. Bahjat has nearly 20 years of experience encompassing target discovery and preclinical and clinical development of biologics and small molecules for cancer, as well as autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Prior to joining Apexigen, she served as Senior Director of In vivo Studies for Bristol-Myers Squibb, where she was responsible for overseeing Biologics Discovery Pharmacology and In vivo Antibody Discovery operations at the Company's research facility in Redwood City. Prior to joining BMS, Dr. Bahjat was an Assistant Professor at Oregon Health & Sciences University where she conducted NIH-funded basic and translational research and facilitated preclinical development of innate agonist therapeutics for clinical use. Previously, she served as Associate Director of Pharmacology at Rigel Pharmaceuticals where she contributed to the preclinical development of kinase inhibitors for cancer, allergy, and autoimmune diseases, including Tavalisse™ for Chronic Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP). Dr. Bahjat also held positions at Oncovir, Nuvelo (now Arca Biopharma), Corgentech-AlgoRX, and Nereus Pharmaceuticals (San Diego, CA).
Apexigen is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company discovering and developing a new generation of antibody therapeutics for oncology, with an emphasis on new immuno-oncology agents that could harness the patient's immune system to combat and eradicate cancer. APX005M and the Company's additional preclinical programs were discovered using APXiMABTM, Apexigen's proprietary product discovery platform. This platform has enabled the Company and its collaboration partners to discover and develop high-quality therapeutic antibodies against a variety of molecular targets, including targets that are difficult to drug with conventional antibody technologies. Seven product candidates discovered using APXiMABTM are currently in clinical development, either internally by Apexigen or by its partners. For more information, please visit www.apexigen.com.
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SOURCE Apexigen, Inc.