Childhood cancer-focused Day One snags Gilead alum Bender for CEO


Day One Biopharmaceuticals emerged in Could to develop new medicine particularly for kids with most cancers. Now, because it ramps up its work, the corporate is making a flurry of latest hires and new board appointments, together with a brand new CEO: Jeremy Bender, Ph.D., who beforehand led company improvement at Gilead Sciences.

At Gilead, Bender oversaw the corporate’s acquisitions, partnerships and investments, engaged on greater than 40 transactions totaling greater than $10 billion in upfront worth. Earlier than that, he held comparable roles at smaller biotechs, together with Tizona Therapeutics, Sutro Biopharma and Allos Therapeutics.

It’s a ability set that shall be vital to Day One, which goals to construct its pipeline by buying or partnering on belongings. Its lead asset, a RAF inhibitor dubbed DAY101, was licensed from Sunesis Prescription drugs, which beforehand licensed it to Takeda. Day One is growing it as a therapy for kids with mind most cancers, nevertheless it might be helpful in treating adults with different most cancers varieties, too.

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“I’m excited to place to make use of the a long time of expertise I now have within the transactional house. It’s going to be crucial to realizing our mission,” Bender stated. “That is available in two kinds: first, finishing what we’re doing with DAY101, and second, having the ability to discover companions for applications for after we attain the stage the place it is smart to ascertain that type of partnership.”

Bender made the leap to Day One due to the “distinctive alternative” it offered; a stellar crew, the prospect to work in pediatric oncology and the urgency with which the corporate deliberate to execute its mission was too compelling a mixture to cross up.

“As sappy as it might sound, it was actually a dialog I had with Sam early on within the course of, the place I felt that the way in which he and the corporate take into consideration improvement and the dedication to pediatric oncology sufferers specifically, that resonated with me deeply,” he stated, referring to Samuel Blackman, M.D., co-founder and chief medical officer of Day One.

Bender takes over from Julie Grant, the final companion at Canaan Companions who co-founded Day One and has served as its interim CEO since its start. Grant will change into chair of Day One’s board, the place she is joined by Bender and John Josey, Ph.D., former CEO of Peloton Therapeutics, the most cancers biotech Merck snapped up for $1.1 billion upfront in Could 2019.

Along with Bender, Day One is appointing Genentech veteran Lisa Hamman Bowers as chief industrial officer; Jeannie Hou, M.D., as senior vp of medical improvement; Lazar Dimitrov, Ph.D., as vp of enterprise improvement; and Vai Lee as medical trial specialist.

“The choice by these leaders, significantly Jeremy as CEO, to affix Day One is robust validation of our technique to prioritize kids with most cancers and the promise of our portfolio, together with DAY101,” Grant stated in a press release. “It has been a privilege to guide Day One as acting-CEO since inception, and I look ahead to partnering with Jeremy as Chair of the Board. He brings a long time of biotechnology firm constructing in addition to a observe report of enormous sell- and buy-side enterprise improvement transactions, most lately at Gilead.”


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