Curis looks to MedImmune and Takeda for new hires

Curis has made two senior appointments in the form of Dr Jaye Viner as chief medical officer and executive VP and Dr Tania Chander as VP, product development.

Dr Viner joins the cancer specialist from Millennium – Takeda’s oncology-focused subsidiary – where she was medical director.

It is the second high profile departure from Millennium in recent weeks, following Dr Claire Thom’s switch to fellow Japanese pharma firm Astellas to lead oncology development.

According to Curis, Dr Viner will be responsible for the leadership of the company’s clinical development strategy and efforts to further the development of its pipeline of proprietary drug candidates.

These include CUDC-427, a small molecule antagonist of IAP proteins, and CUDC-907, a dual PI3K and HDAC inhibitor.

Curis also worked with Roche to Erivedge (vismodegib), which recently won approval for the treatment of advanced basal cell carcinoma (BCC).

The company is looking to be more independent in its research approach, however, and believes that Dr Viner will help achieve this goal.

“We believe that Jaye’s molecular oncology knowledge, combined with broad experience across clinical oncology development, will tremendously enhance our internal capabilities,” said Ali Fattaey, Curis’ president and chief operating officer.

In addition to her time at Millennium, Dr Viner has experience in oncology drug development at AstraZeneca subsidiary MedImmune and the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health.

Dr Chander (pictured) joins from MedImmune where she spent several years in increasingly senior roles across multiple therapy areas.

Most recently she was associate director, product development team lead, where she provided leadership to oncology product teams on strategy and clinical development for various oncology drug candidates.

She also has experience at Bristol-Myers Squibb as part of the virology team.

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