WILMINGTON – Prelude Therapeutics, the burgeoning cancer treatment research company, recently named its first president while it furthers research on two lead drugs and preps two additional ones for studies.
[caption id="attachment_221249" align="alignright" width="240"] Dr. Jane Huang | PHOTO COURTESY OF BEIGENE[/caption]
Dr. Jane Huang, the current chief medical officer for hematology at BeiGene, a global biotechnology company developing oral small molecules and monoclonal antibodies for cancer, will take over the new No. 2 role as well as the vacant chief medical officer role at Prelude on April 4.“We are pleased to announce that Dr. Huang will be joining Prelude. Jane’s deep experience in oncology drug development and her strategic leadership throughout the lifecycle of multiple products resulting in successful global regulatory approvals will be of great value to Prelude,” Kris Vaddi, CEO and founder of Prelude, said in a statement. “With multiple distinct precision oncology programs underway, our growing pipeline offers tremendous promise. I am confident in Jane’s ability to build and lead high-performing cross-functional clinical development teams, and her strong relationships and recognized leadership within the cancer research community will be instrumental in achieving our goals to rapidly advance compounds through proof-of-concept and into potential registration trials.”At BeiGene, a Beijing-based company with five American offices, Huang created a global development organization encompassing clinical pharmacology to global product safety and oversaw the development of five hematology medicines, including drugs to treat forms of lymphoma. She shepherded zanubrutinib to approval in more than 45 countries for the treatment of three diseases and received the first approval of tislelizumab in Hodgkin’s lymphoma.Prior to joining BeiGene in 2016, Huang served as vice president of clinical development at Dutch AstraZeneca-linked firm Acerta Pharma, where she oversaw global clinical development of a protein inhibitor, acalabrutinib – Prelude also works on protein inhibitors . Prior to this, she worked at San Francisco-based Genentech, where she played a leading role in drug development programs for multiple therapies throughout all stages of development.Huang is board certified in hematology, oncology, and internal medicine and is adjunct clinical assistant professor at Stanford University. She was recently named one of the 20 most influential women in biopharma R&D by Endpoints News.“I am impressed by the strong execution of the Prelude R&D team and its ability to bring multiple proprietary and potentially best-in-class small molecule compounds forward. Their strategic selection of clinically relevant targets involved in many underserved cancers is equally impressive. This level of performance gives me confidence that Prelude is uniquely resourced to make a meaningful difference in the lives of cancer patients,” Huang said in a statement.According to a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Huang will earn a $525,000 base annual salary, a bonus worth up to half of that, 150,000 shares of Prelude stock that vest over four years, and the option to buy 460,000 more vesting over time.
[caption id="attachment_218804" align="alignright" width="300"] The future headquarters of Prelude Therapeutics will open at CRISP in the second half of 2022. | PHOTO COURTESY OF MRA GROUP[/caption]
She arrives as the company recently disclosed that it plans to file for Investigational New Drug (IND) designations from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in the second half of this year for a drug that degrades proteins that cancers use to grow and one that targets breast cancers with brain metastases and other central nervous system (CNS) cancers, including glioblastoma multiforme. IND approval is required for drug trials to begin.Founded by Vaddi, a veteran of Incyte, Prelude has developed five target cancer programs and developed four potential drugs to date. The company grew out of lab space at the University of Delaware and graduated to the Delaware Innovation Space at the DuPont Experimental Station.In November, it signed a major lease for its future headquarters at the Chestnut Run Innovation and Science Park, the former DuPont research and development campus that is being redeveloped by MRA Group.
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