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CEO from Kuur Therapeutics Moves to Ziopharm

Kevin S. Boyle, the former CEO of Kuur Therapeutics, has been named as the new CEO of Ziopharm Oncology. Raffaele Baffa, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical Officer of the cell and gene treatments biotech, has also been appointed to head of research and development. In the meantime, Adam Levy, Ph.D., was promoted to executive vice president of corporate development and investor relations.

Boyle is joining a biotech company that has a phase 2 asset in various solid tumours that is funded by the National Cancer Institute, as well as a phase 1 leukemia/lymphoma treatment in collaboration with Eden BioCell. In addition, Ziopharm has a number of preclinical studies. As CEO of the CAR natural killer T-cell immunotherapies firm Athenex, Boyle oversaw the $185 million sale of Kuur Therapeutics to Athenex in May.

With two phase 1 programmes, one in high-risk neuroblastoma patients and the other in relapsed/refractory CD19 positive malignancies such as B cell lymphomas, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, the company rebranded from Cell Medica in March 2020 and attracted Athenex’s acquiring eyes.

Boyle worked as the chief financial officer of FloWorks International, Sigma3, RecoverCare, and other firms before joining Kuur. Boyle said that he was doing the CFO duties at FloWorks International. Boyle was hired after a search that began in February, when former CEO Laurence Cooper, M.D., Ph.D., resigned from both the role and his board membership. CellChorus, a business that leverages artificial intelligence for single-cell analysis, has hired the former MD Anderson Cancer Center professor as a director.

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