Johnson & Johnson’s global head, Cell treatment platform, and discovery have all been lost. Tamas Oravecz, Ph.D., joined J&J’s Janssen earlier this year, only to quit to join the newly formed cancer firm Parthenon Therapeutics as chief scientific officer.
Early in his career, Oravecz worked on HIV Cell and gene therapies, spending two years at Novartis as the company tried to make a success of the assets it acquired when it bought SyStemix. Oravecz went on to work on other modalities subsequently, first at Lexicon Pharmaceuticals for 14 years and then at Celgene for a shorter time.
Parthenon revealed its operations a month ago when it announced a $65 million series A investment and a Nature study showing how blocking discoidin domain receptor 1 breaks the mechanical barrier around tumours. The method was used to treat breast cancer in the paper, but Parthenon believes it might be used to treat a wide range of cancers. Oravecz will assist Parthenon in evaluating the options. Parthenon CEO Laurent Audoly, Ph.D., praised Oravecz’s “strong understanding in tumour biology” and track record of “recognising and selecting clinically viable therapeutic options” in a statement announcing the appointment.