The resume of Antoine Yver, M.D., includes several of AstraZeneca’s most well-known approved cancer drugs and who’s who of Big Pharma. He will now bring that expertise to Centessa Pharmaceuticals as its new chief medical officer.
Yver leaves behind a legacy of moving 11 different medicines through development to approval for AstraZeneca, which also includes the Merck-partnered cancer drug Lynparza and Enhertu, the $6.9 billion partnered oncology med with Daiichi Sankyo, as well as working on its major lung cancer drug Tagrisso.
Centessa’s new executive most recently served at Daiichi Sankyo, where he was executive vice president and global head, R&D oncology, as well as chair of the Cancer Enterprise. Before that, he was AstraZeneca’s senior vice president, global medicine head, oncology, and global medicines development China lead. Yver also spent time at Merck, Johnson & Johnson and Aventis Pharmaceuticals, which is now a part of Sanofi.
“Antoine is a true industry leader with significant experience and success as a drug developer, having developed some of the most impactful oncology drugs in the world,” said Centessa CEO Saurabh Saha, M.D., Ph.D. “I look forward to partnering with him as we advance our portfolio of preclinical programs into the clinic and progress our four assets currently in clinical development.”
Yver will oversee a broader portfolio at Centessa, which focuses on overhauling the drug development process using an asset-centric R&D model. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company has over a dozen therapies in development, including the phase 3 clinical asset Lixivaptan in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease.
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A number of products in Centessa’s portfolio are epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors, which target a particular mutation common in non-small cell lung cancer and other malignancies.
“Centessa’s asset-centric model exemplifies the very best practices that I have experienced and implemented in the industry,” Yver said in a statement.
The company launched in February with a series A funding but quickly made the move to IPO. Centessa, which formed from the merger of 10 different biotechs, filed to raise $100 million and join the public markets in late April.
Yver’s appointment is the latest staff shuffle for the brand new biopharmaceutical company, which launched with Moncef Slaoui, M.D., as chief scientific officer. The Operation Warp Speed alum stepped down in March amid allegations of sexual assault at his former employer, GlaxoSmithKline.