Cardiff Oncology Announces the Appointment of Fairooz Kabbinavar, MD, FACP, as Chief Medical Officer
Cardiff Oncology, a clinical-stage biotechnology company leveraging PLK1 inhibition, a well-validated oncology drug target, to develop novel therapies across a range of cancers, today announced that it has strengthened its leadership team with the appointment of Fairooz Kabbinavar, MD, FACP, as chief medical officer (CMO). Dr. Kabbinavar will oversee the clinical development program for the Company’s investigational drug onvansertib and will report directly to Chief Executive Officer, Mark Erlander, PhD.
Dr. Kabbinavar joins Cardiff Oncology with more than 30 years of experience that bridges both the academic and biotech/pharmaceutical sectors. He spent 25 years as an academic oncologist at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), holding appointments including professor of medicine and urologic oncology. He joined the biotech industry as the principal medical director in Genentech’s immuno-oncology program, where he led the clinical development of atezolizumab (TECENTRIQ®) in extensive stage small cell lung cancer and oversaw the filing of the supplemental biologics license application that led to the drug’s FDA approval. Most recently, Dr. Kabbinavar was the global head of research and development at Huyabio International. Prior to joining Huyabio, he served as senior vice president (SVP) of clinical research and development at Puma Biotechnology, and CMO and SVP of clinical development at Tocagen, Inc.
“As both a clinical oncologist and biopharma executive, Fairooz brings deep knowledge of colorectal cancer, our lead indication for onvansertib, as well as other solid tumor cancers,” said Mark Erlander, PhD, chief executive officer of Cardiff Oncology. “His experience guiding the development and registration of high-impact oncology drugs adds critical and relevant expertise to the Cardiff team. The deep relationships Fairooz has with investigators and clinical trial sites worldwide, including serving as lead investigator for two practice-changing trials leading to the approval of bevacizumab in mCRC, will be invaluable to expediting our clinical program. In addition, his experience successfully navigating the regulatory process in previous industry roles comes at an opportune time in the clinical development of onvansertib.”
Dr. Kabbinavar commented, “I’m excited to join the Cardiff Oncology team to advance the clinical development of onvansertib for colorectal cancer patients specifically, and also for patients with other cancers. I’m encouraged by the response rates observed in the Phase 1b/2 trial of onvansertib in KRAS-mutated mCRC, which are well above historical standard-of-care responses. A significant finding in this trial is the potential synergy between onvansertib and bevacizumab, which could lead to a novel paradigm in the management of patients with mCRC. I’m eager to bring my passion for oncology drug development to Cardiff Oncology.”
While at UCLA, Dr. Kabbinavar served as the lead investigator on two practice-changing clinical trials of bevacizumab (Avastin®) combinations leading to approval of bevacizumab in mCRC. He has published over 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine (senior author) and Journal of Clinical Oncology (lead author). Dr. Kabbinavar holds BSc, MBBS and MD degrees from Nagpur University, India, and completed multiple fellowships in UCLA’s Division of Hematology/Oncology, as well as an internship and residency at Harvard University’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
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