Dr. Wallace brings over two decades of experience in oncology drug discovery to leadership team
PALO ALTO, Calif., Dec. 09, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BridgeBio Pharma, Inc. (BBIO), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on genetic diseases, announced it has appointed Eli Wallace, Ph.D., as its chief scientific officer in residence for oncology effective immediately. In this new role, Dr. Wallace will oversee BridgeBio’s ongoing discovery efforts in targeted oncology while driving the identification and adoption of new oncology programs.
“Eli is a brilliant medicinal chemist with an outstanding record of accomplishment in drug development at Array BioPharma and Peloton Therapeutics,” said Frank McCormick, Ph.D., chairman of oncology at BridgeBio. “Eli is one of the most productive discovery scientists in oncology and will lead our efforts to bring drugs against KRAS, GPX4, and other cancer targets into the clinic. I am delighted he has joined our team and look forward to working with him to bring these new therapies to patients.”
Dr. Wallace is a strategic executive leader with 24 years of experience in drug discovery and development, having overseen entire research organizations at companies such as Peloton Therapeutics and Array BioPharma. He has a proven track record leading teams that progressed 13 small molecule drugs into clinical development. In his most recent role as chief scientific officer at Peloton, he and his team discovered and developed a first-in-class HIF2a inhibitor for renal cell carcinoma through clinical proof-of-concept. As one of the original employees of Peloton Therapeutics, Dr. Wallace helped build the research team from six to 30 scientists. Prior to his tenure at Peloton, Dr. Wallace worked in the medicinal chemistry department at Array BioPharma where he rose through the ranks to director. He led multiple research projects, which produced eight new chemical entities that have entered human clinical trials for the treatment of cancer, including Mektovi®, which was approved to treat melanoma in 2018. Specializing in chemistry, Dr. Wallace has co-authored 25 original research articles and invited reviews, and is co-inventor on 79-issued U.S. patents.
Dr. Wallace will be part of the growing team of experienced drug developers working at BridgeBio that includes biotech leaders like Drs. Frank McCormick, Richard Scheller, chairman of research and development at BridgeBio, and Charles Homcy, chairman of pharmaceuticals at BridgeBio.
“We are lucky to partner with Dr. Wallace as he steps in to lead the development of our early stage oncology portfolio,” said BridgeBio CEO and founder Neil Kumar, Ph.D. “Dr. Wallace is a scientist and drug developer we have admired for a very long time. In our book, what matters most is the development of meaningful medicines, something he has done time and again in his career.”
KRAS is a key driver of a number of large cancer indications with high unmet need, including non-small cell lung cancers, pancreatic adenocarcinomas and colorectal adenocarcinomas. GPX4 is a key tumor dependency that was recently identified as a priority oncology target based on high-impact academic reports.
“I am excited to join Drs. Frank McCormick, Richard Scheller, Charles Homcy, and Neil Kumar, and the rest of the talented BridgeBio team,” Dr. Wallace said. “BridgeBio is the perfect setting to apply my experience in small molecule drug discovery to challenging targets that will provide new, meaningful therapeutics to patients afflicted with cancer. When I saw the targets and the promising chemistry underpinning the company’s oncology programs, I knew this was where I wanted to be.”
About BridgeBio Pharma
BridgeBio is a team of experienced drug discoverers, developers, and innovators working to create life-altering medicines that target well-characterized genetic diseases at their source. BridgeBio was founded in 2015 to identify and advance transformative medicines to treat patients who suffer from Mendelian diseases, which are diseases that arise from defects in a single gene, and cancers with clear genetic drivers. BridgeBio's pipeline of over 15 development programs includes product candidates ranging from early discovery to late-stage development. For more information, please visit www.bridgebio.com.
BridgeBio Pharma, Inc.
Source: BridgeBio Pharma, Inc.