Cancer biotech Oncoceutics loses CEO, chair and co-founder

(Christian Guiton/iStock)

Oncoceutics’ chairman and CEO Wolfgang Oster has abruptly left the biotech, leaving Chief Operating Officer Lee Schalop, M.D., as its new leader.

Oster had been at the biotech for its 11-year life as a co-founder, helming the company as it pushed on with its class of compounds called imipridones, which selectively target G protein-coupled receptors in cancer.

The first lead compound to emerge from this program is ONC201, an orally active small-molecule DRD2 antagonist. The company is supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute, the FDA and the Musella Foundation as well as a series of private and public partnerships.

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These include Spring Mountain Capital, which led its series A; one of its directors, Raymond Wong, in fact takes over the now-vacant chairman position. It’s not clear why or where Oster went, though it is unusual he left with no fanfare, leaving no quote in the company's release or remaining as chair.

Schalop, Oncoceutics’ COO, moves up to chief, while Josh Allen, Ph.D., the company’s senior vice president of R&D, is now the company’s CSO.

The board said little in its official release, only: “We are grateful for what Wolfgang has contributed to Oncoceutics, and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Wong added: “We are confident in the strong team that we have built at Oncoceutics, including Lee Schalop, Marty Stogniew and Josh Allen, who will continue to serve as the company’s senior leadership. We are also confident in the continued success of the company’s ONC201 clinical program, including the company’s drive toward regulatory approval in the United States. 

“On a day-to-day basis, nothing will change for the company’s ongoing clinical trials, scientific collaborations, regulatory interaction, patient support, and communication with the neuro-oncology community.”

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