Curis moves up COO as CEO Fattaey leaves company

Empty boardroom
James Dentzer has been leading the company’s pre-commercial planning for fimepinostat, which received an FDA fast-track designation in relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in May. (Getty/Chris Ryan)

Curis has promoted its chief operating officer James Dentzer to the lead the company, effective immediately, following the departure of CEO Ali Fattaey.

Dentzer first joined Curis in 2016 as chief financial officer, and was moved up to COO earlier this year to help manage all of the company’s functions outside of R&D including business development, manufacturing, legal matters, IT and investor and public relations. With the latest move, he will also become a member of Curis’ board of directors.

Dentzer is also leading the company’s pre-commercial planning for fimepinostat, a PI3K and HDAC inhibitor which received an FDA fast-track designation in relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma in May. Fimepinostat is also being studied in solid tumors.

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"We wish the best for Ali, who was key in the recruitment of Jim to Curis two years ago,” Curis Chairman Martyn Greenacre said in a statement. “Looking forward, we believe he is best positioned to lead Curis as we seek to progress our three high-value programs quickly and successfully through the clinic."

RELATED: Curis hires former Tesaro CMO Robert Martell as head of R&D

Before joining Curis, Dentzer held executive leadership roles at Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Amicus Therapeutics, Valeritas and Biogen.

As for fimepinostat, Curis plans to file for accelerated approval in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma patients with Myc transcription alterations by the end of 2020. In previous studies, the company saw an average duration of response exceeding 14 months, compared to a typical life expectancy of three to four months in the indication, Fattaey previously told FierceBiotech.

In addition, the company is collaborating with Aurigene Discovery Technologies in immunotherapies and precision oncology, granting Curis exclusive licenses to oral small molecule antagonists of immune checkpoints, including PD-L1, VISTA, TIM3 and IRAK4 in early-phase trials. Curis is also working with Roche and Genentech to commercialize Erivedge for advanced basal cell carcinoma.

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