CytomX Therapeutics Announces Key R&D Leadership Appointments

Mark Rolfe, Ph.D., Named Chief Scientific Officer and Henry Lowman, Ph.D., Named Vice President of Research

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- CytomX Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on the development of proteolytically-activated antibodies, today announced the appointment of Mark Rolfe, Ph.D., as chief scientific officer. Dr. Rolfe brings more than 20 years’ experience in oncology drug discovery and development, working with companies including Abbott Laboratories’ Facet Biotech and Millennium Pharmaceuticals. CytomX has also appointed Henry Lowman, Ph.D., to the position of vice president, research; Dr. Lowman joins CytomX after 20 years with Genentech, Inc.

“We are thrilled to announce these important additions to our team, as they further position the company for the next phase of growth and support advancement of our unique site-directed antibody development programs,” said Nancy Stagliano, chief executive officer of CytomX. “Dr. Rolfe is a recognized expert in cancer biology, with significant and relevant industry experience that will add critical value to our scientific research and development efforts here at CytomX. Similarly, Dr. Lowman’s background in protein and antibody therapeutics will be invaluable as CytomX strengthens its unique Probodies technology and further executes its lead programs.”

These appointments follow a recent Series B financing in September, and come in advance of the company’s move to the San Francisco Bay Area in December.

“There is a clear and growing need for advanced antibody therapies that do not compromise safety for efficacy in treating not only cancer but also anti-inflammatory conditions,” said Dr. Rolfe. “The team at CytomX is deeply committed to addressing this need, and the company’s ability to develop proteolytically-activated antibodies should generate site-directed therapies with increased efficacy and decreased toxicity. I am pleased to be joining CytomX at such an exciting juncture, as the team continues to drive forward its Probodies technology and build its presence in the San Francisco area.”

Dr. Rolfe has extensive experience discovering kinase inhibitors, inhibitors of the ubiquitin proteasome system and novel cancer antibodies. Most recently, he was chief scientific officer and interim chief medical officer at Facet Biotech, recently acquired by Abbott Laboratories, where he was developing strategies for translational medicine and oncology focused discovery efforts. Prior to Facet, Dr. Rolfe spent 10 years at Millennium Pharmaceuticals serving in a number of positions, including vice president, oncology biology. Dr. Rolfe has published 43 scientific articles and book chapters, has presented his work at major international scientific congresses and has been a reviewer for a wide range of scientific publications including Nature Medicine, Molecular and Cellular Biology and PNAS. Dr. Rolfe received his B.A. from Oxford University, his Ph.D. from the National Institute for Medical Research and completed Post-Doctoral Fellowships at the ICRF in London and Columbia University in New York.

Dr. Lowman joins CytomX from NGM Biopharmaceuticals, where he was director of protein sciences. Prior to then, Lowman spent 20 years in research and development at Genentech, Inc., where he began as an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, and most recently served as director of the antibody engineering department. His focus has been in the areas of structure-based protein design, structure-function analysis and molecular diversity techniques, which he has applied in several therapeutic development projects. He is an inventor on more than 50 issued patents and currently serves as an editorial board member for the antibody journal mAbs. Dr. Lowman earned his B.A. in chemistry at The Johns Hopkins University, and a Ph.D. in chemistry at Purdue University.

“CytomX has taken a unique approach to the discovery and development of innovative proteolytically-activated therapies,” said Dr. Lowman. “I look forward to working with my new colleagues on expanding the Probodies technology as we advance our promising oncology programs toward the clinic.”

About CytomX Therapeutics

CytomX Therapeutics is an early stage biotechnology company developing Probodies™, or proteolytically-activated antibodies. Probodies combine the well established power and specificity of monoclonal antibodies with a second level of tissue selectivity, driven by the action of endogenous disease enzymes. Probodies, by their ability to site-direct the activity of antibodies, should result in an improved therapeutic index for validated targets as well as enable the drugging of targets with broad tissue expression. The company’s mission, alone and with the help of partners, is to provide patients with more effective and less toxic therapies for severe illnesses such as cancer and inflammatory diseases. For more information, please visit


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