iTeos brings on Sanofi cancer VP as CMO as it wades deeper into the clinic

Belgian immunotherapy developer iTeos Therapeutics has snagged Sanofi’s cancer drug development leader, Joanne Lager, M.D., to be its new chief medical officer.

The hire comes after the company raised $75 million last June to bring two of its assets to the clinic—an adenosine A2A antagonist and an anti-TIGIT antibody—as well as help fund an expansion to new offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Since the series B round, iTeos has launched a phase 1/1b trial of its A2A antagonist, known as EOS100850, while its TIGIT antibody is slated to enter the clinic in the second half of this year.

“We look forward to benefiting from Joanne’s substantial oncology experience and proven clinical development leadership as we continue to design and develop our next generation immunotherapies to improve the lives of cancer patients worldwide,” iTeos President and CEO Michel Detheux said in a statement.

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Starting April 1, Lager will help oversee both programs as CMO, as well as preclinical programs aimed at the tumor microenvironment.

At Sanofi, Lager served as a vice president and head of global oncology development since 2014, after joining the company as an associate VP in 2009.

She helped lead Big Biotech’s clinical development strategy and operations for early and late-stage assets in both blood and solid tumors, and also served as the co-lead of the Oncology Leadership Team, co-chair of the Therapeutic Area Review Committee and chair of the Oncology Protocol Review Committee. Before that, Lager held multiple roles at GlaxoSmithKline, including clinical head of the Cancer Metabolism Discovery Performance Unit.