Novocure promotes Pritesh Shah to chief commercial officer

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Novocure is pursuing an FDA filing to expand the use of its electric-field cancer treatment into mesothelioma, its first indication in the torso. (Novocure)

Novocure has promoted its senior VP of the Americas, Pritesh Shah, to be its new chief commercial officer and lead the tumor-treating device manufacturer’s global strategy and international business units.

He will report to Novocure’s CEO, Asaf Danziger, as the company pursues an FDA filing to expand the use of its electric-field cancer treatment into mesothelioma, its first indication in the torso.

Shah first joined the company in 2012 as senior director of global marketing, and would later head Novocure’s U.S. oncology business. He previously served as senior director of new product planning at Aveo Oncology, and has held positions at Roche, Genentech, Bristol-Myers Squibb and OSI Oncology.

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“Throughout his time here, Pritesh has demonstrated an inclusive, direct and transparent leadership style that has helped build cohesion and foster an environment of collaboration,” Danziger said in a statement. “He has exemplified a passion for developing people and teams while aligning individuals and teams toward our patient-forward mission.”

In addition, the company appointed former Medivation CEO David Hung and former Avon CEO Sherilyn McCoy to its board of directors May 31.

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Novocure’s Tumor Treating Fields therapies have been approved by the FDA for recurrent and newly diagnosed glioblastoma, while phase 3 trials are ongoing in brain metastases, non-small cell lung cancer and pancreatic cancer.

The company—based on the English Channel island of Jersey, with U.S. operations in New York City, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania—has also completed phase 2 studies in ovarian cancer and mesothelioma, and reported positive topline results from the latter in April.

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The technology is based on using electric fields that alternate direction 100,000 to 300,000 times per second, disrupting the activity of certain proteins essential to cancer cell division in solid tumors. Novocure plans to use the FDA’s humanitarian device exemption pathway established to encourage rare disease research.

While the new data from the pleural mesothelioma pilot trial has not yet been fully disclosed, the company said it outperformed a 2016 interim analysis. At that time, the trial had not yet reached median overall survival by data cutoff, but did show a median progression-free survival of 7.3 months and a one-year survival rate of 80%, beating historical control data from patients that received standard-of-care chemotherapy alone.