Onconova Appoints Dr. Thomas J. McKearn as President, Research and Development
Onconova Therapeutics, Inc. today announced the appointment of Thomas J. McKearn, M.D., Ph.D. as President, Research and Development. Dr. McKearn is a veteran drug development executive who most recently served as Vice President, Strategic Clinical Affairs at Agennix, Inc.
“Thomas brings substantial leadership experience in all key aspects of drug development to Onconova, including research, clinical development, business operations, and corporate development,” said Ramesh Kumar, Chief Executive Officer of Onconova. “I am very pleased to welcome him to our executive team and look forward to his contributions as the Phase III trial of rigosertib in Myelodysplastic Syndromes progresses toward pivotal data in 2013.”
“Onconova has a pipeline of proprietary drug candidates targeted at signal transduction and DNA repair including rigosertib, a first-in-class small molecule oncology candidate with a dual mechanism of action – PI3K and PLK inhibition. I am enthusiastic to join the team at this transformative time for Onconova,” commented Thomas McKearn. “Further, Onconova has a promising portfolio of earlier stage clinical candidates including Ex-RAD, which has demonstrated proof-of-principle as a novel radioprotectant, and ON 013105 which is in clinical development for lymphoma.”
Thomas McKearn has over 30 years of experience in the translation of biotechnology and science into innovative products that address unmet medical needs in oncology. Before joining Onconova, Dr. McKearn served as Vice President, Medical Affairs and then as Vice President, Strategic Clinical Affairs at Agennix, Inc., formerly GPC-Biotech. He served in this capacity for 10 years with responsibility for clinical and regulatory development strategies for new drug candidates from the early stages of development through eventual product registration. Prior to joining GPC Biotech in 2002, he held several executive positions both in biotech and pharmaceutical organizations, including Executive Director of Strategic Science & Medicine at Bristol-Myers Squibb Company. Dr. McKearn was a founder of Cytogen Corporation in 1981 and later served as its Chief Executive Officer. He has served on numerous executive boards and is currently a Director of Advaxis, Inc. and Anima Cell Metrology Ltd. He has served on the faculty of the Medical School at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. McKearn received his medical, graduate, and post-graduate training at the University of Chicago.
Onconova Therapeutics, based in Newtown, PA and Pennington, NJ, discovers and develops novel small molecule therapeutics directed against targets involved in signal transduction, cell-cycle, and DNA repair. The Company currently has one Phase III clinical-stage compound, two Phase I products in clinical development, and more than a half-dozen, well-differentiated preclinical compounds. The most advanced product, rigosertib (ON 01910.Na), is now in a pivotal trial being conducted under a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) from the United States FDA for Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS), as well as in a Phase II/III trial for pancreatic cancer. For additional information, please visit .