Ex-Pfizer oncology R&D lead lands at Fierce 15 winner Vividion Therapeutics

Pfizer building
Vividion gains a new chief scientific officer, but Pfizer loses its longtime cancer R&D leader. (Tracy Staton)

Pfizer’s former longtime cancer research head Robert Abraham, Ph.D., has become the new chief scientific officer at a San Diego biotech after leaving the Big Pharma last year.

He moves over to 2017 Fierce 15 winner Vividion Therapeutics, a biotech looking to increase the number of proteins small molecules can target. Last April, it got off an $82 million series B financing round.

Its platform is based on the work of Benjamin Cravatt, Phil Baran and Jin-Quan Yu at the Scripps Research Institute and is designed to identify new sites in the proteome—which is distinct in each cell—that can be drugged.

Vividion spun out of Scripps back in 2017; it’s still pretty quiet on specifics of its pipeline, but it's looking to work on cancer and immunology through its selective small-molecule therapeutic platform.

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Abraham will now help lead these efforts. It’s a major get for the small biotech and will likely be a bit of a culture shock for Abraham, who joins Vividion from a 10-year tenure at Pfizer where he most recently served as senior vice president and group head, oncology R&D.

He "retired" from Pfizer last year, and was replaced by Calico's Jeff Settleman, Ph.D. last July.

“We are delighted to have Bob join the Vividion family. His deep scientific expertise and experience managing a large and complex portfolio at Pfizer will help us successfully advance our broad and promising pipeline of selective small molecule programs,” said Diego Miralles, CEO of Vividion.

“Our proprietary platform has generated a diverse portfolio addressing several highly sought-after targets in the areas of oncology and immunology, and we look forward to leveraging Bob's insights as we create the small molecules of the future.”

“I am extremely excited to join the exceptionally talented and innovative team at Vividion," added Abraham.

“The success the company has had in generating and progressing multiple compelling programs over such a short period of time is impressive. I look forward to helping Vividion realize the full potential of its technology platform to deliver highly differentiated, impactful medicines to patients.”