Former Fierce 15 winner Relay Therapeutics has brought on Verastem’s Mahesh Padval, Ph.D., and Eli Lilly’s Mary Mader, Ph.D., to boost its drug discovery and development operations in oncology as it begins to transition to an R&D-stage biotech.
Padval was appointed as Relay’s senior VP of pharmaceutical drug development, while Mader was named VP of chemistry.
At Verastem, Padval served as VP of pharmaceutical sciences and product development, helping to oversee preclinical development, CMC and clinical pharmacology activities—including for the September approval and launch of Copiktra in third-line chronic lymphocytic leukemia, small lymphocytic leukemia and follicular lymphoma, which is expected to reach between $500 million and $850 million in peak sales.
Prior to Verastem, Padval was VP of preclinical development and formulations at Zalicus, and he also held roles at Charles River Discovery and Development Services and Genzyme Transgenics.
Mader previously served as a senior research advisory and a research fellow at Eli Lilly, where she worked on the discovery and development of multiple clinical candidates. Before that, she was a visiting research scientist at the Bayer Research Center and an associate professor at Grinnell College in Iowa.
Relay’s pipeline focuses on studying the movement of proteins within cells in real-time. Its discovery engine examines the full mobility of a protein and the ways that motion can regulate function.
The company’s head of R&D, Don Bergstrom, M.D., Ph.D., said the company plans to expand its protein motion platform to an “expanding array of therapeutic targets” as it transitions to the development stage.