Discovery Leader with Accomplished Track Record of Discovering Breakthrough Medicines from Invention to IND Filing
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Nov. 20, 2014 – Scholar Rock, a biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing niche modulators that selectively target growth factor activation in the disease microenvironment, today announced the appointment of Gregory J. Carven, PhD, as Vice President of Antibody Discovery and Protein Sciences. Dr. Carven has more than 15 years of antibody discovery and development experience, including his role as co-inventor of Keytruda® (pembrolizumab), the first PD-1 inhibitor for cancer immunotherapy to receive FDA approval. In his leadership role at Scholar Rock, Dr. Carven will direct the company's discovery and design of therapeutic antibodies as first-in-class niche modulators for fibrotic, musculoskeletal and autoimmune diseases.
"I am delighted that Greg, an accomplished therapeutic innovator, has joined Scholar Rock. His deep drug discovery experience will infuse our growing team with key capabilities as we advance our niche modulators toward clinical development," said Nagesh Mahanthappa, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Scholar Rock. "Greg is ideally fitted to our entrepreneurial and determined team at Scholar Rock, and his leadership will be critical to translating the output of the company's innovative niche modulator platform into novel medicines that can offer significant new treatment options for debilitating diseases."
Dr. Carven is an acknowledged leader in the discovery and development of antibody therapeutics. A particular highlight of his more than 15 years of antibody discovery experience was his leadership of the discovery and preclinical development of Keytruda® (pembrolizumab; MK-3475; anti-PD-1) from its invention through to IND filing. Most recently, he was head of hybridoma research within Pfizer's Global Biotherapeutics Technologies division and was responsible for discovery and engineering of antibodies and antibody binding domains for a wide variety of therapeutic areas. Prior to joining Pfizer, Dr. Carven held positions of increasing responsibility at Merck Research Laboratories (formerly Schering Plough Research Institute and Organon Biosciences), and was a scientist at Phylogix, Inc. Dr. Carven received his PhD in Biological Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and continued his research on the characterization of conformational changes in class II MHC molecules using conformation-specific monoclonal antibodies at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
"I am thrilled to join Scholar Rock and to participate in the advancement of a breakthrough approach with such broad potential to impact the lives of patients," said Dr. Carven. "I see tremendous opportunities to deploy the niche modulator platform to create medicines that will open up new ways to treat a wide range of diseases, and I look forward to being part of such a talented team as the company takes its next steps in developing a pipeline of first-in-class therapies."
About Scholar Rock
Scholar Rock is a biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing niche modulators, a novel class of biologic therapies that selectively modulate the activation of growth factors in the disease microenvironment. The Company's initial proprietary and partnered drug discovery programs target specific growth factors, including members of the TGF-beta superfamily, which are present in the microenvironments of significant diseases such as fibrosis, diseases of the musculoskeletal systems and autoimmune diseases. Scholar Rock was founded based on discoveries made by its scientific founders, Professors Timothy Springer, PhD, and Leonard Zon, MD, of Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, related to the molecular mechanisms of growth factor activation. The company is backed by leading life sciences investors, including Polaris Partners, ARCH Venture Partners, Timothy Springer, EcoR1 Capital and The Kraft Group.
KEYTRUDA® is a registered trademark of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc.