Scorpion’s CEO Axel Hoos, CMO bite the dust as oncology biotech brings in new leadership

Scorpion Therapeutics is entering its “next phase of growth” in 2024, leaving former CEO Axel Hoos, M.D., Ph.D., and ex-Chief Medical Officer Michael Streit, M.D., behind.  

Industry veteran Hoos has led the Boston-based company since July 2021, when he joined from GSK. At the time, Hoos had taken the reins from interim CEO Adam Friedman, M.D., Ph.D. Now, Friedman is taking back the top title, this time sans the temporary designation, according to a Thursday press release that mentioned Hoos just twice.

Scorpion Therapeutics CEO, Axel Hoos
Axel Hoos (Scorpion Therapeutics)

Friedman is part of Scorpion’s founding team and most recently served as the biotech’s president of corporate strategy and business development, a role in which he helped secure partnerships with AstraZeneca and Pierre Fabre. Before Scorpion, Friedman clocked in time at Raze Therapeutics and Vivid Biosciences, the latter of which he co-founded.    

Scorpion is also replacing Streit, who was the first to fill the company’s chief medical officer position. Streit joined Scorpion in 2022 from Sanofi, where he had most recently served as vice president and senior project head. Upon joining Scorpion, Streit was tasked with guiding the biotech as it advanced two oncology candidates toward the clinic in 2023.

Now, with the two candidates in phase 1 development, Mark Chao, M.D., Ph.D., will take over as CMO. He joins from TenSixteen Bio, a precision therapeutics company where he served as co-founder and CEO.  

“I am delighted to join the team and look forward to leading clinical development across the company’s portfolio, beginning with the ongoing Phase 1 trials of STX-478 and STX-721, which are progressing on-track toward initial data readouts,” Chao said in a Jan. 4 company release.

But that’s not all. Scorpion has also promoted Erica Jackson, Ph.D., to chief discovery officer. Previously serving as the company’s executive vice president of biology, Jackson will now be responsible for discovery strategy and the biotech’s preclinical portfolio. Before Scorpion, she served as senior director of tumor dependencies and oncology discovery at AbbVie.