Science 2 min read

Apexigen Recruits Former Bristol-Myers Squibb Director

Dr. Frances Rena Bahjat, formerly of Bristol-Myers Squibb, will join Apexigen in an entirely new role. She will oversee production on the APX005M discovery team to spur immuno-oncology breakthroughs.

Interleukin 10 (IL-10) cytokine protein. Investigated in the treatment of cancer. 3D rendering based on protein data bank entry 2h24. Atoms shown as color-coded spheres. | Molekuul_be | Shutterstock.com

Interleukin 10 (IL-10) cytokine protein. Investigated in the treatment of cancer. 3D rendering based on protein data bank entry 2h24. Atoms shown as color-coded spheres. | Molekuul_be | Shutterstock.com

This article details breaking news about Frances Rena Bahjat, formerly of Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). Immuno-oncology firm Apexigen released a statement announcing her transition into their company in a new research and discovery role.

Apexigen, the biopharmaceutical company, focuses on clinical stage discoveries and developments. They want to cure cancer by exploring antibody therapeutics and immuno-oncology products.

They use the patient’s own immune system to fight and triumph over cancer.

And now, the firm has a new Vice President for Discovery Research to help them.

APX005M process | Apexigen

A Little Background About Apexigen

Apexigen’s main preclinical pipeline sits in San Carlos, California where Frances Rena Bahjat will lead. She joins Apexigen’s collaboration with the University of California, San Francisco in the APXiMAB initiative.

APXiMAB is Apexigen’s discovery platform that uses mutational lineage guided humanization and rabbit monoclonal antibodies.

Bahjat served as Senior Director of in vivo Studies in her time at BMS.

Her new title at Apexigen is Vice President for Discovery Research. She will oversee the APX005M project currently in phase 2 which means they are testing the drug’s effectiveness.

The team wants to measure APX005M’s effectiveness in tandem with radiation therapy and chemotherapy for patients with gastroesophageal junction and resectable esophageal cancers.

felixioncool | Pixabay

Experience and Excitement for new Discoveries

Bahjat comes from the American pharmaceutical company BMS. They make prescription drugs targeted for HIV/AIDS, cancer, diabetes, and other ailments.

She has ~20 years of experience with preclinical/clinical development for autoimmune and inflammatory disease drugs. Not only did she serve at BMS, but she also served at Rigel Pharmaceuticals.

Apexigen President and CEO Xiaodong Yang seemed excited about her arrival:

“Rena has significant experience in immunology and pharmaceutical research and development, including the discovery of numerous drug candidates across a diverse array of target classes and therapeutic areas…”

You can read more on the official press release available here.

What breakthroughs in immuno-oncology could Bahjat help spur at Apexigen?

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Juliet Childers

Content Specialist and EDGY OG with a (mostly) healthy obsession with video games. She covers Industry buzz including VR/AR, content marketing, cybersecurity, AI, and many more.

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