President/CEO Helen Hyun Jung Lee, M. D., appoints seasoned, industry veterans to lead clinical development, R&D and business development; and announces appointments to company’s Scientific Advisory Board
Company expanding its US footprint in established therapeutic and business sectors, including oncology, drug delivery systems, and medical devices, and plans to enter into rare disease sector
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Samyang Biopharm USA, (us.samyangbiopharm.com) a global biotech subsidiary of the Samyang Pharmaceuticals Corp. (https://samyangbiopharm.com/eng), today announced that it is expanding its business operations in the United States which is headquartered in Cambridge, MA. As part of this expansion, company President/CEO, Dr. Helen Hyun Jung Lee, made additions to the company’s executive team and named Dr. David Brooks, VP, Clinical Development, Dr. Sean D. McKenna, VP, R&D, and Jeffrey Lange, VP, Business Development as its newest members.
“It is a great pleasure to announce the expansion of the US biopharmaceutical footprint and the company’s strengthened position in the world’s most important and competitive biomedical research sector in Cambridge,” said Tae-Ung Eom, President, Samyang Biopharm. “Since she began her role as President/CEO in 2018, Helen has done an excellent job in building the Samyang USA business and reinforcing our corporate expertise in established research areas. Samyang is now well-positioned to leverage our historical capabilities developed in Korea and make an impact on the growing US biopharmaceutical business sector.”
Samyang Biopharm USA was established in August, 2018, as an overseas subsidiary of Korean-based Samyang Biopharmaceuticals Corp., which has a rich history and extensive experience in oncology drug development, drug delivery systems and medical devices. Since 1995, Samyang Biopharmaceuticals has established a strong market presence in these three business areas of medical technology and pharmaceuticals. The company is currently developing and marketing anticancer drugs, Genexol® and Nanoxel® M, a smoking cessation patch, Nicostop®, and biodegradable surgical sutures, Trisorb® and Monosorb® in Korea.
Within the medical device area, Samyang has developed and commercialized synthetic absorbable surgical suture material which is currently marketed in Korea and other global markets. The company’s future goals include an expansion of this product platform to include a select group of medical products, using biodegradable materials. Samyang’s successful drug delivery system technologies use biodegraded polymers to deliver medicine to specific areas and consist of four distinct delivery platforms, including Oral, PNP (Polymeric Nanoparticle), SENS™ (Stability-enhanced Nano Shells for Nucleic Acid Delivery) and PM (Polymeric Micelle).
Samyang USA will leverage the parent company’s established capability within these proven business areas to capitalize on drug development collaborations with US biopharmaceutical companies, with the goal of developing innovative anticancer drugs and orphan drugs. Fully taking advantage of its location within the world’s leading biomedical research sector, Samyang Biopharm USA is planning to increase the biopharmaceutical development speed and success rates by implementing the open innovation strategy that discovers, introduces, and develops biopharmaceutical technologies and compounds at an early time and by conducting global clinical trials on anticancer drug leads, which are researched by its head office in Korea. In the near-term the company will seek out drug development partnerships with select US biopharmaceutical companies in the therapeutic areas of oncology and rare diseases, which will be a new endeavor for Samyang.
Samyang USA will co-develop early-stage assets which the company in-licenses from future US-based biopharmaceutical partners. All pre-clinical assets which are being developed in the labs at Samyang in Korea will be transferred to the US headquarters once they reach clinical stage for further clinical and commercial development.
“Samyang’s rich history, innovation and commitment to the biopharmaceutical market, provides an excellent platform from which to expand further into the US market, and this, coupled with our newly-assembled management team, will provide the optimal infrastructure for our success,” said Dr. Helen Hyun Jung Lee, President/CEO, Samyang USA. “We recognize the potential that exists within the US and feel that the company is now well-positioned to use our newly-strengthened Cambridge base and management team to leverage the diverse opportunities this market presents within our core strengths of oncology, medical devices and drug delivery systems. Our team is also excited to begin to identify potential development partners in the burgeoning rare disease sector which is experiencing acute growth and interest; particularly in Cambridge.”
Dr. Helen Hyun Jung Lee was named President/CEO of Samyang USA in 2018, and in her current role she oversees the entire scientific and business function of the US company. Dr. Lee has been with Samyang since 2016 and has served as Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) and Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at Samyang Biopharm. Prior to joining Samyang Biopharm USA, Dr. Lee held the position of the Global Head of Solid tumor franchise, Clinical Development, at Shire where she successfully led Onivyde to receiving market authorization in pancreatic cancer from EMA. She also held the position of Senior Medical Director at Baxalta Healthcare where she was the global lead for the company’s clinical development of Pacritinib and Rigosertib, which included leading clinical studies and registration of the compound. She has also held the multiple leadership positions in Eli Lilly including Medical Director/Advisor (US), Medical Director for Medical, Quality and Regulatory affairs (Korea and South East Asia) and was responsible for leading the clinical development and US approval for Erbitux (Cetuximab) as the first-line treatment of head and neck cancer.
Dr. Brooks has more than two decades of biopharmaceutical industry experience with a deep interest and understanding of drug development within oncology. Prior to joining Samyang, Dr. Brooks served as Senior Vice President, Clinical Development, for Eleven Therapeutics. In his position Dr. Brooks supervised the company’s Phase 3 clinical trial in non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. Additionally, he served as lead clinician for all of Eleven’s assets under development in Phase 1, 2, and 3 trials. Before joining Eleven, Dr. Brooks held the positions of VP, Clinical Research/Translational Medicine, Deciphera; Senior Director Physician, Oncology Early Clinical Development, Astra Zenaca; as well as Medical Head, Translational at Tesaro, Inc.
Dr. McKenna is an established figure in the fields of antibody technologies, protein engineering, immunology and oncology. He has led development and commercialization projects for anticancer drugs that are currently used in clinical practice, including the anticancer immunotherapy drug Bavencio (Avelumab) from Merck, a global biotech firm with its headquarters in Germany.
Vice President Lange has over 26 years of biopharmaceutical management experience with 15 of those years spent in business development, during which time he has successfully led multiple joint development projects and licensing contracts based on the accurate valuation of anticancer drugs. While working at Baxalta (currently Shire), he led collaborations for two of the company’s immunotherapy compounds with Symphogen and joint CAR-T cell therapy drug development with Precision BioSciences.
Samyang Biopharm USA has also established a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) that includes Professor Yung-Jue Bang, M.D. (Division of Hematology/Oncology at Seoul National University Hospital), Louis M. Weiner, M.D. (Director, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University) and Dr. Scott J. Antonia, M.D. (Duke Cancer Institute’s Center for Cancer Immunotherapy).
About Samyang Biopharm USA
Samyang Biopharm USA was established in August 2018 with the goal of conducting R&D activities with an emphasis on the field of immuno-oncology and rare disease drugs. We collaborate with various competitive companies, start-ups, research institutes, hospitals, and universities in the pharmaceutical industry through “Open Innovation” strategy.