Kazia Therapeutics (KZIA) Launches New Scientific Advisory Board to Develop Brain Cancer Therapies


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Kazia Therapeutics Limited (NASDAQ: KZIA) is pleased to announce the launch of its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). The new SAB is comprised of four distinguished clinicians and scientists with expertise in developing innovative therapies for brain cancer.

Key points

  • SAB will advise and guide Kazia as paxalisib progresses towards the planned completion of GBM AGILE at 2H CY2023 and potential commercialization thereafter.
  • SAB members are leading experts in the field of brain cancer, with a long history of research and publication. Initial membership includes:
    • Doctor Priscilla Brastianos [Massachusetts General Hospital]
    • Dr John de Groot [University of California, San Francisco]
    • Doctor Alan Olivero [independent consultant and inventor of paxalisib]
    • Dr Patrick Wen [Dana-Farber Cancer Institute]

Kazia’s CEO, Dr. James Garner, said, “We are both delighted and extremely honored to have four highly respected brain cancer specialists join Kazia’s new SAB. As paxalisib progresses rapidly towards potential commercialization, guidance from experts in the field will be critical to our success. We could not wish for a more qualified group of advisors than the four people who have joined us.

Dr Garner added: “We are grateful to the four former SAB members of Kazia: Professor Sir Murray Brennan, Dr Karen Ferrante, Professor Peter Gunning and Dr Alex Matter. Their generous and thoughtful advice has helped make Kazia the company it is today. Given that paxalisib is now at a late stage in its development, it seems appropriate to reform BAS now in the context of the drug’s anticipated commercial market. »

Dr. Priscilla Brastianos

Dr. Priscilla Brastianos is director of the Central Nervous System Metastasis Center at Massachusetts General Hospital and directs a multi-R01 funded lab. Her research focuses on understanding the genomic mechanisms underlying primary and metastatic brain tumors and she has led studies that have identified novel therapeutic targets in brain tumors.

Dr. Priscilla Brastianos completed medical school and internal medicine residency at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and postgraduate training in hematology/oncology and neuro-oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital. She has more than 145 scientific publications and has translated her scientific findings into multicenter national trials. She also directs a multidisciplinary central nervous system metastasis clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School. She has received numerous awards for her work, including the American Association for Cancer Research’s “NextGen Star” award, the Damon Runyon Clinical Investigator Award, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation Award, the Susan G. Komen Career Catalyst Award, the American Brain Tumor Association Joel Gingras Award and the Anne Klibanski Award for Excellence in Mentoring.

Dr John de Groot

Dr. John de Groot is Division Chief of the Division of Neuro-Oncology within the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He is a neuro-oncologist with extensive experience in clinical and translational research in the field of glioma, angiogenesis, molecular targeted therapy and immunotherapy.

Prior to joining UCSF, Dr. de Groot was based at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, TX, where he was co-lead of the GBM Moonshot program. He has authored more than 135 peer-reviewed publications, has been the principal investigator of 44 clinical trials, has collaborated on 78 other clinical trials, and has been the recipient of multiple grants from NCI, CPRIT, NBTS, and industry. He has also served as a reviewer for 23 scientific journals and sits on four editorial review boards, in addition to holding several leadership positions with the Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO).

Doctor Alan Olivero

Dr. Alan Olivero is a consultant specializing in drug discovery and development. In 2018, he retired from Genentech, Inc., where he worked for 25 years, rising to the level of Senior Director of Discovery Chemistry and Head of Research Operations. While at Genentech, he oversaw much of the medicinal chemistry conducted at Genentech, led research teams for eight clinical candidates, and as head of research operations also oversaw the research budget, staffing and the company’s research facilities.

Dr. Olivero is an expert in intracellular signaling pathways and was the team leader of Genentech’s PI3K franchise. He has a specialist interest in brain cancer and is a co-inventor of paxalisib (formerly GDC-0084). He led the early development of paxalisib and was responsible for getting the drug into human trials.

Dr. Olivero holds a BS in Chemistry from Stanford University, completed postgraduate work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETHZ) and received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Stanford University in 1988. He has co-authored numerous scientific publications and is a named inventor on over 40 patents.

Dr Patrick Wen

Dr. Patrick Y. Wen is a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and director of the Neuro-Oncology Center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. His research interests include novel therapies for brain tumors, as well as innovative clinical trial designs, and response assessment and endpoints in clinical trials.

Dr. Wen served as President of the Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO) from 2017 to 2019. He was previously Editor-in-Chief of Neuro-Oncology and is currently SNO’s Editor-in-Chief of Neuro-Oncology. He is also a member of the steering committee of the Response Assessment in Neuro-Oncology (RANO) working group and co-chair of the agent selection committee for the GBM-AGILE trial.

After earning his medical degree from the Medical College of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, University of London, Dr. Wen completed residency training at the Harvard Longwood Neurology Training Program and completed his clinical fellowship and fellowship in neurology at the Center for Neurologic Diseases, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.


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