Black Diamond Therapeutics Announces CEO Transition
Current Chairman of the Board and industry veteran Mark Velleca appointed CEO
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and NEW YORK, Sept. 18, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Black Diamond Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: BDTX), a clinical-stage precision oncology company developing therapies that target families of oncogenic mutations in patients with genetically defined cancers, announced that current Chairman of the Board, Mark Velleca, M.D., Ph.D., has been appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) effective immediately. Dr. Velleca succeeds Company CEO and co-founder, David M. Epstein, Ph.D., who has stepped down and will continue to serve on the Board of Directors of the Company.
“Since co-founding Black Diamond in 2016, I have had the privilege of leading the Company from scientific inception through clinical proof of concept, while building a talented drug discovery and development team focused on providing cancer patients with better treatment options,” said Dr. Epstein. “I am incredibly proud of this team’s accomplishments and am pleased to pass the baton to our Board Chair, Mark Velleca, as we transition to later stage clinical development.”
“I am thrilled to join the Black Diamond team to build on its solid foundation and advance the Company’s clinical stage programs, BDTX-1535 and BDTX-4933. I look forward to leading the Company through its next phase of growth, advancing our pipeline on a clear commercial pathway, and creating value for our stakeholders,” said Dr. Velleca. “On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I would like to sincerely thank David for his many contributions to Black Diamond, and his commitment to exceptional science and to patients in need.“
Dr. Velleca joined the Board of Directors of Black Diamond in 2021 and became Chairman of the Board in 2022. Prior to joining the Black Diamond Board, Dr. Velleca served as CEO of G1 Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: GTHX). At G1, he successfully led the company through its initial public offering and the development of its first therapy (COSELA®) from investigational new drug (IND) filing to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval. Dr. Velleca continues to serve as a Senior Advisor to and Board memberof G1; he is also the Executive Chair of Myeloid Therapeutics, Inc.
Earlier in his career, Dr. Velleca was a co-founder and Senior Vice President of CGI Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he managed the company from its inception through clinical trials of multiple drug candidates. After Gilead Sciences acquired CGI, he served as a Senior Advisor to Gilead in R&D Strategy and Corporate Development. Between CGI and G1, Dr. Velleca was Executive Vice President and Chief Policy & Advocacy Officer of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Most recently, Dr. Velleca was CEO of StrideBio, a gene therapy company, and a Venture Partner at Hatteras Venture Partners.
Dr. Velleca began his career as an attending physician at Yale New Haven Hospital and was on the faculty of the Yale University School of Medicine. Dr. Velleca earned an M.D. and Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis, and a B.S. from Yale University.
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