- ADC Therapeutics has appointed former Novartis executive Ameet Mallik as its new CEO, announcing Monday that cofounder Chris Martin has stepped down as company head after serving in the role for the past seven years.
- Mallik ran Novartis' oncology division until last May, when he joined cancer drugmaker Rafael Holdings as CEO. After a clinical trial setback last fall, Rafael announced a leadership reshuffle, with Mallik transitioning to its board and four other executives departing.
- ADC Therapeutics specializes in a type of medicine known as an antibody-drug conjugate and won regulatory clearance of its first last year with the Food and Drug Administration's approval of Zynlonta for large B-cell lymphoma.
Mallik, who at Novartis held a series of commercial-focused roles, joined Rafael last May as the company was on the cusp of an important clinical trial readout for its most advanced experimental drug.
But plans to advance the drug toward regulators were derailed in October, when the company reported the treatment failed to extend the lives of study participants with pancreatic cancer. Another clinical test in leukemia was ended early after trial monitors concluded it was unlikely to succeed.
One month later, Mallik handed off CEO duties to board chairman Howard Jonas, while agreeing to chair a newly formed transition committee at Rafael.
"I joined Rafael Holdings to recruit a top-tier leadership team to evolve the company into a fully integrated commercial organization," Mallik said in a statement at the time. With that path closed, Rafael's focus switched back to earlier-stage studies in other cancers.
At ADC Therapeutics, by comparison, Mallik will take over a company launching its first medicine and gearing up to seek regulatory approval of a second. Sales of Zynlonta totaled $16.5 million in the first quarter of the year, although the company noted in earnings results released Monday that the omicron surge slowed patient uptake.
ADC expects to report Phase 2 trial results for another drug, called camidanlumab tesirine, by the end of June and aims to discuss potentially filing an approval application with the FDA later this year.
Shares in ADC fell by nearly 25% on Monday morning.