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    Executive Leadership

    garo-armen_ceo Garo Armen, PhD, Chairman and CEO
    Garo serves as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Agenus Inc., which he co-founded in 1994. Under his leadership, Agenus has been advancing breakthrough scientific technologies and immunotherapeutic products for 20 years. From mid-2002 through 2004, Garo, in addition to his responsibilities at Agenus, served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the biopharmaceutical company Elan Corporation, plc, which he successfully restructured. Garo serves as non-executive Chairman of the Board of Protagenic Therapeutics, a biotechnology company focusing on human brain hormones for the treatment of neurological and metabolic disorders. He also serves as Founder and Chairman of the Children of Armenia Fund (COAF), a philanthropic organization he founded in 2000; COAF is dedicated to the development of children and youth in Rural Armenia. He received his PhD in physical chemistry from the City University of New York.
    ozer-baysal-cbo Ozer Baysal, Chief Business Officer
    Ozer’s principal role is to lead Agenus’ efforts in establishing commercial capability and accelerating Agenus’ transition to becoming a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company. Previously, Ozer spent more than 30 years with Pfizer in a broad number of functional and geographic areas, most recently serving as President of Europe, Emerging Markets Region where he grew revenue to $2.5 billon. While at Pfizer, he held key leadership positions in Marketing, Sales, and Manufacturing, and was actively involved with numerous licensing and M&A activities. Ozer holds a bachelor’s degree from Bosphorus University in Industrial Engineering and has completed the Programs for Leadership and Management Development at Harvard Business School.
    Jennifer Buell, PhD, Vice President, Research and External Affairs
    Dr. Buell serves as the Vice President of Research and External Affairs. With 20 years of biopharmaceutical R&D experience, Jennifer has extensive knowledge in the advancement of discovery candidates through development and experience communicating with external stakeholders including regulators, investors, and collaborators. She has a proven record of success in R&D leadership, most recently at Agenus, where she led high performing teams in advancing candidates into the clinic and delivered on key alliance collaborations. Prior to joining Agenus, Jennifer held leadership positions in R&D operations at Bristol-Myers Squibb and later was responsible for Program and Alliance Management at Harvard Clinical Research Institute (Baim), where she was involved in the development strategy and operational conduct for a portfolio of industry and government sponsored clinical programs. Jennifer obtained her PhD in Cellular, Biochemical, and Molecular Biochemistry with an MS in Biostatistics from Tufts University in Boston.
    john-cerio-website-photo John Cerio, Vice President, Human Resources and Administration
    John oversees our human resources, facilities and information technology functions, aligning the organization, operating culture and processes to support the company’s strategies and efforts. John joined Agenus in 2003 as Vice President, Human Resources. He assumed additional responsibility for facilities in 2005, information technology in 2006. Prior to joining Agenus, John was Vice President of Human Resources for PerkinElmer Global Life Sciences where he played a key role in leading the organization through a period of unprecedented growth and change. In addition, he spent 9 years at Bristol-Myers Squibb in a series of progressively responsible roles in corporate staff and worldwide medicines. John has broad ranging experience in human resources with particular expertise in leadership and organization development, talent acquisition and change management. He holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial and labor relations from Cornell University, and a master’s degree in organizational psychology from Columbia University.
    cortis-chris-final Christian Cortis, PhD, Vice President, Business Development
    Dr. Cortis leads our business development and strategic alliances activities, and is responsible for establishing collaborations with partners that best complement our R&D capabilities and pipeline. Chris brings over 18 years of business development, venture capital and strategic planning experience to the Agenus team. Prior to joining Agenus, Chris was Head of Business Development for Synta Pharmaceuticals and earlier was a Principal with Advanced Technology Ventures where he led and participated in 18 transactions representing more than $400M of equity financings for companies including Calithera (CALA), Catabasis, Proteolix (acquired by Onyx), Helixis (acquired by Illumina), Acceleron Pharma (XLRN) and Portola (PTLA). Chris’ prior roles also include Director of Business Development for Gemin X and Associate with Booz Allen & Hamilton’s New York office. Christian holds a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Chemistry from Columbia. He also serves as an independent director on the board of OpenEye Scientific Software, a leading provider of computational chemistry solutions.

    Jean-Marie Cuillerot, MD, Chief Medical Officer
    Jean-Marie Cuillerot joins the company with 16 years of experience in oncology clinical research and drug development. Most recently, he served as the Global Head of Clinical Development, Immuno-Oncology, and Vice President of Clinical Immunotherapy/Immuno-Oncology at EMD Serono Research and Development Institute, an affiliate of Merck Serono. At Merck Serono he oversaw the development of the company’s immuno-oncology portfolio, which included two checkpoint inhibitors and two immuno-cytokines. He also advanced the PD-L1 antibody avelumab from pre-IND to filing and was responsible for delivering the dataset leading to the $880 million co-development deal with Pfizer. Dr. Cuillerot led the Global Clinical Research team in all interactions with health authorities, including the FDA and EMA.
    alex-duncan_cto Alex Duncan, PhD, Chief Technology Officer
    As Chief Technology Officer, Alex directs the innovation and optimization of our technical platforms and is responsible for all manufacturing and quality systems including those relating to Prophage. Alex is a seasoned antibody research scientist and business leader with over 20 years of experience leading antibody technology and bio-therapeutic drug discovery programs in all major therapy areas. He joined us in January 2015 from Actigen, a company focused on development of immunomodulatory antibody compounds, where he was Managing Director. Previously, Alex was CSO and Head of R&D at Affitech A/S (Denmark) and a member of the Astra Zeneca Discovery senior management team, where he served as Senior Vice President Biopharmaceuticals and led the Cambridge UK Discovery site, previously Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT). Prior to its acquisition by Astra Zeneca, Alex was SVP Drug Discovery at CAT, where he built a recognized world class antibody discovery capability. Technology developed by CAT was used to create adalimumab, the first fully human antibody blockbuster drug known commercially as Humira. Alex gained his PhD in Dr. Sir Greg Winter’s laboratory at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, University of Cambridge and held post-doctoral positions at the University of California San Diego.
    christine-klaskin Christine Klaskin, Vice President, Finance
    Christine leads our finance, accounting, and corporate treasury functions. Christine joined Agenus in 1996 as Finance Manager and has held several positions of increasing responsibility within our accounting and finance departments. Prior to Agenus, she was at Arthur Andersen from 1987, as an audit manager. Ms. Klaskin received her Bachelor of Accountancy from The George Washington University.
    Michelle Linn, Vice President, Corporate Communications
    Michelle oversees corporate communications at Agenus, including investor relations, media relations and internal communications. She has more than 20 years of communications experience in the healthcare and life sciences industries. Prior to joining Agenus, Michelle led Linnden Communications, a boutique communications firm focused on the sector. While at Linnden, Michelle developed and implemented numerous communications, investor relations and media relations programs for life sciences companies, advocacy organizations, and economic development groups domestic and abroad. Previously, she served as Executive Vice President at Ogilvy PR/Feinstein Kean and managed corporate communications for EcoScience Corporation. Michelle holds a B.S. degree in marketing from Bentley College. She currently serves as Chair of the Women In Bio Boston Chapter.
    bob-stein_rd Robert Stein, MD, PhD, Senior R&D Advisor
    Dr. Robert Stein has over 35 years of experience and accomplishments in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry and advises Agenus’ global research and development efforts. Bob previously served as the Company’s President of R&D. Over the course of his career, Bob has played a significant role in the discovery and development of eight marketed drugs, including Sustiva®, Fablyn®, Viviant®, PanRetin®, TargRetin®, Promacta®, & Eliquis®. Prior to working at Agenus, he held a number of progressively responsible senior management positions including Head of Pharmacology for Merck & Co., CSO & SVP of Research for Ligand Pharmaceuticals, EVP of Research & Preclinical Development for Dupont Merck, President and CSO for Incyte Pharmaceuticals, President of Roche Palo Alto, and CEO of KineMed. Bob spent the early part of his career at Merck, Sharp and Dohme Research Laboratories. He holds an MD and a PhD in Physiology & Pharmacology from Duke University.
    karen-valentine_gc Karen Valentine, JD, Chief Legal Officer & General Counsel
    Karen leads our legal and compliance functions, and has played a key role in shaping the company’s legal and business development strategy. Prior to joining Agenus, Karen was an associate in the biotechnology practice of Palmer & Dodge LLP (now part of Locke Lord). While at the law firm, she provided corporate law services to a broad range of both public and private corporations, and developed an expertise in the areas of licensing and strategic collaborations. Prior to entering the legal profession, Karen was an underwriter for Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. Karen holds a BS in neuroscience from Colgate University, and received her law degree from Boston University School of Law.  Karen has been recognized as an “In-House Leader in the Law” by Mass Lawyers Weekly.