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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.

    Iman Barilero, VP Iman Barilero, PharmD, PhD, Vice President Regulatory Science and Pharmacovigilance

    Dr. Barilero comes to Agenus with over 25 years of multidisciplinary, global drug development, regulatory and drug safety experience across academia (Institute Gustave Roussy, The French Cancer Research Institute) and global pharma and biotech industry, spanning a broad spectrum of therapeutic areas including Oncology, CNS and Alcohol Dependence. Before joining Agenus, She was Senior Vice President, Chief Officer Regulatory Science, Pharmacovigilance and Patient Advocacy at Axcella Health. In her past 10 years, she served as Vice President, Global Regulatory Development Strategy, Science, Intelligence and Policy at Lundbeck, where she played an instrumental role in the global regulatory approval of several products, including Selincro®, Brintellix®, Rexulti® and Abilify Maintena® in United States, Europe, China, Japan, Brazil and Canada. Her leadership and proactive engagement with external and internal stakeholders led to the creation of novel pathways for the development and approval of CNS products. Dr. Barilero previously worked in regulatory affairs, policy and public affairs at Johnson & Johnson and held roles of increasing responsibility at Hoffmann-La Roche in regulatory affairs, GCP compliance, pharmacovigilance and medical information. She also worked in different roles in clinical development and drug safety at BMS, Wyeth and Aventis. She obtained a Certificate in International Business Communications from San Diego State University, California and a Certificate in Leadership Transition from INSEAD Business School, France.

    Dr. Barilero received her PharmD from the University of Damascus, Syria and both her Master’s degree and PhD in Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology, Oncology from the University of Paris VI, France.

    ozer-baysal-cbo Ozer Baysal, Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Human Resources

    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, Chief Communications and External Affairs Officer

    Dr. Buell serves as the Chief Communications and External Affairs Officer and is responsible for Corporate Communications, Investor Relations and External Affairs.  Prior to her current role, Jennifer served as the Vice President of Research and External Affairs. With 20 years of biopharmaceutical R&D experience, Jennifer has extensive knowledge in advancing 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 operations 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.

    cortis-chris-final Christian Cortis, PhD, Chief Strategy Officer

    Dr. Cortis is the Chief Strategy Officer and is responsible for Corporate Strategy.  Prior to his current role, Chris led our business development and strategic alliances activities. Chris was responsible for completing several transactions, and the progression of other partnerships that 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 and Head of Research

    As Chief Technology Officer and Head of Research, Alex is responsible for closely aligning research and Manufacturing Technology to deliver manufacturable and innovative development candidates across our different drug modalities. In his prior role as Chief Technology Officer, Alex directed the modernization 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 biotherapeutic drug discovery programs in all major therapy areas. He joined Agenus 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.

    Michael Plater, PhD, Chief Business Officer

    Dr. Plater serves as our Chief Business Officer and is responsible for business development, as well as analytics, competitive intelligence, strategic alliance activities, and establishing collaborations with partners that best complement our R&D capabilities and pipeline. Michael has over 20 years of global pharmaceuticals experience in diverse leadership roles at GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis. Most recently at GSK he completed substantial divestment, market access and licensing transactions across Asia-Pacific, Europe and the U.S. and managed U.S. government contracting. Michael obtained his PhD in Molecular Genetics and Protein Biochemistry from the Wolfson Laboratory, University Reading, U.K.

    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.