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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.

    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.

    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.


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    Sunil Gupta, MBBS, FRCPC, Vice President of Regulatory & Pharmacovigilance

    Dr. Sunil Gupta, MBBS, FRCPC, is the Vice President of Regulatory & Pharmacovigilance at Agenus. In his pharmaceutical industry career of over 30 years in Clinical Development, Medical Affairs and Regulatory Affairs, Dr. Gupta has led several clinical trial programs in oncology. Prior to joining Agenus, he was with with Sanofi and legacy company Rhone Poulenc Rorer for 22 years where he led several development project teams and secured registration of 2 new molecules, Eloxatin (oxaliplatin) for colorectal cancer and Jevtana (cabazitaxel) for advanced prostate cancer, with successful FDA, EMA and other Health Agency interactions across the world. Dr. Gupta obtained his medical education in India followed by Internal Medicine residency and Oncology fellowship at the Ottawa University Hospitals, Ottawa, Canada. Becoming interested in genitourinary cancer he completed additional year of advance fellowship at the Indian University Purdue University Medical Center at Indianapolis.

    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.

    cortis-chris-final Christian Cortis, PhD, Chief Strategy Officer & Head of Finance

    Dr. Cortis is our Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Finance. 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.

    Evan Kearns, J.D., Vice President & General Counsel

    Evan leads our legal and compliance functions. Evan first joined Agenus in 2014 and previously served as our Vice President, Associate General Counsel. Prior to joining Agenus, Evan was with the law firm of Goodwin Procter LLP in Boston, MA, where he advised public and private companies in domestic and international transactions on corporate and securities law matters, merger, acquisition and financing transactions, corporate governance, and other general corporate matters. Evan holds a B.A. in Economics from Colby College and a J.D. degree from the University of Toledo College of Law

      Julie DeSander, Head of Business Development

    Julie serves as our Head of Business Development.  Julie has more than 10 years of cross-functional experience in the biopharmaceutical industry with leadership roles in business development, corporate strategy, finance, and program management.  Prior to Agenus, Julie was responsible for strategy and business operations at Baxalta.  Before that, Julie held roles of increasing responsibility at  Amgen, Siamab Therapeutics, McKinsey & Company, and Frankel Group. Julie holds a Master’s of Business Administration from MIT Sloan and a Master’s degree in Biomedical Enterprise from the Harvard/MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology.

    Christine Klaskin, Vice President, Finance & Principal Accounting Officer

    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.

    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.