CDR-Life Announces the Appointment of Nicole Onetto, MD, MSc, to Board of Directors

December 8, 2022 1:11 pm Published by

Zürich, Switzerland, December 8, 2022 – CDR-Life Inc., a biotechnology company pioneering a new and differentiated class of highly tumor-selective immuno-oncology therapeutics based on its proprietary antibody-based MHC-targeting T cell engager technology, today announced the appointment of Nicole Onetto, MD, MSc to the Company’s Board of Directors.

Dominik Escher, Executive Chairman of CDR-Life, said: “As CDR-Life is moving to clinical development with its novel MHC-targeting immunotherapies in cancer, the board decided to further strengthen its expertise in the field of oncology. We are very pleased to welcome Dr. Nicole Onetto to our Board. She brings an impressive track record and a wealth of experience in developing novel and innovative drugs in oncology.”

CDR-Life’s Chief Executive Officer, Christian Leisner, PhD, added, “We are excited to have Nicole join the board as we continue to advance our pipeline and mission to create new and highly tumor-targeted immunotherapies. Nicole’s scientific and medical background along with her deep expertise in oncology, drug development and commercialization will be particularly helpful as we work together to bring forward novel MHC-targeting biotherapeutics to patients with urgent unmet medical needs.”

Prior to joining CDR-Life’s Board of Directors, Dr. Onetto was a Deputy Director and Chief Scientific Officer at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research in Toronto. Before that, she held executive positions in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in Canada, the USA, and Europe, including the positions of Chief Medical Officer at ZymoGenetics, and Chief Medical Officer at OSI Pharmaceuticals where she led the clinical development leading to the US and European approvals of Tarceva® (erlotinib) in collaboration with Genentech and Roche. Dr. Onetto previously worked in senior management positions at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), Nexstar Pharmaceuticals, and Gilead Sciences. At BMS, she was the international project leader for Taxol (paclitaxel) and contributed to several international market authorizations for Taxol in ovarian cancer and breast cancer.  At Gilead, she was the Senior Vice President responsible for clinical, drug safety and regulatory operations for the entire Gilead portfolio and was also head of the oncology drug development team which was subsequently acquired by OSI Pharmaceuticals.

“I am delighted to join the Board and look forward to working with CDR-Life’s experienced leadership team to deliver on the goal of developing highly specific MHC-targeting biotherapeutics that have the potential to meet urgent medical needs for many cancer patients” said Dr. Onetto M.D. “Despite the power of current cancer immunotherapies, their efficacy and safety are limited by off-tumor activity. By accessing a pool of highly attractive cancer antigens only found within tumor cells, CDR-Life’s approach has the potential to solve the problem of non-tumor selectivity with a new class of antibody fragment-based T cell engagers.”

Dr. Onetto currently serves as a director on the boards of Basilea Pharmaceutica, Viracta Therapeutics (following a reverse merger with Sunesis Pharamceuticals) and Bolt Biotherapeutics. Previously she served on the boards of Sierra Oncology, ImmunoGen, YM Biosciences and NBE Therapeutics, until the acquisition by Boehringer Ingelheim. She was also director for several private companies during her tenure       at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research. Dr. Onetto holds a medical degree from the University of Paris and a Master of Pharmacology from the University of Montréal.  She is Board certified from the University of Paris in pediatrics and hematology. 

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This post was written by CDR Life Editor