Agios taps Bristol-Myers vet Bruce Car to replace retiring CSO
Jackie Fouse has filled another top role as she gets her team at Agios ready for a second decade, plotting follow-ons to its nascent commercial portfolio.
Five months after Agios announced the retirement of longtime CSO Scott Biller, the biotech has found his successor from Bristol-Myers Squibb, which has been remaking its own structure as it absorbs Celgene’s leadership.
In joining Agios, Bruce Car — the pharma giant’s interim head of drug discovery — leaves behind a decades-long career focused on early-stage research work with roles spanning toxicology, drug optimization and translational science. He started out at DuPont Pharmaceuticals a few years before it was acquired by Bristol-Myers.
“I’ve long been impressed by the innovation and productivity of the research team at Agios,” Car said in a statement. “I’m excited to take on this unique opportunity at a company with expansive metabolism expertise and a robust preclinical pipeline across oncology and rare genetic diseases.”
He inherits an expansive preclinical pipeline covering cancer as well as rare genetic diseases. Celgene, where CEO Fouse had a highly acclaimed tenure, is partnered on programs targeting MAT2A as well as metabolic immuno-oncology.
Aside from IDH, the enzymes that inspired Agios’ first marketed drugs Idhifa and Tibsovo, the company has also identified PKR, MAT2A and DHODH as their key targets.
Car’s recent experience building a group dedicated to biomarkers and pharmaco-diagnostics could be particularly relevant as much of Agios’ success will depend on their ability to convince physicians to test for the genetic mutations their drugs hit.
He joins as Agios expands its management organization, appointing Jonathan Biller to the newly created role of chief legal officer just days ago and beefing up the commercial operations by promoting Darrin Miles to SVP, US commercial and global marketing and kicking off a search for someone to lead international sales.
Biller, meanwhile, will remain a strategic advisor through 2020.
“I want to thank Scott for contributions to our pipeline, people and culture over the last nine years. He has mentored, challenged and supported countless employees and led by example in his relentless focus on making a difference for patients,” Fouse said in a sendoff.