Black Diamond brings in ex-GSK CEO Bob Ingram to chart new path in precision oncology
Black Diamond Therapeutics started the year with a more than $200 million vault onto Nasdaq and a clinic-bound allosteric therapy — and now, the young biotech has GlaxoSmithKline vet Bob Ingram to help pave its way.
Ingram is set to take the reins from Black Diamond’s founding chairman Brad Bolzon, the company announced on Tuesday. The Massachusetts-based biotech was the first to launch out of Versant’s Ridgeline discovery engine in 2018, co-founded by David Epstein and Elizabeth Buck, former developers of the cancer drug Tarceva. Bolzon will remain on the board.
“Black Diamond possesses an innovative and proprietarpy MAP platform, compelling clinical and early stage assets, and dynamic leadership team, and has the potential to transform the oncology theraeutic landscape,” Ingram said.
The award-winning, Porsche-loving, former CEO helmed Glaxo Wellcome before co-leading the merger that formed GSK in 2000. After aging out of his position at 60, Ingram stuck around at GSK as vice chairman of pharmaceuticals and strategic advisor to the CEO. In 2006, President George W. Bush appointed him to the NIH’s National Cancer Advisory Board. And last year, he was tapped by President Donald Trump to serve on the Presidential Cancer Panel.
In addition to Black Diamond, Ingram chairs BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, and is on the board at Novan. He’s also general partner at North Carolina-based Hatteras Venture Partners.
“Bob is a world-class leader in the pharmaceutical industry having guided and shaped numerous companies including serving as CEO and chairman of Glaxo Wellcome and his role in the merger that formed GlaxoSmithKline. His leadership and expertise will be critical as we continue to execute on our strategy to become a leading precision oncology company,” Epstein said in a statement.
Bolzon said Ingram is “fit for the company’s next stage of growth,” given his wealth of experience.
Black Diamond set out two years ago to map allosteric mutations, particularly around the oncogenes EGFR and HER2. Its lead candidate, BDTX-189, is currently in a Phase I/II trial in patients with solid tumors that have HER2 mutation and EGFR mutations.
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that David Epstein previously worked at Novartis.