Cambridge, Mass., March 23, 2021 – Nuvalent, Inc., a biotechnology company creating precisely targeted therapies for clinically proven kinase targets in cancer, today announced the appointment of Christopher Turner, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Turner brings more than 20 years of clinical experience in both early- and late-stage oncology drug development, having served in physician-scientist roles in both academia and the biotechnology industry. Dr. Turner will oversee the clinical development of Nuvalent’s portfolio of innovative small molecule kinase inhibitors, including parallel lead programs in ROS1-positive and ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which are designed to overcome the limitations of existing therapies for these clinically proven targets.
“Chris is a dedicated physician and drug developer who has guided the early development, global registration studies, and marketing approval of multiple kinase inhibitor therapies for patients with cancer,” said James Porter, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Nuvalent. “I am delighted to welcome him to the Nuvalent team, where his clinical vision and proven leadership will help drive the progression of our robust pipeline through multiple near-term clinical milestones.”
Dr. Turner’s career reflects an established record of leadership across a broad range of precision oncology targets and therapeutic approaches, with a focus on highly selective kinase inhibitors.
Most recently, Dr. Turner was Vice President of Clinical Development at Blueprint Medicines, where he oversaw the development and approval of kinase inhibitor GAVRETO™ (pralsetinib) in RET fusion positive NSCLC and RET altered thyroid cancer. Additionally, Dr. Turner oversaw development programs for kinase inhibitors targeting FGFR4 and EGFR with emergent resistance mutations.
Dr. Turner previously led the development of novel antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) and immune-oncology pipeline compounds at Celldex Therapeutics, and prior to that, the clinical development at Ariad Pharmaceuticals of two kinase inhibitors that have since been approved, ICLUSIG® (ponatinib) for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia, and ALUNBRIG® (brigatinib) for patients with ALK-positive NSCLC.
“Smart target selection and selective inhibitor design are critical cornerstones of successful drug development, and the clear foundation for Nuvalent’s focused discovery efforts,” said Dr. Turner. “I look forward to working together with this highly dedicated team to deliver tangible benefits to patients with cancer through innovative new kinase inhibitors that address treatment resistance, minimize adverse events, and drive more durable responses.”
Dr. Turner is board certified in both Pediatrics and Pediatric Hematology and Oncology. He received his M.D. from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and completed a residency in General Pediatrics at the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C, as well as fellowships in both Pediatric Hematology/Oncology and Pediatric Neuro-Oncology at Duke University Medical Center. Dr. Turner has held positions as Director of the Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Outcomes Clinic at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Children’s Hospital Boston and as an Instructor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, where he treated children and young adults with brain tumors.
Nuvalent launched in January 2021 with a $50M Series A financing from Deerfield Management. The company’s novel molecules have been designed through Nuvalent’s proprietary discovery efforts to specifically solve for the dual challenges of kinase resistance and selectivity.
Nuvalent, Inc. is creating precisely targeted therapies for patients with cancer designed to overcome the limitations of existing therapies for clinically proven kinase targets. Leveraging deep expertise in structure-based design, Nuvalent develops innovative small molecules with exquisite target selectivity to overcome resistance, minimize adverse events, and drive more durable responses. Nuvalent is advancing a robust pipeline with parallel lead programs in ROS1-positive and ALK-positive NSCLC, along with multiple discovery-stage research programs. To learn more, visit www.nuvalent.com and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Sarah Ellinwood, Ph.D.
Verge Scientific Communications