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Merck’s Richard Murray joins Jounce as CEO

He brings experience in cancer immunotherapies to the US biotech

US biotech Jounce Therapeutics has appointed Merck & Co's Dr Richard Murray as its new CEO.

Dr Murray was senior VP, biologic and vaccines research at Merck & Co and served in the leadership team of Merck Research Laboratories.

During his time at Merck he led the advancement of protein therapeutics and vaccines across a range of therapy areas, including Merck's immunotherapy programme for its promising anti-PD1 drug pembrolizumab.

This experience will benefit Jounce, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based company that specialises in cancer immunotherapies.

“Rich has the strategic skillset and insight to execute on our long-term vision and propel Jounce into the drug development stage,” said Dr Cary Pfeffer, Jounce's former interim CEO and chairman-elect.

Dr Murray is the second senior figure involved in the development of Merck's cancer immunotherapies to leave the company in recent weeks following the departure of Bruno Strigini to big pharma rival Novartis in June.

Unlike Strigini, Dr Murray has chosen a small company still to prove itself in cancer having only launched last year.

The new CEO sees potential in Jounce, however, with the prospect of cancer immunotherapies an appetising one for healthcare.

“The company's early investment in translational science, including strategic alliances with several major academic centres, along with the active engagement of Jounce's founders, creates a unique opportunity to validate and advance the next generation of cancer immunotherapy targets and drugs,” said Dr Murray

16th July 2014

From: Research, Sales



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