Overland Pharmaceuticals Appoints Ed Zhang as Chief Executive Officer and Welcomes Industry Leaders John Maraganore and Peter Ho as Strategic Advisors
SHANGHAI and BOSTON, Mass. – January 18, 2022 – Overland Pharmaceuticals (“Overland”), a premier biopharmaceutical company bringing innovative medicines to patients in Asia and worldwide, today announced the appointment of Co-founder Ed Zhang, MBA as full-time Chief Executive Officer after serving as Interim Chief Executive Officer since May 2021. Overland also appoints former founding CEO of Alnylam John Maraganore, Ph.D. and BeiGene Co-founder and former President Peter Ho, M.D., Ph.D. as strategic advisors to the company.
“Since embarking on our mission just over a year ago to create a robust research and development engine of differentiated, novel therapeutics and advanced modalities, we have achieved key company-building milestones. Overland has established an initial portfolio of 10 pipeline programs with two platform technologies through our strategic partnerships with Allogene Therapeutics and ADC Therapeutics. We have expanded our team to more than 70 employees worldwide and are building our manufacturing capabilities and GMP facility in China,” said Ed Zhang, MBA, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Overland.
Zhang added, “We are thrilled to welcome both John and Peter as strategic advisors to Overland as we further execute on our flexible business model through joint venture creation, licensing deals and in-house research & development. John is a legendary biotech leader and RNA pioneer who brings unmatched experience in developing advanced modalities and technology platforms for new therapies. Peter is an accomplished global drug development executive, clinical oncologist and cancer pharmacologist with extensive expertise in translational medicine and building organizations across multiple disease areas. We look forward to Overland’s evolution under the expert guidance of these renowned industry leaders.”
“The rapid progress Overland has demonstrated from its inception to becoming a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company highlights the long-term value creation and sustainable growth Ed and his team have already established,” said Dr. Maraganore. “I am excited to advise Overland and aid in advancing its pipeline of differentiated programs built on advanced modality platforms like allogeneic T-cell therapies and antibody drug conjugates that could lead to breakthroughs in biomedicine for patients around the globe.”
“Overland is uniquely positioned to bridge biopharmaceutical innovation between Asia and the rest of the world,” said Dr. Ho. “Its accelerated and successful regulatory acceptance of three clinical trials and subsequent patient dosing of Lonca in China in 2021 provide evidence that Overland is on an upward trajectory to bring promising advances in medicine to patients living with diseases across hematology, oncology and autoimmune disorders. I look forward to our future collaboration to maximize clinical benefit for patients everywhere.”
Dr. John Maraganore served as the founding CEO and a Director of Alnylam from 2002 to 2021, where he built and led the company from early platform research on RNA interference through global approval and commercialization of the first four RNAi therapeutic medicines, ONPATTRO®, GIVLAARI®, OXLUMO®, and Leqvio®. At Alnylam, he also led the company’s value creation strategy, building $25B in market capitalization, including over 20 major pharmaceutical alliances. He continues to serve on the Alnylam Scientific Advisory Board. Prior to Alnylam, he served as an officer and a member of the management team for Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he was responsible for the company’s product franchises in oncology, and cardiovascular, inflammatory and metabolic diseases, in addition to leadership of M&A, strategy, and biotherapeutics functions. Before Millennium, he served as Director of Molecular Biology and Director of Market and Business Development at Biogen, Inc. where he invented and led the discovery and development of ANGIOMAX® (bivalirudin) for injection. Previously, he was a scientist at ZymoGenetics, Inc. and the Upjohn Company. Dr. Maraganore received his M.S. and Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Chicago. He is currently a Venture Partner at ARCH Venture Partners, a Venture Advisor at Atlas Ventures, and an Executive Partner at RTW Investments. He is also Chair of the Board of Directors of Hemab Therapeutics and a member of the Board of Directors of Agios Pharmaceuticals, Beam Therapeutics and the Biotechnology Industry Organization, where he was Chair from 2017-2019. In addition, he serves on the Board of the Termeer Foundation – committed to continuing the legacy of the late Henri A. Termeer, as Chair of the n-Lorem Foundation Advisory Council – committed to meeting the needs of patients with nano-rare diseases, and as a strategic advisor to SalioGen, SQZ Biotechnologies, and other innovative companies.
Dr. Peter Ho’s career has focused on cancer drug discovery and development. He previously served as Chief Medical Officer at Boston Pharmaceuticals and Epizyme Inc. In these roles, he oversaw clinical development functional areas including medical, clinical operations, clinical pharmacology, regulatory affairs, translational medicine, biostatistics and data management. Prior, he was Co-Founder and President of BeiGene Ltd. located in Beijing, China. His prior leadership roles includes serving as Senior VP of oncology discovery at GlaxoSmithKline and VP of oncology development at Johnson & Johnson. Dr. Ho completed his pediatrics residency at The Children’s Hospital of Boston followed by clinical fellowships in pediatric hematology/oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and in clinical oncology and regulatory sciences jointly through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Cancer Institute. Since 1995, he has been responsible for the first-in-human dosing of 19 anticancer agents and has overseen the development of over 60 hematology and oncology compounds in clinical phases of testing, contributing to 11 NCE approvals to date: Gleevec®; Arranon®; Tykerb®; Promacta®; Votrient®; Synribo®; Tafinlar®; Mekinist®; Sylvant®; and Rydap®, and Tazverik®. Dr. Ho earned his M.D. and Ph.D. in pharmacology from Yale University. He currently serves as Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina’s Eshelman School of Pharmacy, a Scientific Advisory Board Member for Accent Therapeutics, and on the Board of Directors for Aravive Inc.
About Overland Pharmaceuticals
Overland Pharmaceuticals is building a fully integrated biopharma company with a mission to bring innovative medicines to underserved patients in Asia and around the world. By leveraging our resources, global network, and local expertise across the biopharma ecosystem in Asia, Overland is establishing a portfolio of differentiated therapeutic candidates in a few carefully selected therapeutic areas. Through formative partnerships, Overland will move forward the development and commercialization of the most promising advances in medicine.