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Scorpion Therapeutics Appoints Adam Friedman, M.D., Ph.D., as Chief Executive Officer and Expands Leadership Team

— Board of Directors expanded to include industry veteran Jeff Albers as Executive Chair —
— Mark Chao, M.D., Ph.D., joins as Chief Medical Officer —
— Erica Jackson, Ph.D., promoted to Chief Discovery Officer and member of Executive Team —

BOSTON, Mass. – January 4, 2024 – Scorpion Therapeutics, Inc. (“Scorpion”), a pioneering clinical- stage oncology company dedicated to transforming the lives of cancer patients by redefining the frontier of precision oncology, today announced leadership changes intended to position the Company for its next phase of growth, including the appointment of Adam Friedman, M.D., Ph.D., as Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”). Dr. Friedman, who joined as part of Scorpion’s founding team and most recently served as President, Corporate Strategy and Business Development, succeeds Axel Hoos, M.D., Ph.D., who served as Scorpion’s CEO for 2.5 years and transitioned the company from an early discovery to a clinical stage organization, and fostered Scorpion’s growth.

“I am honored to become CEO of Scorpion. Scorpion was founded with a profound vision: to transform the lives of cancer patients by broadening the reach and impact of precision medicine by tackling a spectrum of challenging targets. Over the last four years, we have made tremendous progress toward this goal, building a pipeline of potentially best-in-class medicines against validated oncogene targets, and advancing our lead programs into the clinic for the treatment of devastating, difficult-to-treat solid tumors,” said Dr. Friedman. “We enter 2024 excited to move into our next phase of growth. Our mutant-selective PI3Ka program, STX-478, is advancing into mid-stage clinical development, and we continue to nurture a robust portfolio of development and discovery stage programs against novel and undruggable targets. I look forward to continuing to lead my colleagues through this next chapter of the company’s growth.”

Dr. Friedman joined Scorpion in 2020 and has served as President, Corporate Strategy and Business Development since September 2021. During this time, he architected Scorpion’s strategic partnerships with AstraZeneca and Pierre Fabre and directly supported the company’s maturation into a clinical-stage organization, partnering with the Executive Team to drive pipeline strategy and playing a key role in multiple financings. Prior to Scorpion, Dr. Friedman served as Founder and Director of Corporate Development at Raze Therapeutics and as President and CEO of Vivid Biosciences, an oncology platform discovery company, which he co-founded. Previously, Dr. Friedman was an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Atlas Venture. Dr. Friedman received his M.D. and Ph.D. in Genetics from Harvard Medical School and his B.A. in Molecular Biology from Princeton University. He trained in Pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Appointing Jeff Albers as Executive Chair and Member of the Board of Directors

In addition, the Company named Jeff Albers as Executive Chair and member of the Board of Directors. Mr. Albers currently serves as board chairman at Blueprint Medicines and board director at Kymera Therapeutics and Spyre Therapeutics. From 2014 to 2022, he served as CEO of Blueprint Medicines, where he transitioned the previously research-stage company through an initial public offering and into a leading precision medicine company with a global, fully integrated business, including two U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved therapies and a rapidly advancing pipeline. He holds an M.B.A. and J.D. from Georgetown University, and a B.S. in Marketing from Indiana University.

“I am delighted to join Scorpion as Executive Chair,” commented Mr. Albers. “Scorpion is uniquely positioned for long-term growth. The Company is progressing a robust pipeline, led by its mutant-selective PI3Ka program, STX-478, and fortified by a powerful drug discovery platform, which continues to identify high-value targets and differentiated molecules against them. I look forward to contributing my operational expertise, as well as my experience in precision medicine drug development and commercialization, to support Scorpion as it advances STX-478 into later stages of clinical development and, ultimately, to market.”

“With today’s appointments, we are bringing together deeply experienced executives who can drive Scorpion’s long-term scale, directing clinical development strategy and advancing the Company’s prolific and powerful discovery engine. The Board has tremendous confidence that this team, under Adam’s leadership, will guide Scorpion through its next phase, while ensuring continuity in culture and a whole-hearted commitment to our foundational vision of developing the next generation of targeted cancer therapies,” said Jean-Francois Formela, M.D., member of the Board of Directors of Scorpion. “On behalf of the Board, I also want to express my sincere gratitude to Axel for his many contributions and dedicated leadership and service to Scorpion’s mission and growth.” 

Expanding Leadership Team to Drive Clinical Development and Advancement of Precision Oncology Platform

Along with Dr. Friedman’s appointment, Scorpion today announced the expansion of its Executive Team. Mark Chao, M.D., Ph.D., has been named Chief Medical Officer and Erica Jackson, Ph.D., has been promoted to Chief Discovery Officer. Dr. Chao will be responsible for clinical development and Dr. Jackson will be responsible for discovery strategy and execution supporting the Company’s pre-clinical portfolio.

Dr. Chao joins Scorpion from TenSixteen Bio, a precision therapeutics company where he served as Co-Founder and CEO. Previously he served as Vice President, Oncology Clinical Research at Gilead Sciences and, before that, he was Co-Founder and Senior Vice President, Clinical Development at Forty Seven, Inc., a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company that was acquired by Gilead Sciences in 2020. Dr. Chao received his M.D. and Ph.D. in Cancer Biology from Stanford University and his B.A. in Biology from Case Western Reserve University.

“Precision medicine has tremendous power to transform the care of complex illness and I have devoted my career to developing novel medicines that better target underlying drivers of disease,” said Dr. Chao. “Scorpion is advancing a portfolio of next-generation therapies, which could address major gaps in the treatment landscape and deliver better outcomes to thousands of patients. I am delighted to join the team and look forward to leading clinical development across the Company’s portfolio, beginning with the ongoing Phase 1 trials of STX-478 and STX-721, which are progressing on-track toward initial data readouts.”

Dr. Jackson joined Scorpion in 2020 as Executive Vice President, Biology. Prior to Scorpion, she served as Senior Director of Tumor Dependencies and Oncology Discovery at AbbVie Inc. Previously, she led the biology and in vivo pharmacology programs as Director of Biology at ORIC Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Jackson holds a Ph.D. in Biology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.A. in Biology from Brandeis University.

“I am excited to take on this new role at Scorpion,” said Dr. Jackson. “We have established a robust discovery effort, which leverages the power of our fully integrated platform to find high-value oncology targets and to create best- or first-in-class molecules to address them. We have built a diverse pipeline of product candidates against validated, previously undruggable and novel cancer targets and I am eager to advance these efforts.”

About Scorpion Therapeutics

Scorpion is a pioneering clinical-stage oncology company redefining the frontier of precision medicine to deliver optimized and transformational therapies for larger populations of patients with cancer. Scorpion has built a proprietary and fully integrated platform of the most advanced technologies across cancer biology, medicinal chemistry, and data sciences, with the goal of consistently and rapidly creating exquisitely selective small molecule compounds against an unprecedented spectrum of targets. Scorpion aims to leverage its platform to advance a broad pipeline of wholly owned, optimized compounds across three target categories: best-in-class molecules targeting validated oncogene targets; first-in-class molecules for previously undruggable targets; and first-in-class molecules for novel cancer targets. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Ravi Moorthy
Scorpion Therapeutics, Inc.

Investor Contact:
Hannah Deresiewicz
Stern Investor Relations, Inc.