eFFECTOR Appoints Premal Patel, M.D., Ph.D., as Chief Medical Officer

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 15, 2020 — eFFECTOR Therapeutics, Inc., a leader in the development of selective translation regulator inhibitors (STRIs) for the treatment of cancer, today announced the appointment of Premal Patel, M.D., Ph.D., as chief medical officer. Dr. Patel will lead the clinical development of the company’s pipeline of cancer product candidates. He will also be a member of eFFECTOR’s executive management team.

“Dr. Patel is an accomplished physician-scientist who has demonstrated expertise in developing oncology products across a number of mechanisms, including targeted agents, immuno-oncology and cell-based therapies,” said Steve Worland, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of eFFECTOR. “His experience will be invaluable as we evaluate tomivosertib combined with pembrolizumab in a randomized Phase 2 study in non-small cell lung cancer and advance zotatifin into expansion cohorts targeting specific patient populations.”

Dr. Patel brings to eFFECTOR more than 15 years of healthcare industry experience in medical oncology drug development, thoughtfully combining clinical strategy with adept biomarker approaches. Most recently, Dr. Patel was chief medical officer at Lyell Immunopharma. Previously he served as senior vice president, head of early clinical drug development at Juno Therapeutics, where he led CAR-T efforts in multiple myeloma and all solid tumor CAR-T and TCR efforts. He has also served as vice president, head of early clinical development and translational research at Pfizer, where he led the allogenic CAR-T effort, along with immuno-oncology assets. Dr. Patel spent over seven years at Genentech, Research and Early Development leading clinical development for several agents, including atezolizumab + Avastin in renal cell carcinoma, and the AKT inhibitor ipatasertib across indications from inception to successful proof-of-concept at end of Phase 2.

Dr. Patel completed residencies in internal medicine at University of Washington and adult medical oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where he researched targeted therapies for renal cell carcinoma. Dr. Patel received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at University of Washington and a B.S. in pharmacy from Rutgers University.

About Selective Translation Regulator Inhibitors

Selective Translation Regulator Inhibitors (STRIs) target the eukaryotic initiation factor 4F (eIF4F) complex and its activating kinases, MNK1/2. eIF4F is a key node where the RAS and PI3K pathways converge and controls production of multiple oncoproteins that are validated therapeutic targets, including several RTKs, RAS, Cyclin D, CDK4/6, estrogen receptor (ER) and Myc. Inhibiting eIF4A or eIF4FE, the catalytic subunits of eIF4F, leads to apoptosis in select cancer models. MNK inhibition delays T cell exhaustion while enhancing T cell central memory pool.

eFFECTOR is a next-generation oncology company developing a new class of targeted therapies called selective translation regulator inhibitors (STRIs). Tomivosertib, eFFECTOR’s MNK1/2 inhibitor is expected to enter KICKSTART, a randomized Phase 2 trial in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in combination with pembrolizumab, in Q4, 2020. Zotatifin, eFFECTOR’s inhibitor of eIF4A, is in a dose-escalation Phase 1 trial, with expansion cohorts expected to open in H1 2021. The company also expects to initiate a clinical study of zotatifin in COVID-19 based on the dependence of SARS-CoV-2 on eIF4A to translate and replicate its RNA genome. eFFECTOR has a partnership with Pfizer addressing eIF4E.


Amy Conrad
Juniper Point

Heidi Chokeir, Ph.D.
Canale Communications