Kolltan Pharmaceuticals named former AstraZeneca executive Gerald McMahon its president and CEO, reuniting the biotech and biopharma veteran with a co-founder of the New Haven developer of cancer-fighting treatments.
McMahon replaces Kolltan co-founder Arthur G. Altschul Jr., who had been interim CEO but remains executive chairman.
McMahon also is a nominee for a seat on Kolltan's board.
Kolltan has gotten $75 million in investor funding to develop and commercialize cancer treatments built on groundbreaking research by co-founder Joseph Schlessinger, chair of the Department of Pharmacology and director of the Cancer Biology Institute of Yale University.
McMahon comes to Kolltan from MedImmune, the biologics arm of AstraZeneca, where he was senior officer overseeing cancer-drug research. Before that, McMahon was partner at Bay City Capital, after previously heading two oncology development companies, Poniard Pharmaceuticals, as chairman and CEO, and NeoRx, as CEO.
Previously, McMahon was president at Sugen, a company that Schlessinger co-founded and which was acquired by drug giant Pfizer Inc. after Sugen's initial acquisition by Pharmacia & Upjohn.
McMahon received his BS in biology and Ph.D. in biochemistry from New York's Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has held academic appointments at the Tufts University School of Medicine, Department of Hematology & Oncology at the New England Medical Center, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
He also has authored more than 87 publications and holds 67 issued U.S. patents.
McMahon last September joined the board of OXiGene, a San Francisco clinical-stage developer of drugs for cancer and eye diseases.