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March 21, 2024

Arvinas appoints Bristol-Myers exec as its new chief medical officer

Contributed Dr. Noah Berkowitz

Arvinas Inc. has appointed Dr. Noah Berkowitz as chief medical officer and added him to its executive committee, the New Haven-based biotech company said this week.

He succeeds Dr. Ron Peck, who had served as CMO since joining Arvinas in mid-2019. Peck is leaving to pursue other opportunities, the company said.

Berkowitz joins Arvinas from Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he was senior vice president, development unit head, hematology. He will report to Arvinas President and CEO John Houston, and will lead the clinical development of Arvinas’ PROTAC protein degrader programs in oncology and neuroscience.

This is the second major leadership change at Arvinas in recent months. In February, the company announced that its chief financial officer and treasurer Sean Cassidy was leaving. 

The clinical-stage company is working on treatments for prostate and breast cancer. It has been focused on creating drugs that harness the body’s natural protein disposal system to remove disease-causing proteins. 

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Berkowitz join Arvinas as we continue advancing multiple programs with the goal of improving the lives of patients with serious diseases,” Houston said. “Noah’s vision, expertise, and proven track record in designing and launching successful clinical programs across all stages of clinical development complement our rapidly advancing portfolio of novel PROTAC protein degraders.”

Berkowitz has more than 20 years of experience in advancing programs through early and late stages of development, as well as in leading clinical development, regulatory, and medical affairs. He has led multidisciplinary teams and has extensive knowledge of clinical trial design and execution, Arvinas said.

Before joining Bristol-Myers, Berkowitz held roles of increasing responsibility in the areas of oncology, rare diseases, and hematology at Novartis, most recently serving as vice president and clinical development head for Hematology. 

He earned booth his M.D. and Ph.D. from Columbia University and trained in medical oncology at the National Cancer Institute.

“Arvinas is the leader in targeted protein degradation and is on the cusp of its first pivotal data, an important step in potentially bringing an innovative therapeutic approach to patients with serious diseases,” Berkowitz said. 

Along with hiring Berkowitz, Arvinas also granted him an option to purchase 93,879 shares of common stock and a restricted stock unit award for 63,452 shares of common stock on March 18, 2024. 

The option has a 10-year term and an exercise price of $42.60 per share, which is equal to the closing price per share of Arvinas’ common stock on the grant date. The option vests over four years. 

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