Cardiff Oncology, Inc. (Nasdaq: CRDF), a forward-thinking biotechnology company developing innovative therapies for a range of cancers, is proud to announce the appointment of Fairooz Kabbinavar, MD, FACP, as Chief Medical Officer (CMO). Dr. Kabbinavar will spearhead the clinical development of the Company’s investigational drug onvansertib, leveraging the well-validated oncology drug target PLK1 inhibition. He will report directly to Chief Executive Officer, Mark Erlander, PhD. With Dr. Kabbinavar at the helm of the clinical program, Cardiff Oncology is well-positioned to make significant progress in the fight against cancer.
Dr. Kabbinavar brings an impressive 30-plus years of expertise to Cardiff Oncology, having held esteemed academic positions at UCLA and leading roles in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. At Genentech, he spearheaded the clinical development of TECENTRIQ® for extensive stage small cell lung cancer, culminating in FDA approval. He was most recently the Global Head of Research and Development at Huyabio International, and held positions as Senior Vice President of Clinical Research and Development at Puma Biotechnology and Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Clinical Development at Tocagen, Inc.
Fairooz brings a wealth of expertise to Cardiff Oncology, with deep knowledge of colorectal cancer and other solid tumor cancers, as well as experience guiding the development and registration of high-impact oncology drugs. He also has strong relationships with investigators and clinical trial sites worldwide, including leading two practice-changing trials that led to the approval of bevacizumab in mCRC. Fairooz’s experience successfully navigating the regulatory process in previous industry roles will be instrumental in expediting the clinical program for onvansertib. His addition to the Cardiff team comes at an opportune time for the clinical development of this life-saving drug.
Dr. Kabbinavar is delighted to join Cardiff Oncology and contribute to the clinical development of onvansertib for colorectal cancer patients and other cancers. He is encouraged by the promising response rates seen in the Phase 1b/2 trial of onvansertib in KRAS-mutated mCRC, which far exceed the standard of care responses. Most excitingly, the trial demonstrated a potential synergy between onvansertib and bevacizumab, which could revolutionize the management of patients with mCRC. Dr. Kabbinavar is eager to bring his passion for oncology drug development to Cardiff Oncology and make a positive difference in the lives of cancer patients.
Dr. Kabbinavar is an esteemed oncologist and researcher at UCLA, where he served as the lead investigator on two groundbreaking clinical trials of bevacizumab (Avastin®) combinations which eventually led to the approval of bevacizumab in mCRC. His impressive research has been published in notable peer-reviewed journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine and Journal of Clinical Oncology. With a BSc, MBBS, and MD from Nagpur University, India, Dr. Kabbinavar completed multiple fellowships in UCLA’s Division of Hematology/Oncology, as well as an internship and residency at Harvard University’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. His distinguished career has made a lasting impact in the field of oncology.
Inducement Grant Under Nasdaq Listing Rule 5635(c)(4)
Cardiff Oncology welcomed Dr. Kabbinavar to the team with the Board of Directors granting a non-qualified stock option to purchase 425,000 shares of Cardiff Oncology common stock on January 30, 2023. As an additional incentive to join the team, the option was granted at a discounted rate of $1.75 per share, the closing price on the grant date. The option will vest over four years with 25% vesting after 12 months and the remaining shares vested monthly over the following 36-months, provided Dr. Kabbinavar remains employed with Cardiff Oncology on such vesting dates.
About Cardiff Oncology, Inc.
Cardiff Oncology is pioneering a new approach to cancer treatment, leveraging PLK1 inhibition to develop cutting-edge therapies for a range of cancers. Their lead asset, onvansertib, is being assessed in clinical trials for KRAS/NRAS-mutated mCRC and mPDAC, as well as in investigator-initiated studies for TNBC and SCLC. With the aim of overcoming treatment resistance and delivering superior clinical outcomes, Cardiff Oncology is targeting tumor vulnerabilities to revolutionize cancer care.