- Company appoints Ambaw Bellete as President and Chief Operating Officer, Swapnil Bhargava, Ph.D. as Chief Technical Officer, and Vijay Kasturi, M.D. as Chief Medical Officer
- With decades of proven experience, they bring leadership to successfully lead commercial, clinical and manufacturing operations as bladder cancer immunotherapy cretostimogene grenadenorepvec advances towards potential FDA approval
IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– CG Oncology, Inc. today announced the appointment of three new members to its executive leadership team: Ambaw Bellete as President and Chief Operating Officer, Swapnil Bhargava, Ph.D. as Chief Technical Officer, and Vijay Kasturi, M.D. as Chief Medical Officer.
“CG Oncology is at an important stage in our growth, advancing our late-stage clinical pipeline to address unmet medical needs in bladder cancer. Ambaw, Swapnil and Vijay bring decades of experience and proven track records in developing immunotherapy agents from research to commercialization,” said Arthur Kuan, Chief Executive Officer, CG Oncology. “Their clinical, regulatory and commercial experience will be instrumental as we remain intensely focused on delivering our lead asset, cretostimogene grenadenorepvec, to bladder cancer patients worldwide.”
“I am very excited to join CG Oncology and support the company’s mission to address the unmet need in bladder cancer and to build and maintain a compassionate focus on patients, their caregivers and families,” said Ambaw Bellete, President and Chief Operating Officer. “A significant unmet medical need exists for these patients and our team is focused on bringing this potential bladder-sparing therapy to market.”
Ambaw Bellete – President & Chief Operating Officer
Ambaw Bellete has over 30 years of experience in the biotech industry with a strong track record of success building and managing multidisciplinary teams from pre-launch to commercialization. He is passionate about bringing new solutions to the bladder cancer community, having previously served as the Chief Operating Officer at FerGene and also President of Photocure. Ambaw has also held several global leadership positions with biopharma, biotech and medical device companies. He is currently Chairman of the Board for OncoSting and a member of the Board for The Axiom Reach Foundation. Ambaw started his biopharma career at the Upjohn Company (now Pfizer) and then Sanofi, where he held senior leadership roles.
Swapnil Bhargava, Ph.D. – Chief Technical Officer
Swapnil Bhargava, Ph.D. has supported multiple INDs and BLAs and has contributed to bringing multiple modalities to the clinic and market. Previously, Swapnil was the SVP of CMC Development and GMP Manufacturing at AbCellera, leading Tech Ops. Prior to that, he was the VP for drug substance process development at Seagen, where he was responsible for leading cell line development, upstream, downstream and conjugation process development and analytical sciences departments for early and late-stage drug development. Earlier, Swapnil was at Amgen, where he led process development efforts for different modalities, including biosimilars. He has a doctorate in Chemical Engineering from University of Maryland and a BS/MS from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi.
Vijay Kasturi, M.D. – Chief Medical Officer
Vijay Kasturi, M.D. is a GU medical oncologist passionate about bladder cancer, having seen a loved one as well as patients suffer from the disease. He brings more than 25 years of experience establishing and executing global and regional strategies that have brought innovative new treatment options to patients in hematology, oncology and urology. Previously, Vijay was the VP, Clinical Development and Medical Affairs and a member of the executive leadership team at AVEO. He was also SVP of Scientific Affairs at FerGene, leading Medical Affairs, Clinical Operations, Regulatory and Clinical Development. Earlier, he led U.S. Medical Affairs, Oncology for EMD Serono, where he had broad leadership responsibilities including developing and managing the global medical strategy and launch plan for an anti-PD-L1 agent in bladder and kidney cancers. Early in his career, Vijay served as an Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Hematology-Oncology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and was the program leader for genitourinary oncology at UMass Memorial Cancer Center. He trained in Hematology Oncology at the National Cancer Institute and worked as an investigator and physician at the National Cancer Institute and at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center.
About Cretostimogene Grenadenorepvec
Cretostimogene grenadenorepvec is an intravesically delivered oncolytic immunotherapy agent in a Phase 3 trial for the treatment of BCG-unresponsive non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. Cretostimogene grenadenorepvec is also in a Phase 2 study in combination with KEYTRUDA (pembrolizumab) in the same indication. Other types of bladder cancer are being evaluated with cretostimogene grenadenorepvec in combination with OPDIVO (nivolumab).
About CG Oncology
CG Oncology is an oncolytic immunotherapy company focused on developing bladder-saving therapeutics for patients with urologic cancer. CG Oncology sees a world where urologic cancer patients may benefit from our innovative therapies to live and work with dignity and an enhanced quality of life. To learn more, visit: www.cgoncology.com.
Vice President, Corporate Development