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Allen Ebens

Director, Oncology Antibody Conjugates

"If you have a great idea, people and resources will follow. The challenge is yours to provide compelling data and strategy to support your idea."
  • 11
    years at Genentech
  • 12
    publications (2009-14)
  • 3
    awards & honors

I joined Genentech in 2004 to lead a team focused on antibody drug-conjugates for B cell malignancies and ever since I arrived, I have felt challenged and privileged to work with an elite group of scientists, clinicians, and manufacturing colleagues. Genentech does a terrific job of ensuring new projects are aimed at making a competitive molecule that will be meaningful to patients. Success is never certain, but compelling data are their own reward, and I found the challenges of opening up a new therapeutic platform around antibody-drug conjugates very satisfying. When I look at the proportion of our pipeline represented by the antibody-drug conjugates and their clinical potential, I feel these efforts were a great career opportunity and it’s been exciting to watch these three molecules advance in the clinic.

My lab also worked for several years to evaluate the therapeutic potential of PI3K inhibition in hematologic malignancies and in 2007 we leveraged these knowledge and experience to initiate a project around the PIM kinases which share certain functions with the PI3K pathway. Although Genentech never advanced a PI3K inhibitor in heme-onc, it is nonetheless satisfying to see our preclinical data on PI3K inhibition validated in the clinic through the work of others, and the PIM project has continued to advance with a deep knowledge of mechanism and PD biomarkers. We are excited, in particular, by the data being generated on our PIM inhibitors in multiple myeloma.

In 2011 we formalized my department of Cancer Immunology and Hematology around a group of six labs already working in these areas. We have an extraordinary diversity of approaches and technologies being applied to the problem. It's great to work in an organization with expertise and ability in so many different technology platforms including conventional antibodies, antibody-drug conjugates, bispecific antibodies, and small molecule inhibitors- they all have a place in our department's portfolio. This tool set, coupled with different approaches that aim to stimulate the immune system and aim to overcome immunosuppression, provides an unparalleled opportunity for clinical discovery.

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