News release

Pyxis Oncology Strengthens Leadership Team with Executive and Scientific Advisory Board Appointments

– Steve Monks, Ph.D., appointed as Chief Technical Officer, brings 20+ years in drug development and CMC, Quality, and Regulatory operations –
– Ritu Shah, PMP, appointed as Chief Operating Officer, brings 20+ years of industry experience specializing in portfolio management and strategic planning –
– Christoph Rader, Ph.D., and Anthony W. Tolcher, M.D., join Scientific Advisory Board –

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., June 8, 2021  Pyxis Oncology (“Pyxis” or the “Company”) today announced the appointments of Steve Monks, Ph.D. as Chief Technical Officer and Ritu Shah, PMP, as Chief Operating Officer. Additionally, Christoph Rader, Ph.D. and Anthony W. Tolcher, M.D., have joined the Company’s Scientific Advisory Board.

“It is with great pleasure that we welcome Dr. Monks and Ms. Shah to our team,” said Lara Sullivan, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Pyxis. “Dr. Monks brings a breadth of manufacturing and regulatory experience that will help rapidly advance our rich portfolio of candidates to the next stage of clinical development. Additionally, Ms. Shah’s unparalleled industry and execution expertise will be instrumental as we expand our operations and progress towards our mission of transforming the lives of patients with difficult-to-treat cancers.”

Ronald Herbst, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Pyxis, added, “At Pyxis, we are thrilled to have Drs. Rader and Tolcher, with their tremendous experience in the development of antibody therapeutics, including antibody-drug conjugates, join our Scientific Advisory Board. Their deep expertise in antibody technology, conjugation of different payloads, and clinical development of new biologics will further strengthen the science at Pyxis and help guide our therapeutic programs towards the clinic.”

Dr. Monks added, “I am honored to join the Pyxis team alongside industry veterans who are committed to improving the treatment landscape for patients with cancer. The Company has rapidly established a robust, diversified portfolio that holds significant clinical potential. I look forward to leveraging my past experience to assist the Company in advancing its innovative biologics to the next stage of development.”

Ms. Shah said, “I am eager to apply my vast expertise in portfolio management and execution excellence to help support the Company during this period of exponential growth.”

Before joining Pyxis, Dr. Monks served as Senior Vice President of Development at Aura Biosciences. Before joining Aura, he was a member of the executive leadership team at Agenus. Dr. Monks received his Ph.D. from The University of Melbourne and a B.Sc. with first class honors in Zoology from the University of Queensland.

Most recently, Ms. Shah served as Vice President of Business Operations and Program Management of Levo Therapeutics. Prior to this, Ms. Shah was the Chief of Staff to the Chief Executive Officer and Vice President of Program Management at AveXis. Ms. Shah previously held various executive roles at Baxter, Baxalta, and Shire after starting her career at Accenture. Ms. Shah earned her B.Sc. from the University of Notre Dame in the Department of Chemical Engineering.

Dr. Christoph Rader is a Professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at Scripps Research. Prior to this appointment, he was a Senior Scientist at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH). After earning his Ph.D. from the University of Zurich, Dr. Rader completed his postdoctoral training in antibody technologies at Scripps Research. In his independent career, he has pursued both antibody target and drug discovery strategies toward more specific and more potent treatment options for cancer patients, including target discovery efforts aimed at identifying new cancer cell surface antigens and drug discovery efforts based on antibody display, antibody engineering, and antibody conjugation methods.

Dr. Anthony W. Tolcher is the Chief Executive Officer, Founder and Director of Clinical Research at NEXT Oncology. In 2007, Dr. Tolcher became co-founder of South Texas Accelerated Research Therapeutics (START), a global clinical trial organization enabling first-in-human clinical trials with innovative cancer drugs within a global network. He has been involved in the earliest clinical studies of 17 approved agents for the treatment of cancer and has extensive experience and is considered a thought leader in the field of antibody drug conjugates. Dr. Tolcher is a board-certified medical oncologist and studied internal medicine at the University of Toronto and received his medical oncology training at the BC Cancer Agency in Toronto. His postgraduate research training was performed at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health Bethesda, MD. Dr. Tolcher is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians Canada (FRCPC), Fellow of the American College of Physicians (FACP), and Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (FASCO).

About Pyxis Oncology
Founded by Longwood Fund, Pyxis Oncology is building a differentiated portfolio of biologics, including antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) and immunotherapies, to improve the lives of patients with difficult-to-treat cancers. Pyxis is employing site-specific conjugation technology to develop highly stable ADCs with enhanced therapeutic indexes. Pyxis is also advancing a diverse portfolio of immunotherapies that target broad immune regulators as well as novel immune checkpoints identified through its immuno-oncology and cold tumor discovery efforts. For additional information, visit

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