After 15 years Helping Lead Early Cancer Research at Genentech, Malek Jumps Ship to Run Novartis’ NIBR Oncology Unit

Ben Adams, Fierce Biotech

October 14, 2021

The Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research’s (NIBR’s) oncology department has poached Genentech’s Shiva Malek, Ph.D., to help lead its cancer research.

Malek goes from one Swiss entity with a predominance in the U.S. to another and will also keep a similar focus: At Roche’s Genentech, where she worked in California, Malek for the past six months was its vice president of discovery oncology but had been working in cancer research at the Big Pharma’s biotech unit for more than 15 years and helped build the small-molecule drug discovery team.

Now, she is moving over to NIBR, the “innovation engine” of the pharma, as its new global head of the oncology disease area, at its Cambridge, Massachusetts, site.

This comes after the NIBR has lost several key execs in recent months: This includes several leading cancer researchers in Jeff Engelman, M.D., Ph.D., who was the director of cancer drug discovery at the NIBR, and Peter Hammerman, M.D., Ph.D., who in May swiftly followed his boss out the exit as both answered the call of biotech.

Gopi Shanker, Ph.D., who was head of neuroscience at the NIBR, also left in May for a new biotech role. The addition of Malek will surely go toward helping fill up the cancer research brain drain from losing Engelman and Hammerman.

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