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Penrose TherapeuTx Appoints Oncology Clinical Development Veteran Bhardwaj Desai, M.D. as Chief Development Officer

ANN ARBOR, Mich. & CHICAGO–()–Penrose TherapeuTx, a pharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative small-molecule therapies for the treatment of advanced cancers, has appointed Bhardwaj Desai, M.D. as its new chief development officer. Dr. Desai has been a hematologist and oncologist for 30 years and for the last 16 years has been a leader in oncology clinical drug development for top pharmaceutical companies including Astellas, Pfizer, Hospira and Abbott/AbbVie. He will be instrumental in guiding the clinical development efforts, specifically the development of the company’s novel MMA platform and lead candidate, RP-0320. Dr. Desai will also be serving on the company’s advisory board alongside Dr. James Stankiewicz (otolaryngologist, Loyola University Medical Center).

“Joining Penrose’s team meant the opportunity to be a part of approaching cancer in a way that nobody else has,” said Dr. Bhardwaj Desai, Chief Development Officer at Penrose TherapeuTx. “We are exploring a completely novel approach to eradicating cancer cells and with our promising preclinical data we have a blueprint to create a sound clinical development program, potentially transforming the future of oncology treatment.”

Throughout his career, Dr. Desai has led all phases of oncology drug development, including pre-clinical development, clinical trial design and management, designing clinical trials and, post-launch marketing and studies and regulatory affairs. In the last 14 years, he has worked as a leader in global oncology drug development and was instrumental in bringing five new successful New Drug Applications (NDAs) in oncology. He also has expertise in numerous investigational hematology and oncology agents including PARP inhibitors, cMet antibodies, LAG-3, PD-1, PI3K, CDK4/6, Claudin 18.2, EGFR, FLT3, among others. In Dr. Desai’s current position as Chief Strategic Medical and Clinical Development Consultant at Oncology Innovation, he is responsible for early go or no-go criteria-based proof of concept and proof of mechanism study design, and Phase 3, pivotal registration study for data quality.

“As we rapidly move into our clinical research program, Dr. Desai’s extensive experience in the oncology drug development field is going to be a driving force to ensure our rigorous and ambitious research goals are met,” said Chief Executive Officer, Mark de Souza. “Bhardwaj will play a key role in our growing leadership team and I’m looking forward to seeing where he will take us.”

Dr. Desai received his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (M.B.B.S.) and his M.D. from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in Vadodara, India where he participated in the Internal Medicine Residency Program. He then went on to complete his training at the American Society of Medical Oncology and the American Society of Hematology in 1992.

About Penrose TherapeuTx

Penrose TherapeuTx is a U.S.-based pharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative small-molecule therapies for the treatment of advanced cancers. Penrose has pioneered the development of a novel Mitochondrial Modifying Agent (MMA) therapeutic platform designed to generate therapies for difficult to treat cancers through a unique cooperative mechanism of action. Our approach has potential broad applicability across both hematologic and solid tumors. Learn more at


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