Ziopharm CEO Laurence Cooper leaves

  • Push-out Score determined
  • After about six years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Cooper
  • Heidi Hagen taking over in the interim
  • Search for a successor
  • Cooper said 67 words

(exechange) — Boston, Massachusetts, March 2, 2021 — Laurence Cooper, chief executive of Ziopharm, leaves. As announced by Ziopharm Oncology Inc. in a news release published on Thursday, February 25, 2021 and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, Laurence James Neil Cooper leaves his post as chief executive officer at the biotechnology company after about six years in the role, effective immediately.

Ziopharm will undertake a search for a successor.

Laurence Cooper’s duties as CEO will be taken over in the interim by Heidi Hagen, most recently Lead Independent Director of Ziopharm Oncology Inc., as Interim Chief Executive Officer.

“Drive our path to commercialization”

Ziopharm did not give an explicit reason for Laurence Cooper’s departure from the CEO post. Cooper said: “I will work with the Board on transitioning to an advisory role to support the organization on the science side, while allowing the Company to identify a complementary business leader who can drive our path to commercialization.”

Precise information regarding Laurence Cooper’s future plans was not immediately available.

Ziopharm said: “Heidi Hagen, formerly Lead Independent Director, has been appointed Interim Chief Executive Officer, replacing Dr. Laurence Cooper, MD., Ph.D. effective February 25, 2021.”

Share price increase since February 2020

The announcement follows an increase in Ziopharm Oncology Inc.’s share price of 23% since February 2020.

In the position of CEO since 2015

Laurence Cooper became CEO of the Company in 2015.

Cooper is also stepping down from his seat on the Board of Directors and is expected to continue with the Company in a scientific advisory capacity to support the Company’s R&D programs.

Cooper has served as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer since May 2015 and as a director since October 2018.

Prior to joining the Company, Cooper led the Pediatric Cell Therapy service (formally named the bone marrow transplantation (“BMT”) program) as a tenured professor at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center (“MD Anderson”), where he had worked since 2006.

In addition to caring for children, adolescents and young adults undergoing autologous and allogeneic BMT at MD Anderson, he led a laboratory translating immunology into clinical practice.

This program had multiple investigator-initiated trials that infused T cells and NK cells to target malignancies.

Cooper also holds an appointment as a Visiting Scientist at MD Anderson.

Cooper obtained his B.A. at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio and M.D. and Ph.D. degrees at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland before training in Pediatric Oncology and BMT at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

Push-out Score determined

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange gauges the pressure surrounding Laurence Cooper’s move on a scale of 0 to 10.

exechange reached out to Ziopharm and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 10.2021 ($).