Pierre Dodion, MD retires as Chief Medical Officer
Innate Pharma SA (Euronext Paris: IPH – ISIN: FR0010331421; Nasdaq: IPHA) (“Innate” or the “Company”) today announced the appointment of Dr. Joyson Karakunnel as Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer (CMO). Dr. Pierre Dodion, CMO since 2014, is retiring from this position.
Dr. Karakunnel comes to the Company with deep experience in immuno-oncology, and a proven track record in drug development. As CMO, he will be responsible for advancing Innate’s clinical pipeline and will lead a global team focused on clinical strategy, patient safety, regulatory and medical affairs.
Most recently, Dr. Karakunnel served as CMO and Senior Vice President at Tizona Therapeutics, where he led the development of the company’s biotherapeutics pipeline. Prior to Tizona, he held positions with Arcus Biosciences and AstraZeneca/MedImmune; his collective responsibilities included leading clinical development activities, drug safety and regulatory affairs. In addition, he serves as a medical advisor at the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.
“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Joyson Karakunnel as our new Chief Medical Officer. As an experienced medical oncologist, Joyson brings in-depth immunology, oncology and hematology expertise, which will help further strengthen and accelerate the delivery of new medicines to patients,” said Mondher Mahjoubi, Chief Executive Officer of Innate Pharma. “We are also grateful for Pierre’s invaluable contributions. During his six years at Innate, he drove the advancement of several key assets to late-stage clinical development, which will have a lasting impact on the Company.”
Dr. Dodion joined Innate in 2014 and has been instrumental in the Company’s clinical strategy, successfully advancing key oncology programs to late-stage status. He has led the clinical development of several therapeutic programs, including monalizumab, a potentially first-in-class immune checkpoint inhibitor, and lacutamab, a first-in-class antibody designed for the treatment of advanced T-cell lymphomas. Dr. Dodion will transition to a consulting role with Innate following his retirement.
Dr. Joyson Karakunnel
Adding to his track record in oncology and hematology drug development, Dr. Karakunnel also served as a clinical trial investigator at the National Cancer Institute and a team leader for the hematologic group at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. In addition, he was an associate professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and a medical reviewer at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“I’m proud to join Innate at this exciting juncture with several molecules moving into late-stage development, new molecules moving into the clinic and novel indications being pursued in oncology as well as for COVID-19,” said Joyson Karakunnel, Chief Medical Officer of Innate Pharma. “This is clearly a company with a robust pipeline and unique focus on the innate immune system, which complements the work I’ve done in both the academic and industry settings. I look forward to further advancing the innovative science with the talented scientists and clinicians at the Company.”
Dr. Karakunnel completed fellowships in hematology and oncology at the National Cancer Institute and completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, where he was chief resident. He obtained his MD from Annamalai University in India, and also holds a MSc in pharmacology from the University of Maryland.
Dr. Karakunnel will be based in Innate’s Rockville, Maryland office.