Five Prime Therapeutics Appoints New CEO

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The company’s board of directors has appointed Aron Knickerbocker as the new president and CEO to succeed Lewis Williams, MD, PhD, effective Jan. 1, 2018.

On Oct. 23, 2017, Five Prime Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing immuno-oncology protein therapeutics, announced that its board of directors has appointed Aron Knickerbocker as the new president and CEO of the company, effective Jan. 1, 2018. Knickerbocker will succeed Lewis Williams, MD, PhD, who will assume the new role of executive chairman of the board in the beginning of 2018.

Knickerbocker is currently Five Prime's chief operating officer (COO) and will maintain that position until the end of 2017.  He will continue to serve as a member of the board of directors, which he joined in 2013, when he is CEO. He joined the company in 2009 when he led the company's business development efforts. He later served as executive vice president and chief business officer and eventually became COO.

Knickerbocker aided in establishing a license and collaboration agreement for the company’s biologic, cabiralizumab, with Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). He also established a research collaboration with BMS for two immune checkpoint pathways and additional collaborations with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), UCB and Human Genome Sciences, as well as multiple technology in-licensing agreements. He also led the company's portfolio management group, managed the research teams involved in Five Prime's collaborations with GSK and UCB, and has been responsible for overseeing investor relations.


Prior to Five Prime, Knickerbocker served at Genentech for eight years, which included leading the oncology business development team as senior director, business development. Previously, he served as director of commercial development at ALZA Corporation (acquired by Johnson & Johnson). He also served at Amgen, where he held positions in oncology sales, marketing, and corporate development.

Source: Five Prime Therapeutics