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Zentalis Pharmaceuticals Announces Appointment of Accomplished Oncology Drug Developer Luke Walker, M.D., to Board of Directors

May 29, 2024

NEW YORK and SAN DIEGO, May 29, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Zentalis® Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ZNTL), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company discovering and developing clinically differentiated small molecule therapeutics targeting fundamental biological pathways of cancers, today announced the appointment of Luke Walker, M.D., to its Board of Directors. Dr. Walker is the Chief Medical Officer of Harpoon Therapeutics, a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, and brings nearly three decades of experience as a practicing oncologist and drug developer advancing new cancer therapies.

"We are pleased to have Luke join our Board of Directors and contribute to the Company's pipeline advancement and continued value creation," said Kimberly Blackwell, M.D., Chief Executive Officer. "Luke's extensive oncology drug development and regulatory experience, including winning product approvals, will be invaluable as we advance towards multiple anticipated azenosertib data readouts during the remainder of 2024 and into 2025, and expected regulatory submission, which we anticipate in 2026."

Dr. Walker is the Chief Medical Officer of Harpoon Therapeutics, an oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company focused on developing T-cell engagers in oncology, which was acquired by Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, NJ, in March 2024. Previously, he was Vice President of Clinical Development at Seagen, where he was the global development lead for TUKYSA (tucatinib) through the program's successful completion of a pivotal registrational trial and successful regulatory approvals. Earlier, Dr. Walker held senior clinical development roles with Cascadian Therapeutics. Dr. Walker began his career as a practicing medical oncologist and hematologist at Providence Regional Medical Center and with the Everett Clinic. He earned his Doctor of Medicine degree, with Special Distinction, from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

"I am honored to join the Zentalis Board of Directors at such a pivotal time ahead of multiple expected azenosertib clinical readouts,” said Dr. Walker. “Azenosertib has the potential to transform the standard of care for patients living with gynecological cancers. Furthermore, based on the drug's mechanism targeting common defects in cancer cell biology, azenosertib holds promise across various additional tumor types. I look forward to working with the Board of Directors and the Zentalis team to advance azenosertib development efforts to maximize its full clinical potential."

About Zentalis Pharmaceuticals
Zentalis® Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company discovering and developing clinically differentiated small molecule therapeutics targeting fundamental biological pathways of cancers. The Company’s lead product candidate, azenosertib (ZN-c3), is a potentially first-in-class and best-in-class WEE1 inhibitor for advanced solid tumors and hematologic malignancies. Azenosertib is being evaluated as a monotherapy and in combination across multiple clinical trials and has broad franchise potential. In clinical trials, azenosertib has been well tolerated and has demonstrated anti-tumor activity as a single agent across multiple tumor types and in combination with several chemotherapy backbones. As part of its azenosertib clinical development program, the Company is exploring enrichment strategies targeting tumors of high genomic instability, such as Cyclin E1 positive tumors, homologous recombination deficient tumors and tumors with oncogenic driver mutations. The Company is also leveraging its extensive experience and capabilities across cancer biology and medicinal chemistry to advance its research on protein degraders. Zentalis has operations in both New York and San Diego.

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ZENTALIS® and its associated logo are trademarks of Zentalis and/or its affiliates. All website addresses and other links in this press release are for information only and are not intended to be an active link or to incorporate any website or other information into this press release.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements contained in this press release that do not relate to matters of historical fact should be considered forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the potential for azenosertib to be first-in-class and best-in-class; the potential for azenosertib to benefit patients across various tumor types; the broad franchise potential of azenosertib; our plans to explore enrichment strategies targeting tumors of high genomic instability and advance our research on protein degraders; the potential impact of our Board of Directors member addition on our business, operations and financial results; our plans for multiple anticipated azenosertib data readouts, and the timing thereof; our plans for expected regulatory submission, and the timing thereof; the potential for azenosertib to transform the standard of care for patients living with gynecological cancers; maximizing azenosertib’s full clinical potential. The terms “advancing,” “ahead,” “anticipate,” “continue,” “evaluate,” “expect,” “exploring” “look forward,” “plan,” “potential,” “progress,” “promise,” “strategy,” “will,” and similar references are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other important factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to, the following: our limited operating history, which may make it difficult to evaluate our current business and predict our future success and viability; we have and expect to continue to incur significant losses; our need for additional funding, which may not be available; our plans, including the costs thereof, of development of any diagnostic tools; our substantial dependence on the success of our lead product candidates; the outcome of preclinical testing and early trials may not be predictive of the success of later clinical trials; failure to identify additional product candidates and develop or commercialize marketable products; potential unforeseen events during clinical trials could cause delays or other adverse consequences; risks relating to the regulatory approval process or ongoing regulatory obligations; failure to obtain U.S. or international marketing approval; our product candidates may cause serious adverse side effects; inability to maintain our collaborations, or the failure of these collaborations; our reliance on third parties; effects of significant competition; the possibility of system failures or security breaches; risks relating to intellectual property; our ability to attract, retain and motivate qualified personnel, and risks relating to management transitions; significant costs as a result of operating as a public company; and the other important factors discussed under the caption “Risk Factors” in our most recently filed periodic report on Form 10-K or 10-Q and subsequent filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and our other filings with the SEC. Any such forward-looking statements represent management’s estimates as of the date of this press release. While we may elect to update such forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we disclaim any obligation to do so, even if subsequent events cause our views to change.

Elizabeth Pingpank Hickin