Investors & Media

Release Details

Zentalis Pharmaceuticals Appoints Dr. Iris Roth as Chief Operating Officer

February 13, 2023

NEW YORK and SAN DIEGO, Feb. 13, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Zentalis™ Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ZNTL), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing clinically differentiated small molecule therapeutics targeting fundamental biological pathways of cancers, today announced the appointment of Iris Roth, PhD, as Chief Operating Officer (COO). Dr. Roth joins Zentalis with over two decades of biopharmaceutical experience building and executing clinical and operational strategies, successfully advancing the development of multiple investigational therapies in oncology.

“I am incredibly pleased to welcome Iris to Zentalis, rounding out our management team with a seasoned leader who has extensive experience in oncology drug development,” said Dr. Kimberly Blackwell, Chief Executive Officer of Zentalis. “Iris has an impressive track record in creating and managing high-performing drug development teams, as well as successfully advancing small molecule cancer programs from discovery through the clinic to commercialization. Her expertise will be an immediate value add as we advance our focused clinical strategy, with plans to disclose updated program timelines and potential paths to registration in the coming months.”

Dr. Roth joins Zentalis from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), where she served as Vice President, Medicine Development Leader. At GSK, she built a portfolio of CD226 Axis immune checkpoint inhibitors, including antibodies targeting CD96, TIGIT and PVRIG. Prior to GSK, Dr. Roth served in senior leadership roles at various biopharmaceutical companies, including as Chief Operating Officer of Kartos Therapeutics, and Vice President, Global Medicine Leader of AstraZeneca. In these roles, she was responsible for leading the clinical development and commercial strategy for several drugs, including the registration and launch of Acerta Pharma/AstraZeneca’s Calquence® (acalabrutinib) and Genentech/Roche’s Erivedge® (vismodegib). Dr. Roth earned her BS in Genetics at the University of California, Berkeley, and her PhD in Biomedical Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco.

“Zentalis has made impressive progress on its clinical development strategy, and I am grateful to be working alongside this talented team to help advance the Company’s rapidly expanding portfolio of clinical programs,” said Dr. Roth. “Zentalis has an exciting catalyst-filled year ahead, and I am eager to apply my industry experience and passion for drug development to work to bring these differentiated oncology assets to patients in need.”

About Zentalis Pharmaceuticals

Zentalis™ Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing small molecule therapeutics targeting fundamental biological pathways of cancers. Utilizing its Integrated Discovery Engine, the Company is developing a focused pipeline of potentially best-in-class oncology candidates, which include azenosertib (ZN-c3), a Wee1 inhibitor for advanced solid tumors, ZN-d5, a BCL-2 inhibitor for hematologic malignancies and related disorders, and a heterobifunctional degrader of BCL-xL for solid and hematological malignancies. 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.

For more information, please visit Follow Zentalis on Twitter at @ZentalisP and on LinkedIn at

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 benefits of our assets; the potential impact of management additions on our business, operations and financial results; the timing of disclosure of updated program timelines; the potential registrational paths of our assets; advancing our programs; and bringing our assets to patients in need. The terms “has,” “plan,” “potential,” “will,” “work” 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 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; the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted and may continue to adversely impact our business, including our preclinical studies and clinical trials; 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.

ZENTALIS™ and its associated logos 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.

Investor Contacts:
Adam D. Levy, PhD, MBA

Alexandra Roy
Solebury Strategic Communications

Media Contact:
Julia Deutsch
Solebury Strategic Communications