Investors & Media

Release Details

Zentalis Pharmaceuticals Appoints Dr. Mark Lackner as Chief Translational Officer, Head of Biomarker Strategy

October 17, 2022

NEW YORK and SAN DIEGO, Oct. 17, 2022 (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 Mark Lackner, PhD, as Chief Translational Officer, Head of Biomarker Strategy. Dr. Lackner, an esteemed cancer biologist, joins Zentalis with over two decades of oncology-focused drug development expertise, including significant experience in biomarker discovery and clinical biomarker strategies.

“This year, we have prioritized strengthening our executive team and scientific capabilities to ensure we successfully execute our clinical strategy and advance our promising assets through the clinic. We would like to extend a warm welcome to Mark, whose background in clinical and translational oncology research makes him an instrumental addition to our team,” said Dr. Kimberly Blackwell, Chief Executive Officer of Zentalis. “The oncology field is rapidly evolving and Mark’s specialized expertise in biomarker development will add to our scientific capabilities, strengthening our biomarker approach for enriched patient populations. With our potentially registrational ZN-c3 biomarker trial underway, we look forward to his immediate contributions and expect to disclose additional updates regarding our biomarker plans before year-end.”

Prior to Zentalis, Dr. Lackner served as Senior Vice President, Head of Biology and Translational Sciences at IDEAYA Biosciences, where he successfully led biology efforts contributing to three small molecule development candidates and established a strong translational team that led to the discovery of a novel combination biomarker strategy. Previously, Dr. Lackner worked at Genentech for over a decade, holding multiple roles of increasing responsibility that culminated in serving as the Head of Genentech Oncology Early Stage Biomarker Group. During this tenure, he led multiple research teams in developing and incorporating predictive biomarker strategies across all phases of clinical trials and managed a diverse biomarker portfolio spanning targeted therapies, immuno-oncology agents and antibody drug conjugates. He received his B.S. and M.S. from the University of Illinois, before earning his Ph.D. in molecular biology from Stanford University.

“Zentalis’ commitment to identifying and developing novel small molecule cancer therapeutics has led to an impressive portfolio of potentially best-in-class assets. I am thrilled to be joining Zentalis at this pivotal time to help advance and refine the Company’s innovative biomarker approach, optimizing patient benefit across the pipeline,” said Dr. Lackner. “I look forward to collaborating with this talented team to bring potentially life-changing cancer therapies 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. The Company is developing a broad pipeline of potentially best-in-class oncology candidates, all internally discovered, which include 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 has licensed ZN-c3, ZN-d5 and ZN-c5 to its joint venture, Zentera Therapeutics, Ltd., to develop and commercialize these candidates in China. 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 without limitation statements regarding advancing the benefits of our assets; the potential impact of management additions on our business, operations and financial results; timing of disclosure of updates regarding our biomarker plans; optimization of patient benefit; and the potential for a trial to be registrational. The terms “expect,” “look forward,” “optimize,” “potential” 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.

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Investor Contact:
Adam Levy
Senior Vice President, Investor Relations

Alexandra Roy
Solebury Strategic Communications

Media Contact:
Julia Deutsch
Solebury Strategic Communications