Zentalis Pharmaceuticals Promotes Co-Founder Kevin Bunker, Ph.D. to Chief Scientific Officer

Sep 27, 2022 at 4:01 PM EDT

NEW YORK and SAN DIEGO, Sept. 27, 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 promotion of co-founder Kevin Bunker, Ph.D., to Chief Scientific Officer. In this new role, Dr. Bunker will focus on leading Research and Development (R&D) in San Diego, advancing the preclinical pipeline and optimizing the Company’s Integrated Discovery Engine.

“We are extremely grateful for all of Kevin’s contributions across the Company in his service as COO,” said Kimberly Blackwell, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Zentalis. “Kevin is an outstanding scientist and leader at Zentalis, and the Company’s achievements to date are due in large part to his dedication and passion for discovering promising oncology drugs targeting fundamental biological pathways of cancer. Leveraging our extensive capabilities across cancer biology and medicinal chemistry, the Company’s Integrated Discovery approach, developed by our team under Kevin’s leadership, has already yielded multiple potentially best-in-class clinical candidates, including our Wee1 inhibitor, ZN-c3, and BCL-2 inhibitor, ZN-d5. We look forward to generating additional innovative candidates as we look to grow our investigational pipeline of potentially transformative oncology therapeutics.”

Dr. Bunker is a co-founder of Zentalis Pharmaceuticals and previously served as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Company. He has been leading R&D at Zentalis since the Company’s formation. In addition to leading R&D, Dr. Bunker has led and overseen several departments as COO, including Drug Supply and Manufacturing, Regulatory Affairs, Quality Assurance, Translational Science, Operations, Program Management, Commercial Development, and Human Resources. Prior to Zentalis, he co-founded Kalyra Pharmaceuticals, a small molecule drug discovery and development company focused on creating best-in-class medicines. Previously, he was a member of Pfizer’s drug discovery research group, as part of the Medicinal Chemistry Department, where he specialized in multiple therapeutic areas, including oncology, diabetes, antivirals, and ophthalmology. Earlier in his career, Dr. Bunker conducted postdoctoral research at The Scripps Research Institute under the direction of Dr. Dale Boger. He received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego under the direction of Dr. Joseph O’Connor and his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Arizona State University.

“Zentalis’ mission is focused on discovering and developing differentiated small molecules that have the potential to overcome the limitations of current cancer therapies and ultimately improve patient outcomes,” said Dr. Bunker. “I am excited to take on the role of Chief Scientific Officer and lead our efforts to further accelerate the discovery and development of additional promising novel candidates that we can rapidly advance into the clinic.”

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 www.zentalis.com. Follow Zentalis on Twitter at @ZentalisP and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/zentalis-pharmaceuticals.

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 plans with respect to management roles and the potential impact thereof; generating additional innovative candidates; growing our pipeline; the potential benefits of our product candidates; and accelerating our discovery and development. The terms “efforts,” “look,” “look forward,” “potential,” “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 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 Contact:
Adam Levy
Senior Vice President, Investor Relations

Alexandra Roy
Solebury Strategic Communications

Media Contact:
Julia Deutsch
Solebury Strategic Communications