SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Oct. 04, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Harpoon Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: HARP), a clinical-stage immunotherapy company developing novel T cell engagers, today announced the appointment of Luke Walker, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Walker will lead the clinical development strategy and its execution for Harpoon Therapeutics and the product candidates derived from the company’s multiple technology platforms. Dr. Walker will report to Julie Eastland, Harpoon Therapeutics’ President and Chief Executive Officer, and his appointment was effective October 3, 2022.
“I’m excited to join Harpoon Therapeutics and work alongside science-driven, collaborative colleagues, who are driven by the potential to impact patients’ lives by developing novel therapeutics,” said Dr. Walker. “Harpoon has multiple ongoing clinical programs with product candidates which have demonstrated meaningful clinical activity to reach a broad set of patients with high unmet medical needs. I look forward to working with the Harpoon team to move these clinical-stage product candidates forward and to advance the company’s platforms in both hematologic and solid tumors.”
Dr. Walker comes to Harpoon Therapeutics from Seagen Inc. where he most recently served as Vice President of Clinical Development and was responsible for overseeing the global development of multiple early-stage clinical programs. At Seagen, he previously served as Global Development Lead for TUKYSA® (tucatinib) through its approval and market launch for HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer. Dr. Walker came to Seagen through the acquisition of Cascadian Therapeutics, after having led the clinical development of the tucatinib program there from its early stages, working closely with other members of the current Harpoon leadership team and Board of Directors to successfully advance its development into pivotal studies. He received his Medical Degree from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and completed fellowship training in Hematology and Medical Oncology at Oregon Health Sciences University. After training, he practiced several years as a clinical medical oncologist prior to his career in clinical drug development.
“Harpoon warmly welcomes Dr. Walker to our senior leadership team,” said Julie Eastland, President and Chief Executive Officer of Harpoon Therapeutics. “His experience in leading clinical development, as well as interactions with key opinion leaders, investigators and investors provides a strong addition to the leadership group. Dr. Walker is a proven leader who has overseen the strategy for oncology therapeutics from early-stage programs through the successful completion of pivotal registrational trials and approvals, and we believe his addition will provide significant strength for our clinical programs, as we advance our lead T cell engager product candidates, HPN328 and HPN217, through the clinic.”
Inducement Award under NASDAQ Listing Rule 5635(c)(4)
In connection with Dr. Walker’s appointment, Harpoon Therapeutics granted him an inducement non-qualified stock option to purchase an aggregate of 305,000 shares of Harpoon’s common stock.
The stock option grant has an exercise price per share equal to $1.08, Harpoon’s closing trading price on Nasdaq on the grant date, October 3, 2022, and will vest over four years, with 1/4 of the underlying shares vesting on the one-year anniversary of the grant date and 1/36th of the underlying shares vesting monthly thereafter over 36 months, subject to Dr. Walker’s continued service relationship with Harpoon through the applicable vesting dates.
The independent directors of Harpoon’s Board of Directors approved the award as an inducement material to Dr. Walker’s employment in accordance with Nasdaq Listing Rule 5635(c)(4).
About Harpoon Therapeutics
Harpoon Therapeutics is a clinical-stage immunotherapy company developing a novel class of T cell engagers that harness the power of the body’s immune system to treat patients suffering from cancer and other diseases. T cell engagers are engineered proteins that direct a patient’s own T cells to kill target cells that express specific proteins, or antigens, carried by the target cells. Using its proprietary Tri-specific T cell Activating Construct (TriTAC®) platform, Harpoon is developing a pipeline of novel TriTACs initially focused on the treatment of solid tumors and hematologic malignancies. Harpoon has also developed a proprietary ProTriTAC™ platform, which applies a prodrug concept to its TriTAC platform to create a therapeutic T cell engager that remains inactive until it reaches the tumor. Harpoon’s third proprietary technology platform, extended release TriTAC-XR, is designed to mitigate cytokine release syndrome. For additional information about Harpoon Therapeutics, please visit www.harpoontx.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words such as “look forward,” “potential,” “will,” and similar expressions (as well as other words or expressions referencing future events, conditions or circumstances) are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on Harpoon Therapeutics’ expectations and assumptions as of the date of this press release. Each of these forward-looking statements involves risks and uncertainties that could cause Harpoon Therapeutics’ clinical development programs, future results or performance to differ significantly from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements contained in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements about the development and advancement of Harpoon Therapeutics’ platforms and product candidates and expectations regarding strengthening of Harpoon’s Therapeutics’ clinical capacity and leadership team and other statements that are not historical fact. Many factors may cause differences between current expectations and actual results, including unexpected safety or efficacy data observed during clinical studies, preliminary data and trends may not be predictive of future data or results, may not demonstrate safety or efficacy or lead to regulatory approval by the FDA or other regulatory agencies, clinical trial site activation or enrollment rates that are lower than expected, unanticipated or greater than anticipated impacts or delays due to COVID-19, changes in expected or existing competition, changes in the regulatory environment, the uncertainties and timing of the regulatory approval process, the timing and results of unexpected litigation or other disputes, and the sufficiency of Harpoon Therapeutics’ cash resources. These and other factors that may cause Harpoon Therapeutics’ actual results to differ from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements in this press release are discussed in Harpoon Therapeutics’ filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including under “Risk Factors” in Harpoon Therapeutics’ quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2022 and future filings by Harpoon Therapeutics. Except as required by law, Harpoon Therapeutics assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in expectations, even as new information becomes available.
Robert H. Uhl