SQZ Biotech Expands Leadership Team, Appoints Shefali Agarwal, MD, MPH, as Chief Medical Officer
SQZ Biotech (SQZ), a preclinical stage biotechnology company developing cell therapies based on its proprietary CellSqueeze® technology, announced today the appointment of Shefali Agarwal, MD, MPH, as Chief Medical Officer. As the newest member of the SQZ executive team, Dr. Agarwal, a trained medical oncologist, will lead the Company’s clinical and translational development, regulatory planning and execution.
“We are thrilled to have Shefali join the SQZ team. Her deep clinical experience, strategic expertise and track record are exactly what we need to bring our cell therapy concepts to the clinic,” said Armon Sharei, PhD, Chief Executive Officer. “With her hands-on oncology background and personal drive to improve patient outcomes, Shefali clearly shares our deep-seated commitment to impact patient lives through a new generation of cell therapies.”
Dr. Agarwal served most recently as Senior Vice President, Head of Clinical Development at Curis Inc, where she built the development team and provided leadership across all clinical and medical areas. Concurrently, she continued her previous role at Tesaro as Senior Medical Director, Clinical Lead on ZejulaTM, responsible for designing and overseeing clinical studies and regulatory interactions, as well as serving as clinical lead for NDA submission and for the drug’s launch team. Prior to joining Tesaro, Dr. Agarwal was Medical Director at Covidien and then at AVEO Oncology. She began her career in industry at Pfizer, responsible for patient safety and medical oversight of global clinical programs, during which tenure she participated in a successful NDA submission of Torisel® and supported clinical studies for the NDA submission of Bosufil®.
Dr. Agarwal received her Medical Degree from MRMC Medical School in India, holds a Master’s of Science in Business from Merrick School of Business, as well as a Master’s in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. Additionally, she trained at Hopkins, where Dr. Agarwal led clinical research in the OBGYN and anesthesiology department and was an investigator on multiple industry trials, hospital-sponsored INDs, and NIH studies.
“I am greatly inspired by the team at SQZ. Innovating novel, cell-based treatments for patients, SQZ has the potential to broadly transform approaches to personalized medicine and immunotherapy, as well as cell therapy, across diverse disease indications,” Dr. Agarwal stated. “The Company has tremendous momentum progressing in the early stages of R&D, and we look forward to further advancing our programs to IND filing and entry into the clinic.”