Nkarta Therapeutics Appoints Kanya Rajangam, M.D., Ph.D, as Chief Medical Officer

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Nov. 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nkarta Therapeutics, a privately-held cell therapy company developing Natural Killer (NK) immune cells to fight cancer, today announced that it has named Kanya Rajangam, M.D., Ph.D., as senior vice president and chief medical officer.  Dr. Rajangam, who will be joining the company in December, is an experienced biotechnology executive with a track record of successfully developing cancer therapies.  She replaces interim Chief Medical Officer, Angela Shen, M.D., M.B.A. 

“We are thrilled to have Kanya join our team, and we look forward to her leadership in bringing our promising technology to patients in need,” said Paul Hastings, president and chief executive officer of Nkarta. “Her extensive and successful drug development experience will serve us well as we embark on advancing our Natural Killer cell therapy into the clinic with our first Investigational New Drug submission planned for next year.  I’d like to thank Angela Shen for laying the foundation for our continued success and for her many other contributions to Nkarta over the past two years.”   

Dr. Rajangam most recently served as chief medical officer at Atara Biotherapeutics where she was responsible for the development of allogeneic and autologous T-cell therapies for oncology, neurology and infectious disease. Prior to Atara, she was chief medical officer of Cleave Biosciences, where she led clinical development of the company’s oncology pipeline. Dr. Rajangam also served in roles with increasing responsibilities at Onyx and Exelixis, during which time she contributed to various stages of development and/or approval of multiple oncology drugs including Kyprolis®, Cotellic® and Cometriq®/Cabometyx®.  Dr. Rajangam, a general surgeon, received a medical degree from St. Johns’ Medical College in India.  She also received a Ph.D. in biomedical cell and tissue engineering from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL.   

About Nkarta

Nkarta Therapeutics was founded on the proprietary, robust and well characterized Natural Killer (NK) cell expansion technology pioneered by Dario Campana.  The company is focused on leveraging the natural potent power of NK cells to identify and kill abnormal cells and recruit adaptive immune effectors to generate responses that are specific and durable.  Nkarta is combining its NK expansion platform technology with proprietary cell engineering technologies to build differentiated autologous and allogeneic cell therapy candidates for the treatment of cancer.  Founded in 2015, the company’s investors include SR One, NEA and Novo Ventures.  For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.nkartatx.com.


Nadir Mahmood

Sylvia Wheeler