Dr Arun Balakumaran is the Chief Medical Officer of Replay. An expert in immuno-oncology and cell and gene therapy, Dr. Balakumaran brings more than 15 years of clinical development experience at leading biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including Merck and Amgen, to the Company. At Replay, Dr. Balakumaran will support the clinical development of Replay’s differentiated portfolio of next-generation genomic medicines and technology platforms, including its first-in-class engineered TCR-NK cell therapy programs that are anticipated to enter the clinic later this year.
Dr. Balakumaran joins Replay from Allogene Therapeutics (NASDAQ: ALLO), where he served as CMO and Senior Vice president, overseeing the Company’s clinical development strategy across multiple allogeneic cell therapy programs. Prior to that, he held roles of increasing seniority at Merck (NASDAQ: MRK), where he was the Product Development Lead for Hematological Malignancies and led the activities resulting in breakthrough designations and the eventual approval of Pembrolizumab® in lymphoma. Prior to that he was Clinical Research Medical Director at Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN), and Medical Lead in Oncology.
Dr. Balakumaran began his career at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where he was Medical Lead for the Bone Marrow Stromal Cells (MSC) Transplant Center. He is a board-certified hematologist and medical oncologist and holds a Master’s degree in healthcare management from Harvard University. Dr. Balakumaran also serves on the Board of Onco Filtration Inc. and the Scientific Advisory Board of SDS Optic.
Dr. Balakumaran will, additionally, join Replay’s engineered TCR-NK cell therapy product company Syena as CMO, where he will support the clinical development of its first-in-class and first-in-human engineered TCR-NK cell therapy clinical programs in both hematological malignancies and solid tumors. Syena was co-founded by Professor Katy Rezvani, M.D., Ph.D., and is developing a scalable, off-the-shelf, cord blood-derived engineered TCR-NK platform, which was licensed exclusively from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, in February 2023.