Calico Appoints Aarif Khakoo as Head of Drug Development
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif, January 29, 2019 – Calico Life Sciences, a company focused on aging research and treatments aimed at age-related diseases, today announced the appointment of Aarif Khakoo, M.D., as Head of Drug Development. In this newly-created role, Dr. Khakoo will lead early-stage development for the company focusing on therapeutic candidate selection and pre-IND studies through Phase II clinical development.
“Our company’s long-term success is completely dependent on our ability to hire talented leaders and world-class scientists and physicians who are unafraid of challenging the status quo and thrive on the opportunity to explore new approaches and use emerging technologies to understand the biology of aging and age-related diseases,” said Arthur D. Levinson, Ph.D., CEO and Founder of Calico. “Aarif has spent much of his career in one of the most critical areas of drug development – as a bridge between basic research and early clinical development where critical decisions are made about the viability of potential therapeutics. This experience will serve Aarif and Calico well as we continue to discover new potential molecules for aging and age-related diseases. I am looking forward to his many contributions to our efforts as he leads our drug development programs.”
“With the aging of the world population, there is a pressing need to gain a deeper understanding of the molecular underpinnings of human aging and to translate these insights into new therapies for aging and age-related diseases. Calico is uniquely positioned to accomplish this mission. I am very excited to be joining Calico and their highly-talented team of scientists and translational development experts,” said Dr. Khakoo. “The company has built an impressive portfolio of early- and late-stage research candidates from their aging discovery and age-related disease efforts, and I’m looking forward to working with the team and our external collaborators to move the lead therapeutic candidates into clinical studies in the future.”
Prior to joining Calico, Dr. Khakoo was at Amgen where he most recently was Vice President and Head of Translational Medicine, Global Development. In that role, he led a group of around 100 people focused on early clinical development. The group’s responsibilities included first in human through proof-of-concept studies, across four main therapeutic areas: cardiometabolic, inflammation, neuroscience and oncology, as well as clinical biomarkers, in vitro diagnostics, and digital health. Dr. Khakoo and his team were responsible for a portfolio of more than 25 therapeutic candidates from pre-IND through Phase II clinical development.
Dr. Khakoo was also Amgen’s South San Francisco site head responsible for site-wide leadership. Prior to joining Amgen, he was at MD Anderson Cancer Center where he built a basic cardiovascular research laboratory that explored the implications of clinically significant cardiac toxicities in patients treated with cancer therapies. Dr. Khakoo completed his medical residency and a cardiology fellowship at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and was a post-doctoral research fellow at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. He received his M.D. and MBA from Columbia University, and his Bachelor of Science in Engineering (BSE) in Chemical Engineering from Princeton. Dr. Khakoo maintains an academic appointment as an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor at Stanford University, and is also a Member of the Scientific Advisory Council of the Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton University.
Calico (Calico Life Sciences LLC) is an Alphabet-funded research and development company whose mission is to harness advanced technologies to increase our understanding of the biology that controls lifespan. Calico will use that knowledge to devise interventions that enable people to lead longer and healthier lives. To learn more about Calico, visit www.calicolabs.com.