12 August 2021

Alex A. Adjei is the recipient of the 2021 ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award

Prof. Dr. Alex A. Adjei, Chairman of the Oncology Advisory Committee of Swiss Rockets, has been named as the recipient of the 2021 ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award. This extraordinary recognition of his accomplishments follows his 2020 Adi F. Gazdar IASLC Merit Award.

The prestigious ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 2006 to recognize international research by individuals, teams and organizations who demonstrate commitment to clinical cancer research and/or education. ESMO, the leading professional organization for medical oncology, gives this award as a recognition for outstanding lifetime achievements in oncology. With more than 25,000 members representing oncology professionals from over 160 countries worldwide, ESMO is the society of reference for oncology education and information. The organization’s core mission is to improve the quality of cancer care, from prevention and diagnosis to palliative care and patient follow-up – and to educate doctors, cancer patients and the general public on best practices and on the latest advances in oncology. Most importantly, ESMO strives to promote equal access to optimal cancer care for all.

Prof. Dr. Alex A. Adjei, Chairman of the Oncology Advisory Committee of Swiss Rockets, is the recipient of the 2021 ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award. He is an accomplished researcher in the field of experimental therapeutics and clinical drug development. He is a Professor of Oncology and a Professor of Pharmacology in the Mayo College of Medicine (Rochester, USA) as well as a consultant in Medical Oncology at Mayo Clinic. Prof. Adjei is a Director of the Early Cancer Therapeutics Program and leads the Lung Cancer Program across all Mayo Clinic campuses in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota.

Prof. Dr. Adjei’s career has been spent in drug development, focusing on evaluating mechanisms of drug action and synergistic drug combinations in the laboratory, while performing phase I clinical trials in the clinic. As the PI on over 70 phase I trials, he has performed important studies of multiple agents, including sorafenib, bortezomib, antisense oligonucleotides, PI3-kinase inhibitors, MEK inhibitors and oncolytic viruses. He is the co-chair of the Thoracic Malignancies Steering Committee as well as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology. He received the first American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Drug Development Research Professorship for 2012-2017, in recognition of his mentorship and his work in cancer drug development.

In 2018, Prof. Dr. Adjei was recognized by ASCO for his extraordinary volunteer service, dedication, and commitment. In 2020, he was the inaugural recipient of the Adi F. Gazdar IASLC Merit Award. The IASLC Executive Committee had selected Prof. Dr. Adjei for the award for his many accomplishments and his passion for cancer drug development, as well as for mentoring the next generation of specialists during his multifaceted career.

About Swiss Rockets AG

Founded in 2018, Swiss Rockets AG is implementing a paradigm shift in healthcare. Patients benefit from new treatments that are developed using innovative and forward-looking methods. The Swiss Rockets team combines the necessary expert knowledge and experience to create innovative medications, focusing mainly on cancer and viral diseases.

The founders of Swiss Rockets AG are Dr. Vladimir Cmiljanovic, Dr. Natasa Cmiljanovic, Manuel Ebner and Dr. Thomas Sander. Vladimir Cmiljanovic is the CEO, a medicinal chemist, and entrepreneur with more than 15 years’ experience in developing cancer medications. He is the founder of the Swiss biotech companies PIQUR and TargImmune. Working with Dr. Natasa Cmiljanovic, the Chief Scientific Officer of Swiss Rockets AG, he developed cancer medications at the University of Basel. Also, he has founded and managed several biotech firms. Manuel Ebner is the Managing Director of the Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Switzerland, and a strategic advisor to Swiss Rockets. Dr. Thomas Sander, one of the first employees of the biotech firm Actelion, is a scientific advisor to Swiss Rockets.

Members of the Board of Directors of Swiss Rockets AG are Dr. Vladimir Cmiljanovic (Chair), Prof Dr. Michael N. Hall, a renowned researcher and professor of the Centre for Molecular Life Sciences of the University of Basel, Dr. Natasa Cmiljanovic, a medicinal chemist and clinical scientist with experience in developing cancer medications, Dr. Thomas Ladner, a corporate lawyer, founder and co-founder of several successful start-ups and the World.Minds foundation, and André Debrunner, financial expert and fund manager with Northern Trust Switzerland AG.