10 February 2021

Prof. Dr. med. Alex A. Adjei, Chairman of the Oncology Advisory Committee of Swiss Rockets, is the 2020 Adi F. Gazdar IASLC Merit Award Recipient

Prof. Dr. Alex A. Adjei has been chosen as the inaugural recipient of the Adi F. Gazdar IASLC Merit Award. For his many accomplishments and a passion for cancer drug development, as well as for mentoring the next generation of specialists during his multifaceted career, Prof. Dr. Adjei has been selected for the award by the IASLC Executive Committee.

About The Adi F. Gazdar IASLC Merit Award

In 2019, the IASLC (International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer) Board of Directors unanimously voted to elevate its recognition of Dr. Adi F. Gazdar to one of its highest honors by renaming the IASLC Merit Award for Dr. Gazdar. The Adi F. Gazdar IASLC Merit Award proudly recognizes and honors Dr. Gazdar’s lifelong dedication to lung cancer research through his pioneering work in molecular pathology.

About Prof. Dr. Alex A. Adjei

Prof. Dr. Alex A. Adjei 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.
Prof. Dr. Adjei is 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 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. He served on several National Cancer Institute Committees and is an author of 260 scientific publications.

About Swiss Rockets AG

Swiss Rockets AG, founded in 2018, is implementing a paradigm shift in healthcare. Cancer patients will benefit from new treatments which will be developed using innovative and disruptive methods. The Swiss-Rockets team combines the necessary specialist knowledge and experience to efficiently and sustainably break new ground in cancer medicine. In the current situation, Swiss Rockets AG devotes all the forces to fight the COVID-19 spread worldwide.

Founder and CEO of Swiss Rockets is Dr. Vladimir Cmiljanovic, a medicinal chemist with more than 15 years’ experience in the development of cancer drugs. Together with his sister Dr. Natasa Cmiljanovic, co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Swiss Rockets, he developed oncology drugs at the University of Basel and subsequently founded and successfully led several biotech companies. Manuel Ebner, Strategic Advisor of Swiss Rockets and CEO Switzerland at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, and Dr. Thomas Sander, Scientific Advisor and one of the first employees of the biotech company Actelion, are co-founders of Swiss Rockets AG.

The Board of Directors of Swiss Rockets AG is chaired by Dr. Vladimir Cmiljanovic, a successful entrepreneur and the founder of Swiss biotech companies PIQUR and TargImmune. Other board members are: Prof. Dr. Michael N. Hall, a renowned researcher, and Professor at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel; Dr. Natasa Cmiljanovic, a medicinal chemist and clinical scientist with wide experience in oncology drug development; Dr. Thomas Ladner, a business lawyer, founder or co-founder of several successful start-ups and the WORLD.MINDS Foundation; André Debrunner, a financial expert and fund manager at Northern Trust Corporation Switzerland.