Dr. Parkinson has considerable scientific, medical, development, regulatory, business and management experience in the biopharmaceutical and healthcare industry. He has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of ESSA Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ: EPIX) since January 2016, and as Director of the company since June 2015. Prior to joining ESSA, he had been a Venture Partner at New Enterprise Associates, Inc.
From 2007 until 2012, Dr. Parkinson served as President and CEO of Nodality, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the biological characterization of signaling pathways in patients with malignancy.
Until October 2007, he was SVP, Oncology Research and Development at Biogen Idec, where he oversaw all oncology discovery research efforts and the development of the oncology pipeline. Previously he had served as VP, Oncology Development, at Amgen and VP, Global Clinical Oncology Development, at Novartis. In those roles, he oversaw the successful clinical development of a series of cancer therapeutics, including Gleevec, Zometa, Femara, and Vectibix.
Dr. Parkinson worked at the National Cancer Institute from 1990 to 1997, serving as Chief of the Investigational Drug Branch and then as Acting Associate Director of the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP).
He is a past Chairman of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) Biologics Advisory Committee, a past member of the FDA Science Board, and is a recipient of the FDA’s Cody Medal.
He is a past editor of the Journal of Immunotherapy and past president of the Society of Biological Therapy (now the Society for the Immunotherapy of Cancer, SITC). He has served on the National Cancer Policy Forum of the Institute of Medicine and is a past co-chair of the Cancer Steering Committee of the NIH Foundation Biomarkers Consortium.
A past Board Director of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), he currently serves as a Board Director for the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and chairs their Translational Research Committee. He served as Chairperson of the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) Finance and Audit Committee for 15 years, is a previous elected Board Director of AACR, and currently chairs the Project GENIE Oversight Committee for AACR.
Dr. Parkinson was a Director of Facet Biotech, Inc., until the acquisition by Abbott Pharmaceuticals, and was a Director of Ambit Biosciences until the acquisition by Daiichi Sankyo. He has also previously served as a Director at Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Cerulean Pharmaceuticals (now DARE, Inc), and Tocagen, Inc (now Forte, Inc).
In addition to the ESSA board he currently serves as Director on the boards of 3SBio Inc (1530.HK) and CTI Biopharma, Inc (CTIC, NASDAQ). He also serves on the board of the private company Angiocrine Biosciences, and is a Co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Refuge Biotechnologies, Inc., also a private company.
He has held academic positions both at Tufts and at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and has authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications.