Calibr names drug development veteran Pamela Garzone as chief medical officer

Garzone brings deep experience in translational research and clinical development to advance Calibr’s growing pipeline of drug candidates.

May 21, 2019

LA JOLLA, CA – Pamela Garzone, PhD, an industry leader in translational research and clinical development, has been appointed chief medical officer of Calibr, the drug development arm of Scripps Research. This appointment fills a critical leadership role as several of Calibr’s portfolio programs advance toward the clinic.

Garzone most recently served as vice president within the early oncology development clinical research group at Pfizer, where she held a leadership role for a wide range of cancer-focused drug development programs. She also brings decades of earlier experience spanning biotech, pharma, and academia.

“Pam’s background and skillset couldn’t be more ideal for what we’re seeking to accomplish here at Calibr—both in terms of our mission to create new medicines for diseases with serious unmet need and our near-term goals to move drug candidates into clinical trials,” says Peter Schultz, PhD, president and CEO of Scripps Research and head of Calibr. “Her addition to the team further bolsters our translational research capacity and clinical trial expertise.”

Calibr is currently developing multiple drug candidates, including KA34, a potential osteoarthritis therapy that was discovered by Scripps Research scientists and is currently being evaluated in a phase 1 human clinical trial. Later this year, Calibr plans to submit investigational new drug (IND) applications to the FDA for two novel cancer therapies: a bispecific antibody for prostate cancer and a “switchable” CAR-T therapy that could potentially be a universal approach for treating many different tumor types. Within two to three years, up to five more programs rooted in discoveries made at Calibr and Scripps Research are expected to advance to clinical trials.

Additionally, two partnered programs focused on infectious diseases are being evaluated in patients, with more such programs entering the clinic over the next few years.

“The science at Scripps Research and its Calibr division is something I’ve followed and respected for many years,” says Garzone. “Being close to that science was a big motivator for me to take on this role. But I was also drawn to be a part of Calibr’s innovative nonprofit drug development business model, which is not only professionally gratifying but also an effective method for bringing novel medicines to the market as rapidly as possible.”

Part of that business model involves forging partnerships with the pharmaceutical industry and then re-investing licensing revenues into ongoing basic and translational science. For that, Garzone brings a breadth of experience and relationships, giving her the necessary tools to build upon Scripps Research’s current programs as they move toward the clinic.   

Garzone earned a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Purdue University, and a doctorate in clinical sciences with a master’s degree in pharmacy practice from University of Pittsburgh. After working in academia as an assistant professor, she served in multiple key clinical development roles at companies including Elan Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer. In addition to her professional work, Garzone is a passionate supporter of women in STEM and plays an active volunteer role in the nonprofit organization Women in Bio.

About Calibr

Calibr is the drug development arm of Scripps Research, pairing world-class nonprofit biomedical research with state-of-the-art drug discovery and development capabilities. Driven by a mission to accelerate the creation of new medicines for critical diseases worldwide, Calibr is equipped with the technology, talent and collaborators to produce a pipeline of innovative drug candidates. Based in La Jolla, California, Calibr is currently advancing therapeutic candidates in the areas of regenerative medicine, osteoarthritis, tuberculosis, cancer, fibrotic diseases, multiple sclerosis, malaria and HIV.

About Scripps Research

Scripps Research is ranked the most influential institution in the world for its impact on innovation. A nonprofit organization, Scripps Research expands basic knowledge in the biosciences and use these fundamental advancements to develop profound innovations that improve wellbeing. Scripps Research scientists lead breakthrough studies that address the world’s most pressing health concerns, accelerating the creation and delivery of medical breakthroughs to better human health across the globe. Our educational and training programs, both in La Jolla, California, and Jupiter, Florida, mold talented and committed students and postdocs into the next generation of leading scientists. Learn more at

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