NJ Bio, Inc., had the privilege of hosting Senior Vice President, Head of Biologics & Biotherapeutics at Exelixis, Inc., Dr. Seema Kantak, at our headquarters in Princeton. Seema is a passionate cancer biologist and a distinguished scientific leader in the field of next-generation biotherapeutics. She has led numerous R&D projects from target identification to early clinical development throughout her career. She was also instrumental in setting up a global proprietary program for therapeutics in India and taking several molecules to the clinical stage. She achieved all this while breaking down several barriers!
During her visit, Seema shared valuable insights into recent advancements in innovative antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) platforms poised to reshape the landscape of biotherapeutics. As a true leader, she credited the excellent scientists at Exelixis and ADC collaboration partners for their contributions on next-generation ADCs, and service providers whom she considers more as collaborators. Seema spoke about her own journey, her dream to work on better cancer therapies, and the pivotal role her grandparents, parents, and educators played in encouraging her to break barriers to achieve her dream. She is passionate about STEM mentorship, advocacy, and community volunteering efforts to enable young individuals to pursue their ambitions.
Seema’s journey of breaking barriers began in her early years in India when she was one of the first few students to take on biophysics and come to the U.S. to pursue a doctorate in Cancer Biology and Oncology. Her life story is a testament to resilience, as she faced and overcame numerous setbacks and failures. Her unwavering dedication and commitment to finding cures for cancer patients highlight the importance of persistence in achieving one’s goals, regardless of the challenges encountered. She then spoke about the challenges that women leaders often face in the scientific community, offering guidance to aspiring female scientists on shattering the glass ceilings that hinder their progress.
After her inspiring talk, Seema inaugurated our state-of-the-art “Small Molecules Chemistry Suite,” designed to fast-track small molecule drug discovery and development.
NJ Bio, Inc. heartily thanks Seema for sharing her remarkable journey, which has inspired our team to believe in themselves, to be courageous to fail to finally succeed, and to break down barriers to success.