Peter Hirth

K. Peter Hirth, PhD


Back to Team

Dr. Hirth has over 30 years of biotechnology and pharmaceutical discovery and development experience. He was a co-founder and CEO of Plexxikon were he built a novel, structure-guided drug discovery platform, which over the last ten years, has brought several NCEs into the clinic in a variety of indications. Most advanced from this portfolio is a V600E B-raf selective inhibitor that was FDA approved for metastatic melanoma together with a companion diagnostic and is sold under the brand name Zelboraf™. In addition, Turalio™, obtained FDA approval for TGCT, a rare tumor affecting the synovium and tendon sheaths. After Plexxikon was acquired in April 2011 by Daiichi Sankyo, Dr. Hirth had agreed to stay for a two-year transition period until April 2013.
Previously, he was at Sugen, Inc. from 1991 until 2000 and helped build the company from its inception and advanced several kinase inhibitors through clinical trials in oncology. Sutent was the first Sugen product to reach the market in renal cell carcinoma. After the acquisition of Sugen by Pharmacia Upjohn in 1999, Dr. Hirth stayed on to help with the integration until 2000. At Sugen, Dr. Hirth held several positions with increasing responsibilities, last as President. Prior to Sugen, Dr. Hirth was a vice president in research with Boehringer Mannheim where, among other responsibilities, he successfully led the company’s erythropoietin program to approval in 1989, sold under the name Recormon™. Before joining Boehringer Mannheim, Dr. Hirth was a research scientist with the Max Planck Institute, following the completion of his post-doctoral work at the University of California, San Diego. Dr. Hirth received his Ph.D. in molecular genetics from Heidelberg University, Germany.
Dr. Hirth currently serves as the chairman of IO Bio in Copenhagen and as a director on the BOD of Iconic Therapeutics in South San Francisco, CA, SutroVax Inc. in South San Francisco and TRex Bio in South San Francisco. Former BOD memberships include Afferent Pharmaceuticals in San Mateo, CA and Kolltan Pharmaceuticals in New Haven, CT, and Alios Biopharma in South San Francisco.