ADC Therapeutics taps Novartis vet Ameet Mallik as its next CEO, replacing co-founder Martin

Amid a wave of leadership transitions in biopharma, ADC Therapeutics is the latest drugmaker to shake up its management.

On Monday, the company said co-founder Chris Martin is stepping back from his role. Ameet Mallik, formerly Novartis' U.S. head of oncology and CEO of Rafel Holdings, will take the reins at the antibody-drug conjugate specialist.

Martin will serve in an advisory role for three months and transition to become a board member and the chair of ADC's science and technology committee.

Since becoming ADC's CEO in 2015, Martin has helped grow the company from a private startup to a New York Stock Exchange-listed company with more than 300 employees. In 2021, ADC won approval and launched Zynlonta as a treatment for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma after two prior lines of therapy.

In a statement, Martin said he's comfortable passing the baton while ADC's drug pipeline is in a “strong position."

Aside from Mallik's recent role as Novartis' head of oncology in the U.S., the incoming CEO has held a handful of leadership positions at the Swiss pharma giant, including head of global strategic planning. Mallik also has CEO experience as well as the head of Rafael Holdings, a biotech company focused on oncology and immune therapies, where he still serves on the board.


Mallik left Rafael Holdings in January after a Phase 3 trial for its pancreatic cancer candidate devimistat failed to meet its primary endpoint. The missed trial led the company to stop an ongoing trial in another cancer and sent shares plummeting, Endpoints News reports

ADC is only the latest company to announce executive moves, following Biogen’s CEO departure, Moderna’s CFO replacement and Pfizer’s CFO retirement.