NKGen Biotech Announces Appointment of Jill M. Jene, PhD as Chief Business Officer

SANTA ANA, Calif., August 1, 2022 — NKGen Biotech, a biotechnology company harnessing the power of the body’s immune system through the development of Natural Killer (NK) cell therapies, today announced the appointment of Jill M. Jene, Ph.D. as its Chief Business Officer (CBO). Dr. Jene is highly accomplished in corporate business development and will lead the efforts to bring NKGen to the next stage of growth through strategic leadership, deal making, and partnerships. Dr. Jene has a strong transactional, strategic, and alliance management background closing over $6B in transactions in the life sciences and biopharmaceutical industries including gene therapy, biologics, and small molecules.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Jene to the NKGen leadership team,” said Sangwoo Park, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NKGen Biotech. “Dr. Jene’s leadership and expertise in negotiating and executing strategic collaborations will be instrumental in growing our partnership pipeline.  Dr. Jene’s extensive history of deal making, and decades of corporate development expertise will be instrumental to driving our business initiatives and advancing our pipeline.”

Dr. Jene has over 20 years of business development expertise in the life sciences industry with a deal sheet totaling of over 50 closed transactions. Prior to joining NKGen, Dr. Jene was Vice President and Head of Corporate Development, Strategy, Portfolio Planning and Alliance Management at Adamas Pharmaceuticals where she successfully led the creation and implementation of the corporate strategic plan while building out the BD opportunity process until Adamas was acquired by Supernus for a total value over $850M.  Before joining Adamas, Dr. Jene was Vice President of Business Development at PDL Biopharma where she built out the BD function, and deal pipeline resulting in returning over $500M to investors through a formal dissolution process.

Prior to PDL, Dr. Jene was with twoXAR as Senior Vice President of Business Development where she revamped the BD process leading to an increase in the number of key pipeline opportunities and successful deal negotiations including collaborations, spinouts, and licensing. Prior to twoXAR, Dr. Jene was VP of Business Development at Depomed leading the team to numerous successful Licensing and M&A transactions, including four commercial franchises, along with several profitable licensing agreements closing over 20 transactions.  Prior to joining Depomed, Dr. Jene held positions of increasing responsibilities in business and corporate development at Cell Genesys, 3M Pharmaceutical Division and Baxter International establishing a history for closing transactions including acquisitions and divestitures.

In addition to Dr. Jene’s role as CBO at NKGen, she is currently serving as a Director of the Board for Lipocine, Inc. (NASDAQ: LPCN) a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative products to treat metabolic and central nervous system disorders with high unmet medical needs using their proprietary delivery technology.

Dr. Jene obtained a BS degree in chemistry from Bradley University and holds both a PhD and MS in chemistry from Northwestern University, and an MBA in strategic management from DePaul University.



About NKGen Biotech

NKGen Biotech, Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative autologous, allogeneic, and CAR-NK Natural Killer (NK) cell therapeutics. Leveraging our proprietary cell expansion and activation technology and cutting-edge cell manufacturing expertise, we have the ability to infinitely expand natural killer cells while significantly enhancing cytotoxicity across our peripheral blood-derived products. NKGen Biotech’s lead product candidate, SNK01, is currently in clinical trials for the treatment of advanced refractory solid tumors both as a monotherapy and in combination with other agents, including checkpoint inhibitors and cell engagers. NKGen Biotech is committed to the vision of executing on our clinical strategies with the goal of commercializing our NK cell therapies to help save and sustain patients’ lives worldwide. The company and its commercially licensed cGMP facility are headquartered in Santa Ana, California, USA. For more information, please visit www.nkgenbiotech.com.


Denise Chua, MBA, CLS, MT (ASCP)
Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications