Dr. Allen Barnett, Ph.D, spent his career in the pharmaceutical industry as a drug discovery and development executive. As vice president of technology acquisition and external collaborations at Schering-Plough, Dr. Barnett spearheaded its licensing of new SP technology and structuring academic collaborations. Under his leadership at SP, two “blockbuster” drugs were brought to the marketplace: Claritin, a non-sedating antihistamine that is the most successful drug in SP’s history and the fifth-leading drug, based on sales, in the world; and Zetia, a cholesterol-lowering agent that has achieved multibillion dollars in sales since its introduction in 2002.
After retiring in 1999, Dr. Barnett began consulting, during which time he met two other UB graduates with a common interest in research being conducted at University of Buffalo on a new class of anti-cancer drugs. Their collaboration led to the founding of Kinex Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company dedicated to the search for novel oral anti-cancer drugs. Kinex is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, and currently has four oral anti-cancer drugs in different stages of clinical development. After serving as CEO, Dr. Barnett has stepped down but remains active as president emeritus.
He has published more than 100 scientific journal articles and served as adjunct professor of pharmacology in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. He was a member of the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceuticals Science’s Dean’s Advisory Council and sat on the advisory board for UB’s Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach. In January 2016, he endowed a graduate student fellowship in the School of Pharmacy.