Joe Bolen, Ph.D.

Joseph Bolen, Ph.D.
Chief Scientific Officer

Innovation has a critical human dimension beyond just the science. It is the combination of the two that is the underlying factor of our success in drug discovery.

Three people lead our science team, creating a model of collaboration that starts at the top. It creates a continuum of teamwork from discovery through development and on to medical education for clinicians about how best to use our medicine.

We are a global team of scientists wholly dedicated to the study of cancer. As a demonstration of the promise and potential of our research, our pipeline currently includes more than 15 investigational candidates that address a wide range of cancers. Learn more about our pipeline.

We fully recognize that progress against cancer is a daunting task. Despite extensive effort in both the public and private sectors, curing cancer is likely to remain an elusive goal for some time to come. Yet we thrive on both the challenge and hope of doing our part to make that goal a reality.

Our focus is on compounds that are either unprecedented in their approach or offer a best-in-class advantage. We believe this higher-powered level of scientific endeavor is more than an exercise in "drug engineering." It demands personal determination on the part of our scientists and an intolerance of conventional wisdom.

Our oncology capabilities encompass both small molecule and antibody drugs so that we can select the most appropriate candidates to achieve the desired therapeutic effect. We are excited by the possibilities, and driven forward by our sense of urgency to advance the care of cancer patients.

Karen Ferrante, M.D.

Karen Ferrante, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer

Our scientific collaboration starts at the top by having three highly interactive R&D leaders. We benefit tremendously from team dynamics.

Protein Homeostasis: Applying a New Understanding of Disease Biology

Pete Smith, Ph.D.

Pete Smith, Ph.D.
SVP Non-Clinical Development Sciences

We get involved in each other's science, and that's a good thing. Our level of mutual respect invites it, and our science benefits from it.

Millennium is recognized as the scientific leader in protein homeostasis, a research area that has its roots in Nobel-Prize winning science. There are a variety of disease states, notably cancer, in which the homeostatic balance of cellular proteins can be altered permanently, threatening survival of the host.

Protein homeostasis is today what kinases were to the science of drug development in the mid-eighties. It opens a similarly vast frontier for drug development for many disease states with special emphasis in anti-cancer therapeutics. The success of VELCADE® (bortezomib) has validated this area of exploration.

Our collaboration with Harvard Medical School to conduct joint research in protein homeostasis will build on the already significant expertise of both institutions, accelerating our R&D in this important area of cancer biology.


A protein substance produced by the immune system and found in the blood or tissues in response to a specific antigen, such as a bacterium or toxin.


Fundamental components of all living cells, including substances such as enzymes, hormones, and antibodies, thatare necessary for the proper functioning of an organism.