Shasqi Announces Strategic Advisors as it Advances Click-Chemistry Based Treatments for Cancer

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Shasqi, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing precision activated oncology therapeutics with its proprietary Click Activated Protodrugs Against Cancer (CAPACTM) platform, announced today the members of its strategic advisory board, which bring a range of expertise to the company including corporate strategy, clinical development, cellular biology, and cancer therapeutics.

“Shasqi has made important progress during the last year with the initiation of our phase 1 clinical trial of SQ3370 and the advancement of our CAPAC drug development platform we’re preparing for the next phase of our growth,” said José M. Mejía Oneto, M.D., Ph.D., Founder and CEO of Shasqi. “We’ve deliberately selected and cultivated a team of strategic advisors with the skills, expertise and experience to help us navigate through the opportunities ahead of us and, ultimately, position us to benefit as many people living with cancer as possible.”

“Shasqi’s approach is unique and offers a compelling and interesting opportunity to do more for patients than is currently possible with targeted approaches to cancer therapy,” said William J. Rieflin, Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of NGM Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.. “The CAPAC platform is a powerful engine for developing precision-activated oncology therapeutics with the potential to kill cancer cells regardless of genetic signatures or biomarkers. The strategic advisory board is extremely impressed with the science and how much the company has accomplished since its founding, and we look forward to working closely with the team to support their ongoing efforts.”

Shasqi Strategic Advisors include:

Ronald W. Barrett, Ph.D.

CEO and Chairman of Medikine, Inc. Dr. Barrett is a scientist entrepreneur with over 30 years of biopharmaceutical industry experience. He was co-founder, CEO and Director of XenoPort, Inc., where he led the discovery and clinical development of several prodrugs, including gabapentin enacarbil (HORIZANT®). He was SVP of Research at Affymax Research Institute, where he pioneered the development and use of new drug discovery technology, leading to two FDA-approved drugs. His is co-author of >50 manuscripts from peer-reviewed journals and was awarded the Newcomb Cleveland Prize for Outstanding Paper of the Year in the journal Science in 1997; and an inventor of >50 U.S.-issued patents.

Carolyn Bertozzi, Ph.D.

Baker Family Director of Stanford ChEM-H and the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Humanities and Sciences in the Department of Chemistry at Stanford University. Dr. Bertozzi is also an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Her research focuses on profiling changes in cell surface glycosylation associated with cancer, inflammation and infection, and exploiting this information for development of diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, most recently in the area of immuno-oncology. She has been awarded the Lemelson-MIT Prize, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the Chemistry for the Future Solvay Prize, among many others.

Lisa M. Coussens, Ph.D., FAACR

Chair of the Department of Cell, Developmental & Cancer Biology, and Associate Director for Basic Research in the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Sciences University. Dr. Coussens’ research focus is on elucidating the roles of immune cells and their mediators as critical regulators of solid tumor development. Her research identified critical immune-regulated pathways for therapeutic targeting that are being clinically translated in combination with chemotherapy in women with metastatic triple negative breast cancer, pancreas cancer, and head & neck squamous cancer.

Pamela M. Klein, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer, Olema Oncology. Dr. Klein is a leading oncology drug development expert. She founded PMK BioResearch, offering strategic consulting in oncology drug development to corporate boards, management teams and the investment community. Her previous roles include Chief Medical Officer of Intellikine, Inc., and Vice President, Development at Genentech, leading the HER2 breast cancer development programs, as well as the Tarceva, Hematology and Apoptosis programs. She was co-founder and Research Director of the National Cancer Institute – Navy Breast Care Center.

Lawrence D. Mayer, Ph.D.

Partner, Couloir Biomedical Inc. Dr. Meyer was co-Founder, President & Chief Scientific Officer of Celator Pharmaceuticals, which was acquired by Jazz Pharmaceuticals. He has played a lead role in the discovery and development of multiple commercial oncology drugs, including CPX-351 for leukemia. He established and directed the Health Canada-accredited Investigational Drug Program at the British Columbia Cancer Agency. He has authored over 250 scientific publications and has more than 35 patent families awarded or pending.

Sarah Noonberg, M.D., PH.D.

Chief Medical Officer of Maze Therapeutics. Dr. Noonberg is a board-certified physician-scientist with broad expertise and a proven track record in global clinical development and corporate strategy. Her previous executive leadership roles include positions as chief medical officer at Nohla Therapeutics, head of global clinical development at BioMarin Pharmaceutical and Senior Vice President at Medivation, where she led translational and early development activities, as well as late-stage development of enzalutamide (XTANDI™) for advanced prostate cancer.

Glenn Prestwich, Ph.D.

President’s Distinguished Professor at Washington State University and founding director of WSU’s Entrepreneurial Faculty Ambassador program. Dr. Preswich is founder and President of Spinout Space in Spokane, a sciences innovation hub. His research includes phospholipids in cell signaling, synthetic matrices for regenerative medicine, and anti-inflammatory glycosaminoglycans. He is also the Presidential Professor of Medicinal Chemistry (Emeritus) and Presidential Special Assistant for Faculty Entrepreneurism (Emeritus) at the University of Utah, where he created and led the Entrepreneurial Faculty Scholars program. Co-founder of ten small life science companies.

William J. Rieflin

Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of NGM Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., following eight years as the company’s Chief Executive Officer. Prior to NGM, he was President of XenoPort, Inc. and served on the company’s board of directors until it was acquired by Arbor Pharmaceuticals. Previously, he served as Executive Vice President, Administration, Chief Financial Officer, General Counsel and Secretary for Tularik Inc., which was acquired by Amgen Inc. in 2004. In addition to NGM, he currently serves on the Board of Directors of Kallyope, Inc., Lycia Therapeutics, Inc., Lyell Immunopharma, Inc. and RAPT Therapeutics, Inc.

Nina Shapiro

Senior Operating Advisor, New Silk Route. Ms. Shapiro has over 30 years of broad global experience in international and project finance and business development. She has held senior leadership and operating positions at the World Bank and its private sector arm, the International Finance Corporation, including as VP Finance and Treasurer of the IFC, and has served as Non-Executive Director of several boards in financial services and early tech.

About Shasqi

Shasqi is a privately held, clinical stage biotechnology company whose mission is to enable patients to beat cancer without poisoning their bodies. Shasqi leverages its proprietary Click Activated Protodrugs Against Cancer (CAPACTM) Platform to develop precision activated oncology therapeutics designed to improve efficacy while decreasing systemic toxicity. Shasqi’s CAPAC Platform is highly modular and can be applied to a broad range of drugs that are otherwise limited by toxicity, enabling the exploration of therapeutic biology in ways that were not previously possible. For more information, please visit:


Cory Tromblee

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