SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Shasqi, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing precision activated oncology therapeutics with its proprietary Click Activated Protodrugs Against Cancer (CAPAC™) Platform, announced today that the Company has appointed Wayne Saville, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer, and Juan Jaen, Ph.D., President & Co-founder of Arcus Biosciences, as a member of the Shasqi board of directors.
“Wayne and Juan are both industry veterans who bring a wealth of expertise that will be invaluable to Shasqi as we enter the clinic with our lead program, SQ3370, and expand the applications for our CAPAC Platform,” said José M. Mejía Oneto, M.D., Ph.D., Founder and CEO of Shasqi. “In his more than three decades in the field of oncology, Wayne has shepherded many drugs through the clinical and regulatory process, such as Taxol (paclitaxel), Rituxan (rituximab), Zevalin (ibritumomab tiuxetan), and Xgeva (denosumab). Juan has co-founded and led two successful oncology companies, and he has been responsible for the advancement of over 20 novel molecules into clinical development for diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s, RA, diabetes and others. We are extremely fortunate to welcome both Wayne and Juan to the Shasqi team.”
Dr. Wayne Saville is a board-certified medical oncologist with deep expertise in basic and translational science in virology, immunology and tumor cell biology, spanning over 30 years of clinical research including nearly two decades in the life sciences industry. Prior to joining Shasqi, Dr. Saville was Vice President, Oncology Clinical Development at Xencor, Inc., where he led development of bispecific antibodies for oncologic indications. Previously, he served as Vice President, Clinical Development at Tocagen, Inc. where he led development and registrational strategy for a retroviral vector-based gene therapy platform for glioblastoma. He has also worked in clinical development and medical affairs for Amgen, Biogen-IDEC and Genoptix/Novartis, and held a faculty position at the Moores Cancer Center, University of California, San Diego.
“Every oncologist has the same goal: vanquish cancer without harming the patient. This is the promise of Shasqi’s CAPAC Platform – the ability for physicians to pinpoint the activation of powerful oncology therapeutics, thereby increasing efficacy and reducing systemic toxicity. The possible applications of this level of control over where drugs act are endless,” commented Dr. Saville.
Dr. Juan Jaen has been engaged in all aspects of drug discovery and development for more than 30 years. He is a co-founder and President, head of research and non-clinical development, at Arcus Biosciences, a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of cancer therapeutics, such as etrumadenant, zimberelimab, domvanalimab, and others. Previously, Dr. Jaen was founder and head of research at Flexus Biosciences, an anti-cancer company that was acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb in 2015. Prior to that, Dr. Jaen was Chief Scientific Officer at ChemoCentryx, where he led the discovery and progression into the clinic of eight novel drug candidates in the immunology space, including avacopan, a small-molecule C5aR blocker. In the earlier part of his career, Dr. Jaen held drug discovery positions of increasing responsibility at Parke-Davis Pharmaceutical Research, Tularik, and Amgen.
“Shasqi’s unique click chemistry technology elevates the therapeutic attack on cancer from a WWII carpet bomb to a laser-guided smart bomb. The CAPAC Platform combines a pre-injected biopolymer and a non-toxic protodrug, which is captured and activated into a powerful chemotherapy agent precisely at the tumor. It presents an immense opportunity for potential application with many efficacious oncology therapeutics, such as doxorubicin, that are currently limited by their toxicity. I’m very excited to be joining Shasqi’s board of directors and look forward to supporting the team’s vision,” stated Dr. Jaen.
Dr. Saville received his M.D. from Northwestern University and completed an Internal Medicine residency at the University of Minnesota, and Medical Oncology Fellowship and postdoctoral work at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Jaen obtained his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Chemistry from Universidad Complutense in Madrid (Spain) and a Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry from the University of Michigan. He has co-authored over 100 scientific papers and is an inventor on over 50 issued U.S. patents.
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 (CAPAC™) 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: http://www.shasqi.com
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