SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–858 Therapeutics today announced the strengthening of its board of directors and leadership team in preparation for its next stage of growth. To support the advancement of 858 Therapeutics’ portfolio of small molecule therapeutics directed against oncology targets, the company has named Jane Huang, M.D., as an independent director on the company’s Board. In addition, 858 Therapeutics has appointed Sanjay Trehan as SVP of Business Development and has promoted Gretchen Bain, Ph.D., to SVP of Biology.
The company debuted in September 2021 with a $60 million Series A financing led by founding investor Versant Ventures, with participation from NEA, Cormorant Asset Management and Logos Capital. Since inception, 858 Therapeutics has progressed multiple programs in novel areas of oncology and expects to start IND-enabling work on its lead development candidate during 2022 and to start clinical activities in 2023.
Dr. Huang previously was Chief Medical Officer of Hematology at BeiGene Ltd. (NASDAQ:BGNE). Prior to joining BeiGene, Dr. Huang was the Vice President and Head of Development at Acerta Pharma, where she oversaw global clinical development of the BTK inhibitor, acalabrutinib. Previously, she served as Group Medical Director at Genentech, where she spent 10 years playing a leading role in drug development programs for several molecules at all stages of development, including venetoclax and obinutuzumab. She is also adjunct clinical faculty and an attending physician in Oncology at Stanford University.
Mr. Trehan joins 858 Therapeutics from Genentech, where he served as Business Development Project Leader. Prior to joining Genentech, he held business development roles of increasing responsibility at Sanofi, including Director and Head of Business Development and Licensing for Rare Diseases. During his time at Sanofi and Genentech, Mr. Trehan successfully led the evaluation and execution of numerous transactions, including product licenses, co-developments, co-promotions, drug discovery collaborations and strategic alliances. Mr. Trehan received his MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.
“We’re excited to welcome Jane to our board. She has extensive experience in oncology drug development, and her input on our clinical development strategy will be invaluable,” said Jeffrey Stafford, Ph.D., CEO of 858 Therapeutics. “Sanjay brings a high level of business development acumen to 858 and his expertise will be essential as we expand our portfolio and advance our programs towards the clinic. The additions of Jane and Sanjay represent our commitment to support the company’s next phase of development.”
In addition to the board appointment of Dr. Huang and the hiring of Mr. Trehan, 858 Therapeutics has promoted Gretchen Bain, Ph.D., to SVP of Biology. Dr. Bain cofounded the company, initially serving as VP of Biology. Prior to 858 Therapeutics, Gretchen was VP of Biology at Jecure Therapeutics, a company that was acquired by Genentech in 2018 for its NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitor program. She began her career at Merck Research Labs and transitioned into biotech in 2005 as Executive Director of Biology at Amira Pharmaceuticals. At Amira, Gretchen contributed to the development of several clinical-stage small molecule therapeutics to treat inflammation and fibrosis and directed the efforts of the LPA1 receptor antagonist program that led to the acquisition of Amira by BMS.
“Gretchen has been a key member of our senior management team from the company’s inception, and her promotion recognizes her numerous scientific contributions as well as her excellence in leading our biology efforts,” said Dr. Stafford.
About 858 Therapeutics
858 Therapeutics is a biotechnology and drug discovery company developing a portfolio of small molecule therapeutics directed against novel oncology targets. Its lead programs focus on the emerging fields of RNA modulation, innate immunity and synthetic lethality, and expand upon insights from over 10 years of work by the founders at predecessor companies. 858 is headquartered in the biotech hub of San Diego, CA, with operations also in New York City, providing proximity to leading investigators and scientific talent on both coasts of the U.S. For more information, please visit www.8five8tx.com.