PHILADELPHIA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fore Biotherapeutics (formerly NovellusDx), a precision oncology company focused on providing people with rare cancer mutations rapid access to the right medicines, today announced the expansion of its leadership team with the appointments of Stacie Peacock Shepherd, M.D., Ph.D., as Chief Medical Officer and Nora Brennan as Chief Financial Officer. Additionally, experienced biopharma executive Meenu Chhabra will join the company’s Board of Directors and serve as Audit Chair. These key appointments, which follow the establishment of Fore’s new U.S. headquarters in Philadelphia, will support the company’s efforts to become a global leader in precision oncology therapeutics.
Dr. Shepherd is an accomplished biotech leader and expert in oncology drug development and will oversee the clinical strategy and operational advancement of Fore’s lead precision oncology program, FORE8394, as well as the continued expansion of Fore’s clinical pipeline over the coming months. Ms. Brennan brings deep experience as a financial and investment strategist to the Fore team and will lead Fore’s financial strategy and oversee the development of core G&A capabilities to scale the company.
“I am honored and privileged to welcome industry leaders Stacie and Nora to Fore’s executive leadership team. With our global HQ established in Philadelphia; an exciting next-generation BRAF asset that can address areas of high unmet need using Foresight, our functional genomics platform; an active business development pipeline to scale our clinical portfolio in the coming months; and investor excitement around our story that allows us the opportunity to further bolster our balance sheet, the timing couldn’t be better for these world-class leaders to help build and scale the company alongside me. I am excited to build an intellectually diverse, results-oriented and compassionate team that continues to focus on evolving the precision oncology model to have meaningful impact on the lives of both patients and caregivers,” said Usama Malik, Chief Executive Officer at Fore Biotherapeutics. “I am confident that Stacie and Nora’s collaborative energy, industry know-how and breadth of experience will position Fore for both financial growth and clinical success. I am also delighted to welcome Meenu to our Board of Directors and look forward to working closely with her and the rest of the Board as we work to identify unique solutions to serve unaddressed cancer patient populations.”
An accomplished physician-scientist with over a decade of experience in clinical and translational oncology drug development, Dr. Shepherd served as Senior Vice President of Clinical Development at QED Therapeutics before joining Fore, where she led oncology program clinical development, operations and translational science. Prior to QED Therapeutics, she served as Vice President, Oncology at Corcept Therapeutics, where she established a translational research program, and at AbbVie, where as Senior Medical Director she led clinical development of PARP inhibitor programs in ovarian cancer and BRCA-mutated breast cancer. Dr. Shepherd received her M.D./Ph.D. in Medicine and Neuroscience through the Medical Scholars Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and trained in Pediatrics at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Pediatric Endocrinology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Dr. Shepherd added, “I am excited to join Usama and the leadership team at Fore to build a next generation precision oncology company. The unique approach to finding and targeting unaddressed mutations across validated oncology targets using the Foresight platform is exciting and brings hope to patients with rarer mutations who have few therapeutic options today. I look forward to building a diverse and impactful team over the coming months and delivering on our promise to make a meaningful impact on patient lives.”
Ms. Brennan has served on management teams of publicly traded life science companies for the past 15 years, raising approximately $2 billion, building finance organizations and supporting operations from early development stage into commercialization. She previously served as Chief Financial Officer of TELA Bio, Inc., where she guided the company through a successful IPO and follow-on financing. Prior to TELA Bio, Inc., she was the Chief Financial Officer of Xeris Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where she oversaw the finance function and execution of company strategy. Previously, Ms. Brennan spent 11 years as the Senior Vice President, Treasurer and Investor Relations at Integra LifeSciences Holdings Corporation, where, among her many accomplishments, she successfully integrated 18 acquisitions leading to significant revenue growth for the company. She earned her B.A. in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and received her MBA in Finance and Accounting from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Ms. Brennan said, “I am passionate about building teams and scaling companies, and I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the rich opportunity for patient impact with Fore’s business and clinical strategy. We have a high-quality investor base, a leading next generation BRAF program and a rich business development pipeline to continue to build our internal portfolio, as well as an experienced leadership team that has continually created patient and shareholder value over the years. I am looking forward to helping scale the company as we establish and maintain our leadership in precision oncology.”
Ms. Chhabra is a strategic biopharmaceutical leader bringing over 20 years of experience from the United States, Switzerland and Italy in both private and public large pharma and small biotech companies. Most recently, she held the role of President and CEO at Proteostasis Therapeutics, where she helped the company raise more than $300 million in both private and public financings, and accelerated development of drug candidates. She also spent seven years as President and Chief Executive Officer at Allozyne, Inc., where she led financing, company growth and research & development. Prior to Allozyne, Ms. Chhabra worked in Europe for several years, first as Chief Business Officer of BioXell S.p.A. in Milan, Italy and then at Novartis AG as Vice President, Business Development and Licensing. She received her MBA in Strategy and Finance from the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto, Canada and her B.S. in Pharmacology from the University of Toronto. In addition to Fore, she serves on the Board of Directors of BIO and Vasomune Therapeutics.
Ms. Chhabra commented, “It is my honor to join the Board of Fore Bio and Chair the Audit Committee. I will be serving alongside an illustrious Board, supported by world-class investors, and an experienced management team that has a proven track record of building and scaling companies. Fore’s unique approach to precision oncology and its capital-efficient business model that leverages an open innovation philosophy to match the right drugs to the right patients in rarer and unaddressed mutations represents an enormous therapeutic opportunity. I look forward to working with the Board and management team to continue to scale the business.”
About Fore Biotherapeutics
Fore Biotherapeutics is advancing a new model for precision oncology drug development that aims to match patient populations with rarer and unaddressed cancer mutations to clinic-ready compounds across validated oncology targets. The company is leveraging its integrated functional genomics and machine learning platform, Foresight, to synthesize a wide range of tumor mutations and identify clinical-stage assets that could serve patient populations with few to no therapeutic alternatives. Fore has in-licensed and is advancing its lead program, FORE8394, to target unaddressed mutations and indications in both V600 and non-V600 BRAF mutations. For more information, please visit www.fore.bio or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.