CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–KSQ Therapeutics, a biotechnology company using CRISPR technology to enable the company’s powerful discovery engine to achieve higher probabilities of success in drug development, today announced the appointment of Pearl S. Huang, Ph.D. and Theo Melas-Kyriazi to the company’s Board of Directors. Each bring to KSQ more than 20 years of experience in the life sciences and extensive domain expertise that will help guide corporate and clinical initiatives for the company going forward.
“We are delighted to welcome Pearl and Theo to the board at this important time for KSQ as we prepare to bring our lead candidate into the clinic next year,” said David Meeker, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of KSQ. “Pearl is an accomplished drug developer and biotech executive with vastly relevant experience in successfully bringing early discovery oncology programs into the clinic. Theo has a proven track record of designing and implementing highly effective financial and corporate strategies for companies working to apply innovative technology to the healthcare sector.”
“KSQ is taking a rigorous, systematic, unbiased approach to drug discovery by leveraging CRISPR technology to understand the precise role of every gene in each disease, tissue and cell, thereby increasing the likelihood of success,” said Dr. Huang. “I look forward to helping the team as they develop promising ideas into what will hopefully one day become meaningful medicines for patients.”
“With CRISPRomics, KSQ has constructed a powerful tool to generate disease-specific insights with great precision and at unprecedented scale,” said Mr. Melas-Kyriazi. “I am excited to lend my expertise to the company’s transformation to a drug development company that is built upon a truly differentiating engine and by a smart, accomplished team.”
Dr. Huang is currently President and Chief Executive Officer of Cygnal Therapeutics, a biotechnology company pioneering the field of exoneural biology for the treatment of cancer, autoimmune conditions, inflammation, and other diseases. Before joining Cygnal, she most recently served as as Senior Vice President and Global Head of Therapeutic Modalities at Roche, where she oversaw the discovery of biologic, small molecule, and nucleic acid-based therapies. Prior to Roche, Dr. Huang was Vice President and Global Head of Discovery Academic Partnerships at GSK. In 2010, she founded BeiGene and served as Chief Scientific Officer until 2012, developing the company’s initial drug discovery pipeline and moving the company’s first programs into the clinic. From 2006 to 2010, Dr. Huang served as Vice President, Oncology Integrator, Discovery and Early Development at Merck, leading 14 early development teams and conducting seven first-in-human trials in one year. Prior to that, she led oncology discovery at GSK, initiating the programs that delivered tramentinib and dabrafenib to patients. Dr. Huang received her undergraduate degree in life sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from Princeton University.
Mr. Melas-Kyriazi is an executive partner at Flagship Pioneering. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Melas-Kyriazi served as Chief Financial Officer of Levitronix Technologies, a worldwide leader in magnetically levitated bearingless motor technology. Before Levitronix, he held a nearly two-decade career at Thermo Fisher Scientific, where he served in a variety of roles including Treasurer, CFO, and CEO of a publicly-traded Thermo subsidiary where he increased revenues from $40M to $200M over four years. Over the last 20 years, Mr. Melas-Kyriazi has served on the boards of multiple public and private healthcare and life science companies, including Moderna, Valeant Pharmaceuticals, Thoratec Corporation, Helicos Biosciences, and Evelo Biosciences. He also served as an operating partner of a middle-market private equity firm from 2007 to 2012. Mr. Melas-Kyriazi holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and an MBA from Harvard University.
About KSQ Therapeutics
KSQ Therapeutics is using CRISPR technology to enable the company’s powerful discovery engine to achieve higher probabilities of success in drug development. The company is advancing a pipeline of tumor- and immune-focused drug candidates for the treatment of cancer, across multiple drug modalities including targeted therapies, adoptive cell therapies and immuno-therapies. KSQ’s proprietary CRISPRomics® discovery engine enables genome-scale, in vivo validated, unbiased drug discovery across broad therapeutic areas. KSQ was founded by thought leaders in the field of functional genomics and pioneers of CRISPR screening technologies, and the company is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.ksqtx.com.