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Silicon Therapeutics Expands Leadership Team with Key Appointments in Clinical Development and Strategy as well as Computational Physics

BOSTON–()–Silicon Therapeutics today announced three additions to its management team to help lead the company through its next stage of growth. Humphrey Gardner, MD, FCAP has joined the company as Chief Medical Officer; Christopher Borella, PhD, has joined as Vice President, Head of Operations; and Huafeng Xu, PhD, has joined as Chief Technology Officer.

“The appointments of Humphrey and Chris, who bring deep expertise in clinical development and strategy, reflect the progress we have made in building and advancing our oncology pipeline,” said Lanny Sun, Silicon Therapeutics Co-founder and CEO. “They will play key roles as our lead STING agonist enters clinical trials and our other programs advance towards the clinic. Huafeng will strengthen our leadership in computational physics, bringing over 15 years of experience in methods and theory development.”

Dr. Gardner joins Silicon from Evelo Biosciences, where he served as Chief of Medical Oncology and led oncology discovery as well as the IND and clinical development of their first microbial cancer immune therapy. Previously, he served as Vice President of Early Clinical Development in both Infection and in Oncology at AstraZeneca, and as Senior Vice President of Clinical Development at Karyopharm. Prior to these appointments, he led the Oncology Translational Laboratories at Novartis, and various discovery and translational programs at Biogen. Before joining industry, Dr. Gardner was an Assistant Professor of Cell Biology at The Scripps Research Institute. Dr. Gardner obtained his BA in Biochemistry and his MB, BChir, at the University of Cambridge, UK. He did his specialty training in anatomic pathology at the Beth Israel Hospital, Harvard Medical School. He completed his postdoctoral fellowship at the Whitehead Institute in the laboratory of Professor Rudolf Jaenisch. Dr. Gardner has over 100 publications and patents in fields including oncology, neuroscience, rheumatology, and diagnostics.

Dr. Borella joins Silicon Therapeutics from Agios Pharmaceuticals where he was the Head of Early Stage Program Management and Project Leader for their MAT2A franchise. During his 8+ years at Agios, Chris and his team were directly involved in bringing seven drug candidates including two marketed drugs, Tibsovo® (ivosidenib) and Idhifa®, (enasidenib) forward into the clinic. Prior to Agios Therapeutics, Dr. Borella held project leadership positions at both Proteostasis and Synta Pharmaceuticals. He received his PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from Stony Brook University and was a post-doctoral fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Dr. Xu joins Silicon Therapeutics after 12 years at D. E. Shaw Research, the leading institution in method and hardware development for molecular simulations, where he played an early role in designing the specialized Anton chip for molecular dynamics simulations, and he led the development of the methods and software for free energy calculations that are now widely used in the pharmaceutical industry. He has also pioneered the application of long-timescale molecular simulations and statistical mechanical theory in revealing fundamental mechanisms of molecular recognition in immunology and virology. Dr. Xu started his career in the biotechnology industry at 3-Dimensional Pharmaceuticals. He earned his Bachelor of Science from Peking University and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University. He was a visiting postdoctoral scholar in University of California, San Francisco.

About Silicon Therapeutics

Silicon Therapeutics (“SiTX”) is a physics-driven drug discovery company focused on small molecule therapeutics for cancer that target innate immunity to “light the spark” within immunologically cold tumors. The company’s unique computational physics-based platform can accurately simulate the physical motion and properties of biological targets at atomistic resolution to reveal unique insights into the drug design process. The platform is cohesively integrated with a world-class wet lab including biophysics, chemistry, and biology to enable rapid hypothesis-driven data generation to advance drug discovery projects on targets that have traditionally been thought of as undruggable. The SiTX lead program is a small molecule STING agonist for systemic delivery in I/O that is slated to enter the clinic in mid-2020.

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