BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Solu Therapeutics, a precision-medicine company developing therapeutics to eliminate disease-driving cells, today announced the appointment of Philip J. Vickers, Ph.D., as President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Vickers succeeds David Donabedian, Ph.D., Co-founder and start-up CEO of Solu Therapeutics, and Executive Partner of Longwood Fund, who will continue to serve in an advisory capacity to the Company.
Dr. Vickers brings to Solu more than 30 years of experience in the biopharma industry. As CEO, he will play an instrumental role in the company’s work to eliminate cells that drive disease in areas of high unmet medical need through the continued development of Solu’s proprietary CyTaC (Cytotoxicity Targeting Chimera) platform, including their lead program in oncology, which is projected to enter the clinic within two years.
“Solu’s CyTaC platform and focus on unlocking antibody-intractable cell surface targets present an exciting opportunity to make a significant impact for patients living with devastating diseases,” said Dr. Vickers. “Solu is building a new generation of medicines that combine the strengths of biologics and small molecules to advance the way we treat cancer and immune-mediated illnesses. I am thrilled to be leading this dedicated team.”
Dr. Vickers started his career as a Senior Biologist at Merck Research Laboratories. He went on to spend more than 13 years at Pfizer, ending his time there as Vice President, Research. Following his time at Pfizer, Phil was recruited to Boehringer-Ingelheim, where he served as SVP and US Head of Research before joining Resolvyx Pharmaceuticals as Chief Scientific Officer. After Resolvyx, Dr. Vickers was Global Head of Research and Development at Shire Pharmaceuticals, where he was responsible for overseeing preclinical research and development, clinical development, regulatory affairs, program management, and medical affairs. For his next role, he was President and CEO of Northern Biologics, a company focused on the development of monoclonal antibodies as immuno-oncology therapeutics to treat targeted populations of cancer patients. Dr. Vickers most recently served as President and CEO of Faze Medicines. He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Toronto. Dr. Vickers is currently a member of the board of AVROBIO.
“When we founded Solu Therapeutics, we knew having an experienced and committed CEO would be essential to building out the team, advancing our lead program in oncology, and driving several of our other product candidates through pre-clinical development,” said Dr. Christoph Westphal, M.D., Ph.D., founding Executive Chair, Solu Therapeutics and Founding Partner of Longwood Fund. “Dr. Vickers’ work supporting the approval of numerous drugs and his deep knowledge of novel therapeutics and clinical development make him the ideal choice to do so. I have the utmost confidence in his ability to advance Solu’s science and lead the team.”
“On behalf of the entire board, I would like to thank David for his significant contributions as co-founder and start-up CEO to Solu Therapeutics,” continued Dr. Westphal, “Under David’s leadership, the Company raised an oversubscribed $31 million seed round, attracted a top tier syndicate of investors, identified lab space and built out the scientific and leadership team. I look forward to working with David on our next Longwood new company.”
Solu recently debuted with an oversubscribed $31 million seed financing co-led by Longwood and Santé Ventures, with additional participation from DCVC Bio, Astellas Venture Management, and Alexandria Venture Investments.
About Solu Therapeutics
Solu Therapeutics, a precision-medicine company, is developing therapeutics to eliminate disease-driving cells in cancer, immunology, and autoimmunity. The proprietary CyTaC (Cytotoxicity Targeting Chimera) platform and drug candidates, licensed from GSK, unlocks antibody-intractable cell surface targets providing the capability to develop next generation medicines that harness the power of biologics with the vast target binding space of small molecules. Unique characteristics of CyTaC platform molecules include: (i) unlocking new tumor-associated antigens to eliminate cancer cells, (ii) depleting pathogenic immune cells, and (iii) extending the half-life of small molecule antagonists and agonists.