–Three SH2 domain inhibitor programs targeting STAT3, STAT6 and an undisclosed non-STAT target are underway
–Nancy Whiting, Pharm.D., an industry veteran and one of Fierce Pharma’s Fiercest Women in Life Sciences in 2020, named as chief executive officer
–Pedigreed senior leadership team and Series A investors disclosed
SAN DIEGO, CA, November 15, 2021 – Recludix Pharma, a leader in platform approaches to discover inhibitors of challenging cancer and inflammatory disease targets, today announced its launch with a proprietary platform technology, three SH2 domain inhibitor programs, and a new chief executive officer, Nancy Whiting, Pharm.D. Series A investors include NEA, Westlake Village BioPartners, and Access Biotechnology.
Recludix has built a proprietary platform to discover potent and selective inhibitors of challenging protein targets. The platform comprises custom generated DNA-encoded libraries, massively parallel determination of structure activity relationships, and a proprietary screening tool to ensure compound selectivity.
“Recludix has created highly differentiated technology and capabilities to harness the potential of targeting SH2 domains with potent and selective therapies,” said Carol Gallagher, Pharm.D., venture partner at NEA. “We were especially attracted by the founders and the new terrain the company is exploring to create a pipeline of oral medicines that address previously undruggable, high-potential targets to treat patients with cancer and inflammatory diseases.”
By integrating new chemical approaches and technologies, including custom DNA-encoded libraries and assays, Recludix is developing precision small molecule medicines against critical targets of interest, with the initial focus of its three lead programs of STAT3, STAT6, and an undisclosed non-STAT target. Abnormal STAT activation is found in numerous cancer types, including multiple leukemias, lymphomas and solid tumors, as well as inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, atopic dermatitis, inflammatory bowel disease and others.
“The important role of the STAT family in disease signaling is well-characterized, but these proteins have remained elusive as targets for drug discovery until now. We believe Recludix’s platform will be a key differentiating factor leading to the successful development of treatments for these important targets,” said Nancy Whiting, Pharm.D., chief executive officer of Recludix. “Our lead programs are targeting STAT3 and STAT6 through the novel mechanism of inhibition of their SH2 domains. With our proprietary technology, we believe we will be uniquely able to selectively and potently inhibit these important targets, resulting in more effective and better tolerated agents compared to the existing, less selective JAK/STAT targeting approaches.”
Dr. Whiting is the newly appointed chief executive officer of Recludix and has an established track record in all phases of drug development. She is a 15-year veteran of Seagen, formerly Seattle Genetics. Most recently, Dr. Whiting was the executive vice president of corporate strategy. She previously served as executive vice president of late-stage development, senior vice president of clinical development and medical affairs, and head of experimental medicine. During her tenure at Seagen, Dr. Whiting played a central role in the development of ADCETRIS® for lymphoma, PADCEV® for bladder cancer, TUKYSA® for breast cancer, TIVDAK® for cervical cancer, and several other pipeline compounds. She completed her undergraduate training at the University of British Columbia and received her Pharm.D. from the University of Washington. Dr. Whiting serves on the Board of Directors of Caribou Biosciences.
Nicholas Lydon, Ph.D., FRS, is Recludix’s co-founder and chairman of the board of directors. Dr. Lydon is also a scientific founder of Blueprint Medicines and has served as a member of their board of directors since April 2011. Dr. Lydon has also served as a scientific advisor and member of the board of AnaptysBio (which he co-founded) and Ambit Biosciences. Dr. Lydon has extensive leadership experience in the discovery and development of small molecule therapies and protein kinase inhibitors, including as the vice president of small molecule drug discovery at Amgen, a founder of Kinetix Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Amgen), and at Ciba-Geigy AG (now Novartis AG). Dr. Lydon played a pivotal role in the discovery and development of GLEEVEC® and was awarded the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award, the Kettering Price from the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation and the Japan Prize for his role in its development. Dr. Lydon received a B.S. in biochemistry and zoology from the University of Leeds, England, and received a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Medical Sciences Institute, University of Dundee, Scotland.
Additional members of Recludix’s senior leadership team include:
- Patrick Zarrinkar, Ph.D., co-founder of Recludix, president and chief scientific officer, who has over 20 years of experience in drug discovery and technology development. His experience includes co-leading the development of the KINOMEscan® kinase profiling platform, as well as part of Pfizer’s drug discovery and as part of the founding scientific team at Blueprint Medicines.
- Daniel Treiber, Ph.D., co-founder of Recludix and vice president of discovery technology, has invented and developed multiple disruptive and commercially successful platforms addressing unmet needs in the areas of protein family-wide screening and profiling (KINOMEscan®, BROMOscan®, BCL2scan™, E3scan™), cellular target engagement (InCELL Pulse™), and safety pharmacology (SAFETYscan47™).
- Brian Hodous, Ph.D., co-founder of Recludix and vice president of chemistry, has nearly 20 years of experience in drug discovery and preclinical development, including at Blueprint Medicines. Over his career, he contributed to the discovery of multiple clinical molecules and one approved drug, including: AYVAKIT (avapritinib) for PDGFRa mutant GIST and advanced systemic mastocytosis; fisogatinib for hepatocellular carcinoma; IPN60130 for fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, evobrutinib for multiple sclerosis, and AMG-900 for cancer.
- Thomas W. Davis, Ph.D., vice president of biology, has over 20 years of experience in small molecule drug development, primarily in oncology and inflammation. He has worked on the COX2-selective inhibitor celecoxib, kinase inhibitor sunitinib, PTC299 (for various liquid cancers), PTC596 (for pediatric brain cancer), and the mutant p53 reactivator PMV586 (for patients harboring the Y220C p53 mutation).
- Catherine Bovenizer, CPA, is the vice president of finance and business operations. She was previously the CFO of Renova Therapeutics and held finance leadership roles at Apricus Biosciences and Ambit Bioscience through its initial public offering and sale to Daiichi Sankyo.
Recludix is a leader in developing platform approaches to discover potent and selective inhibitors of challenging protein targets by integrating custom generated DNA-encoded libraries, massively parallel determination of structure activity relationships, and a proprietary screening tool to ensure selectivity. Recludix is employing this approach first in the development of SH2 domain inhibitors. Its most advanced programs are focused on Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription (STAT) proteins — STAT3 and STAT6 — where abnormal activation is found in numerous cancer types, such as multiple leukemias and lymphomas, as well as inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, atopic dermatitis inflammatory bowel disease, and others. The company is advancing another program with an undisclosed non-STAT SH2 domain target that also plays a significant role in both cancer and autoimmune diseases. For more information, please visit the company’s website at https://recludixpharma.com.