SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Circle Pharma, a company focused on developing macrocycle therapeutics against targets previously considered to be undruggable, has appointed Stephen Kelsey as an independent member of its Board of Directors. Dr. Kelsey has extensive experience in oncology clinical development. He currently serves as president, head of research and development and chief medical officer at Revolution Medicines (NASDAQ:RVMD), and previously held roles including president of Onkaido Therapeutics, the oncology-focused unit of Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA), senior vice president of new products at Medivation (acquired by Pfizer (NYSE:PFE)), executive vice president and chief medical officer at Geron Corporation (NASDAQ:GERN), vice president of oncology at Genentech (part of the Roche Group) and medical director at Pharmacia / SUGEN (acquired by Pfizer). Dr. Kelsey has had key roles in the development of many oncology therapeutics including Sutent®, Perjeta®, Kadcycla®, Erivedge® and imetelstat.
“I’m delighted to welcome Steve to our Board,” said David J. Earp, JD, PhD, Circle’s president and CEO. “We expect to initiate IND-enabling studies in our lead program, an orally bioavailable cyclin A inhibitor, in 2023, and are building the clinical team that will support this program as it enters clinical development. In parallel, we are progressing our pipeline of other targeted oncology therapeutics. Steve has extensive experience in early oncology clinical development, including building successful development teams, and I look forward to working with him closely as Circle progresses to become a clinical-stage company.”
“Circle’s macrocycle platform offers a new approach to important oncology targets that have proven refractory to other modalities, and I have been impressed by the quality of the pre-clinical work and the broad clinical potential of the company’s lead cyclin A program,” noted Dr. Kelsey. “I’m excited to join Circle’s Board and to help the company bring its promising therapies to cancer patients.”
Dr. Kelsey received his medical degrees from the University of Birmingham in the UK and trained as a hematologic oncologist at Barts and The London Hospital where he was a clinician-scientist focused in leukemias and lymphomas.
About Circle Pharma, Inc.
Circle has developed a platform that combines structure-based rational drug design and advanced synthetic chemistry to develop first-in-class macrocycle therapeutics for challenging targets to address unmet clinical needs. Circle’s technology facilitates the design and synthesis of intrinsically cell-permeable macrocycles that can address both intra- and extra-cellular therapeutic targets, and can be delivered by multiple routes, including oral administration. Circle’s macrocycle drug discovery & development platform is applicable across a wide range of serious diseases; the company is initially focusing its development efforts on intracellular protein-protein interactions that are key drivers in cancer. Its pipeline includes programs targeting cyclin proteins, including cyclins A, E and D, which are part of the regulatory machinery that controls progression of cells through the cell cycle. Inhibition of cyclin A was originally reported to be synthetic lethal to cancer cells that carry mutations causing dysregulation of the Rb pathway – such mutations are frequently found in small cell lung cancer. Circle has demonstrated that its cyclin A inhibitor program has the potential to cause significant tumor regression in multiple additional solid and hematologic cancers.