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KSQ Therapeutics emerges from shadows, with former Genzyme CEO at helm

Published on: 05/10/17

KSQ Therapeutics has been known of for the last two years, when it was originally founded, but now it has made its first public rumblings with an unveiling of its heavyweight body of staff and the announcement of a successful $76 million financing round.

In the position of CEO is David Meeker, an industry veteran who is best-known for his period as CEO of Genzyme before its takeover by Sanofi in 2011 for in excess of $20 billion. David Meeker stepped down from his position at Sanofi Genzyme earlier this year but his ambition to stay in the biotech industry was made apparent as he moved on to take the chairman position at Rhythm, a Boston biotech.

KSQ Therapeutics represents the latest step, after leaving Sanofi-Genzyme, and there is a certain degree of hype regarding his latest venture. He is joined at the company by Frank Stegmeier, as Chief Scientific Officer, and George Golumbeski, as an Executive Advisor and board member. Stegmeier cut his teeth at Novartis, leading its Oncology Target Discovery unit.

This should come in useful as the new company plans of utilising CRISPY technology in drug discovery, Stegmeier’s exact role at Novartis. The company will use its CRISPRomics drug discovery engine to “to elucidate the precise function that each human gene plays across a multitude of disease”.

“The human genome harbours more than 20,000 genes, however for most diseases we have yet to discern which genes represent the best therapeutic targets. For the first time, CRISPRomics allows us to systematically pinpoint the optimal nodal targets of disease with extraordinary precision and speed,” said Dr. Stegmeier. 

“We have a clear goal with CRISPRomics: empower the drug development process to strategically focus on high-confidence, patient-tailored, novel drug candidates,” said Dr. Meeker. “There is a compelling need to improve the quality of drug targets and to identify patients most likely to respond because our industry and our health care systems are challenged by the sheer volume of potential new medicines.  With our proprietary CRISPRomics engine, KSQ is positioned to play a leading role in shortening drug development timelines, increasing the rate at which meaningful medicines can reach patients, and ultimately, improving the sustainability of our health care systems.”

KSQ is hoping to use the $76 million to push on from its current base. It already employs 40 employees and foresees this to expand rapidly from that position.

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