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Shasqi Appoints Travis Biechele, Ph.D. as VP of Research to Lead Pipeline Development

March 11, 2024

San Francisco, CA March 11th, 2024 (PR NEWSWIRE)– Shasqi, Inc. (“Shasqi”) a biotech company whose mission is to make cancer drugs more effective with click chemistry, today announced that it has appointed Travis Biechele, Ph.D. as VP of Research. Biechele has over two decades of experience in oncology research, with a focus on developing antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), with both Seagen (now Pfizer) and Merck.

I am thrilled that Travis has joined the Shasqi team,” said Shasqi’s Founder & Chief Executive Officer José M. Mejía Oneto, MD, Ph.D. “His extensive experience in tumor-targeted drug activation and leadership in the ADC space will help us advance a pipeline of assets that have the potential to be truly groundbreaking.

Shasqi’s pipeline is composed of a range of tumor-targeted activators against validated antigen targets that are combined with protodrugs based on a range of validated payloads.

Shasqi has developed a novel approach to activating drugs at the tumor. First, an antigen targeting activator is infused, which binds to the tumor. Then, an inert version of a cancer therapeutic, called a protodrug, is infused. The protodrug finds the activator at the tumor and the active drug is released via a click chemistry reaction. Separation of payload from tumor targeting confers several advantages over ADCs including selective activation at the tumor and the ability to optimize the ratio of each component throughout development, including in the clinic. Together, this allows the therapeutic index of cancer drugs to be maximized.

“Having spent the early part of my career pioneering ADC technology, I am eager to play a pivotal role in the development of the next-generation of tumor-targeted drug activation,” shared Biechele. “Shasqi’s technology is highly differentiated and has the potential to greatly improve the therapeutic index of cancer drugs. While sharing some of the fundamental principles, Shasqi's technology was thoughtfully designed to solve many of the shortcomings of ADCs. I am looking forward to bringing my years of experience in cancer biology and ADCs to help bring the CAPAC technology to the clinic and help patients with unmet need”

Travis Biechele joins Shasqi from Merck, where he was Senior Principal Scientist. Prior to Merck, Biechele spent 10 years at Seagen (now Pfizer), where he played a pivotal role in the development of ADC technology. Biechele holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology from the University of Washington and a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from Southern Oregon University.

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