Erasca Expands Leadership Team with Key Appointments

The Company Appoints Jean-Michel Vernier, Ph.D., as Vice President of Chemistry and adds Val Harding, Ph.D., to the Board of Directors

The Company Also Announces its Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, Jonathan E. Lim, M.D., Has Transitioned into the Role of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

 

SAN DIEGO, March 19, 2019 — Erasca, a company dedicated to advancing exceptional scientific approaches to erase cancer, today announced the expansion of its leadership team with the appointment of Jean-Michel Vernier, Ph.D., as vice president of chemistry and addition of Val Harding, Ph.D., to the board of directors. The company also announced its executive chairman and co-founder will take on the role of chief executive officer in addition to his continued role as chairman.

“We recognize that erasing cancer is an ambitious goal and to accomplish a mission this large, we must assemble the right group of individuals who not only have the experience, but are also passionate about the patient,” said Jonathan E. Lim, M.D., Erasca’s Chairman, CEO and co-founder. “Having worked closely with both Jean-Michel and Val previously at Ignyta, we know their respective expertise and track records of success will help us greatly.”

About Dr. Vernier

With more than 25 years of experience in drug discovery and development, Dr. Vernier will oversee Erasca’s chemistry department, leading a talented group of medicinal, computational, development and analytical scientists dedicated to discovering and advancing new medicines to treat patients with cancer.

Dr. Vernier joins Erasca from Ignyta, where he led the chemistry department managing all of Ignyta’s drug substance GMP production, as well as early stage internal drug discovery programs. During his time at Ignyta, Dr. Vernier accumulated strong knowledge in drug discovery, GMP production, IND and NDA filings. Before working at Ignyta, he held positions of increasing responsibilities at several companies, including Ardea Biosciences, Merck Research Laboratories and SIBIA neurosciences. Dr. Vernier has co-authored more than 30 peer-reviewed publications and is an inventor on more than 50 U.S. patents. He earned his Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry from the University Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg, France and was a postdoctoral fellow at Colorado State University.

About Dr. Harding

Bringing a proven track record of more than 30 years of experience in the leadership, design and development of a diverse range of drug products in human health, Dr. Harding will provide her expertise in delivering projects from early research through development, manufacture and registration to commercial launch at both biotech and large pharmaceutical companies.

Dr. Harding is Principal and Advisor at Start Pharma Consulting. Prior to joining the Erasca board of directors, she served as site head for Ignyta, leading the seamless transition of assets and operations, and accelerated simultaneous NDA, MAA and JNDA filings for entrectinib, the lead oncology asset, following the acquisition of Ignyta by Roche. Dr. Harding also served as senior vice president of chemistry, manufacturing and controls for Ignyta, providing strategic direction, tactical oversight and technical expertise in process chemistry, analytical development, formulation development, manufacturing and supply chain management. Prior to Ignyta, she served as vice president of product differentiation, pharmaceutical sciences for worldwide research and development at Pfizer. In this capacity, she developed and implemented cross-functional strategies for the design and progression of differentiated molecules and drug products. Dr. Harding led and implemented the adoption of design thinking, rapid innovation and prototyping best and next practices to address cross-disciplinary scientific and business challenges. She holds a bachelor of pharmacy from the University of London, UK, and received a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical microbiology from the University of Nottingham, UK.

About Erasca

At Erasca, our mission is embedded in our name: To erase cancer in patients by creating a new generation of oncology drugs intended to not just treat, but actually cure. We are advancing multiple programs targeting biological drivers of cancer by leveraging our proprietary artificial intelligence drug discovery platform called OPRA™ (Oncology Pattern Recognition Algorithm). OPRA uses advanced computational tools like machine learning to accelerate drug discovery by elucidating novel tumor biology and innovative strategies that shut down key cancer pathways, both with single agent and combination approaches, thereby accelerating the advancement of drug candidates into the clinic. We also are pursuing additional pipeline expansion opportunities through academic and biopharmaceutical collaborations. Founded in 2018 and headquartered in San Diego, Erasca has raised $64 million in series A financing from investors who share the company’s ambitious goal, including founding investors City Hill Ventures and Cormorant Asset Management, and other Series A investors ARCH Venture Partners and Andreessen Horowitz. For more information, please visit www.erasca.com.

# # #

Contact

Heidi Chokeir, Ph.D.
Managing Director
Canale Communications
619-203-5391
heidi@canalecomm.com

Erasca Announces Series A Extension, Bringing Total Round to $64 Million

Proceeds of financing will fuel corporate development efforts and further buildout of artificial intelligence platform to accelerate drug discovery in bold mission to erase cancer

 

SAN DIEGO, Mar. 5, 2019 — Erasca, a company dedicated to advancing exceptional scientific approaches to erase cancer, has closed an extension to its Series A financing round, bringing the total raised to $64 million. New investors in the Series A round include ARCH Venture Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Reneo Capital, and other private and strategic investors. Proceeds of the financing will support the company’s efforts to potentially in-license new investigational compounds in development, while also accelerating the buildout of Erasca’s artificial intelligence (AI) platform that will drive discovery and development of a new generation of oncology drugs designed to not just treat, but actually cure, cancer.

“Because cancer is such a formidable foe, we are committed to leveraging all available tools to beat it, including supplementing our in-house efforts with both external innovation and in silico approaches like machine learning,” said Jonathan E. Lim, M.D., Erasca’s executive chairman and co-founder. “The support of world-class life science investors, as well as Silicon Valley-based investors with expertise in machine learning, will augment both our corporate development efforts and our rapid development of an AI platform we call OPRA™, which aims to transform how drugs are discovered and developed.”

Erasca has multiple discovery programs underway for undisclosed targets that are biological drivers of cancer.

“I feel confident in Erasca’s potential to make a significant impact on patient outcomes with their corporate development capabilities, cutting-edge drug discovery platform, and highly capable team that Jonathan has assembled,” said Kristina Burow, managing director at ARCH Venture Partners.

Jorge Conde, general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, added, “Technology has transformed virtually every aspect of our lives, but the drug discovery process remains incredibly difficult, expensive and failure-prone. The combination of Erasca’s seasoned team, powered by the application of the latest advances in artificial intelligence, will allow them to develop strategies to attack cancer at its core and dare to pursue the prospect of cures for patients.”

About OPRA™

OPRA (Oncology Pattern Recognition Algorithm) is Erasca’s proprietary artificial intelligence drug discovery platform that leverages advanced computational tools like machine learning to accelerate drug discovery by elucidating novel tumor biology and innovative strategies that shut down key cancer pathways, both with single agent and combination approaches. OPRA analyzes large-scale data sets, generated in-house and by our collaborators, to provide insights that focus Erasca scientists on the most promising strategies to tackle essential oncogenes within the vast landscape of cancer biology.

OPRA’s data-to-medicine approach is flexible and scalable, enabling deployment across multiple programs in parallel. OPRA overlays onto Erasca’s established drug discovery workflows, allowing both scientist- and AI-driven insights to disrupt the discovery process, accelerating the development of therapies with maximal potency to achieve our ultimate aim of erasing cancer.

About Erasca

At Erasca, our mission is embedded in our name: To erase cancer in patients by creating a new generation of oncology drugs intended to not just treat, but actually cure. We are advancing multiple programs targeting biological drivers of cancer and are pursuing additional pipeline expansion opportunities through academic and biopharmaceutical collaborations. Founded in 2018 and headquartered in San Diego, Erasca has raised $64 million in Series A financing from investors who share the company’s ambitious goal, including founding investors City Hill Ventures and Cormorant Asset Management, and other Series A investors ARCH Venture Partners and Andreessen Horowitz. For more information, please visit www.erasca.com.

# # #

Contact

Heidi Chokeir, Ph.D.
Managing Director
Canale Communications
619-203-5391
heidi@canalecomm.com