South San Francisco CA Headquarters:
Quanta Therapeutics Inc.
Two Tower Place, 14th Floor
South San Francisco, CA 94080
Radnor PA Site:
Quanta Therapeutics Inc.
250 King of Prussia Road
Radnor, PA 19087
December 13, 2022
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – December 13, 2022 – Quanta Therapeutics, a privately-held biopharmaceutical company pioneering complex-directed therapies to treat RAS-driven cancer types, today announced the appointment of Dr. Leonardo Faoro as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Faoro brings more than 13 years of global clinical and regulatory experience advancing oncology medicines from early development stages through to approval, most recently serving as Senior Vice President and Early Clinical Development Lead at Exelixis, where he provided strategic leadership to expand the company's early clinical oncology pipeline and advance development candidates into the clinic.
First-generation KRAS inhibitors have provided clinical benefit in certain tumor types, yet this effect is limited to a small subset of cancer patients, and resistance mechanisms can occur rapidly. Leveraging a differentiated mechanism of action that targets multiple conformations of RAS, Quanta Therapeutics' unique approach has the potential to target the majority of KRAS mutations while evading known mechanisms of resistance.
“We have made tremendous progress in advancing our novel RAS-targeted discovery programs with a unique focus on disrupting the active RAS signaling complex,” said Perry Nisen, MD, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Quanta Therapeutics. “As we enter the next stage of growth for Quanta and advance our programs toward the clinic, Dr. Faoro’s extensive experience in leading novel oncology development programs through all stages of development and across treatment modalities will be invaluable to maximize the potential of our proprietary platform.”
“The team at Quanta, including its founders and advisors, has significant expertise in oncology drug discovery and development, particularly in RAS-driven drug discovery,” said Dr. Faoro. “I look forward to working with the team to translate Quanta’s differentiated platform into cancer treatments that can potentially solve the limitations of first-generation KRAS inhibitors and deliver better treatment options to patients suffering from cancer.”
Prior to joining Quanta, Dr. Faoro served as Senior Vice President and early clinical development lead at Exelixis, a commercial oncology-focused biotechnology company, where he was responsible for providing strategic leadership to expand the company’s early clinical pipeline and advancing its development candidates into the clinic. In his prior role as vice president of clinical development (late-stage) at Exelixis, Dr. Faoro led the development of the company’s GI/Thyroid franchise for Cabometyx (cabozantinib), including pivotal and post-marketing studies across oncology indications and regulatory approval filings, and achieving FDA approval of cabozantinib (CABOMETYX ®) in metastatic differentiated thyroid cancer under Breakthrough Designation. Prior to Exelixis, Dr. Faoro served as Vice President of clinical development at OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, an oncology-focused biotechnology company, where he led the early clinical development of the company’s pipeline, including two first-in-human studies, through to its reverse merger with Mereo BioPharma. Dr. Faoro began his clinical development career in positions of increasing responsibility at Genentech where he had global clinical development responsibility for Avastin, including in lung, prostate, breast and renal cell cancers. Dr. Faoro earned a medical doctorate from the Universidade Federal do Parana in Brazil. He trained in internal medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and completed a medical oncology fellowship at the University of Chicago. Additionally, Dr. Faoro holds a Master's in Business Administration from Columbia University and the University of California Berkeley.
RAS is a family of proteins involved in cell signaling and regulation that, when mutated, drive tumor growth. RAS is the most frequently mutated oncogene in cancer, with KRAS mutations occurring in approximately one-quarter of all human cancers. KRAS mutations, especially G12D, G12V and G12C, are highly prevalent in pancreatic, lung and colorectal cancers. First-generation KRAS inhibitors have demonstrated clinical benefit, but their impact is limited to a subset of patients who have a single type of KRAS mutation (G12C), and these tumors can develop resistance to treatment. Quanta Therapeutics aims to advance two differentiated, next-generation RAS programs that address the resistance paradigms of targeted therapy in oncology.
Quanta Therapeutics is a private biopharmaceutical company focused on the most prevalent and elusive target in oncology—RAS. Our vision is to develop first-in-class small-molecule cancer medicines by selectively targeting protein-protein interactions that are key to oncogenic RAS activity. Driving Quanta's success is our unique high-throughput platform that applies Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) optical technology to identify novel allosteric modulators of membrane-bound protein complexes. The Quanta team has extensive drug development expertise and substantial research experience in the RAS space. By applying innovative medicinal chemistry and its unique protein conformation detection technology, Quanta aims to advance two differentiated, next-generation RAS programs that address the resistance paradigms of targeted therapy in oncology.