Viracta Announces the Appointment of Mark A. McCamish, MD, PhD as Strategic Advisor
SAN DIEGO, July 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Viracta Therapeutics, Inc. (the "Company"), a precision oncology company targeting virus-associated malignancies, today announced that Mark A. McCamish, MD, PhD, has joined Viracta as a Strategic Advisor to the Company. Dr. McCamish will provide strategic, financial and operational guidance to the Viracta leadership team as the Company advances its lead program for the treatment of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated lymphoma toward registration and expands its precision oncology approach into EBV-associated solid tumors.
"The science and team at Viracta are impressive, and the emerging data are quite encouraging. The team is building momentum with significant advancements and key milestones ahead that position us for sustained near- and long-term growth," said Dr. McCamish. "I look forward to collaborating with the management team and contributing to Viracta's strategic evolution to maximize the positive impact on patients."
Ivor Royston, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Viracta added, "Dr. McCamish is an internationally recognized leader in drug development with a proven record of success growing biotechnology companies and delivering important medicines to the market and patients. We look forward to his engagement, insights and guidance, as the strategic credibility he brings to Viracta is indisputable. It is our pleasure to welcome Dr. McCamish to the Viracta team."
Dr. McCamish has significant leadership in the life science industry, most recently serving as President and Chief Executive Officer of Forty Seven Inc., which he led through IPO and multiple financings until the acquisition by Gilead for approximately $4.9 Billion. Dr. McCamish has also served as the Global Head of Biopharmaceutical Development of Novartis' Sandoz division, receiving Novartis's Chairman award each year from 2010-2015. Prior to his time at Novartis, Dr. McCamish was a Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at several companies including PDL BioPharma, Perlegen Sciences, and Facet Labs, which was acquired by Abbott Laboratories due in part to Dr. McCamish's work advancing multiple myeloma and multiple sclerosis therapies. Additionally, Dr. McCamish has also held senior research and development roles at Amgen Inc. and Abbott Laboratories.
Dr. McCamish received his PhD in Human Nutrition from Penn State University and his MD from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He completed his residency and fellowship training at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis). Dr. McCamish has been named one of the top 50 global antibody industry influencers by the European Antibody Congress and has held professorships at UC Davis and The Ohio State University.
Nanatinostat (VRx-3996) is an orally available epigenetic drug being developed by Viracta. Nanatinostat is a selective inhibitor of specific isoforms of Class I histone deacetylases (HDACs), which is key to inducing latent viral genes in EBV-associated malignancies. The nanatinostat and valganciclovir combination product is being investigated in EBV-associated lymphomas in an ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial [NCT03397706].
Viracta has received Fast Track designation from the FDA for the nanatinostat and valganciclovir combination in relapsed/refractory EBV-positive lymphomas, as well as orphan drug designations for the treatment of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder, plasmablastic lymphoma and T-cell lymphomas.
About EBV-Associated Cancers
Approximately 95% of the world's adult population is infected with EBV. Infections are commonly asymptomatic. Following infection, the virus remains latent in a small subset of lymphatic and epithelial cells for the duration of the patient's life. Under certain circumstances, such cells may undergo malignant transformation and become aggressive lymphomas and carcinomas. In addition to lymphomas, EBV is associated with a variety of solid tumors, including nasopharyngeal and gastric carcinomas.
About Viracta Therapeutics, Inc.
Viracta is a precision oncology company targeting virus-associated malignancies. The Company's proprietary investigational drug, nanatinostat, is currently being evaluated in combination with the antiviral agent valganciclovir as an oral combination therapy in a Phase 2 clinical trial for EBV-positive lymphomas. Viracta is pursuing application of this kick and kill approach in other EBV-associated malignancies, such as nasopharyngeal carcinoma and gastric carcinoma, and other viral-related cancers.
For additional information please visit www.viracta.com.
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