Viracta Announces Scientific Advisory Board

San Diego, CA, September 25, 2018 -- Viracta Therapeutics, Inc. , a clinical-stage drug development company advancing innovative approaches to treat viral-associated cancers and other serious diseases, announced the formation of its inaugural Scientific Advisory Board. The SAB will serve as a strategic resource as Viracta advances therapies based on its kick & kill platform and applies its proprietary epigenetic drug, tractinostat, to enhance cancer immunotherapy.

“We are thrilled with the addition of these experts to our team of advisors,” said Ivor Royston, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Viracta. “Their background and experience will be invaluable as we advance our clinical programs to address Epstein- Barr Virus- and other virus-associated malignancies. This group will also provide valuable perspective and insights as we explore opportunities to apply tractinostat in combination with a range of immunotherapy modalities to enhance their efficacy, including checkpoint inhibitor, CAR-T, CTL and TCR immunotherapies.”

The inaugural members of Viracta’s SAB include: • Douglas V. Faller, M.D., Ph.D., SAB Chairman; scientific founder for Viracta’s therapeutic approach; former Director Boston University School of Medicine’s Cancer Center and Vice Chairman of the Division of Medicine

  • Robert Baiocchi, M.D., Ph.D., Professor and Head of the Lymphoma Program at Ohio State University, and member of Blood and Marrow Transplant Clinical Trials Network
  • Corey Casper, M.D., M.P.H., Chief Medical Officer at Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI), and Co-Director of University of Washington/Fred Hutch Center for AIDS Research
  • Charles Cobbs, M.D., Director of the Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment in Seattle; pioneered the concept of the potential role of cytomegalovirus in cancer pathogenesis and therapy
  • Carl June, M.D., Richard W. Vague Professor in Immunotherapy, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine; Director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies; Director of Translational Research, Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Ronald Levy, M.D., Professor and Director of the Lymphoma Program at Stanford University School of Medicine; Associate Director of Translational Science for the Stanford Cancer Institute; former Chief of the Stanford Division of Medical Oncology; member of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences
  • Pierluigi Porcu, M.D., Director of the Hematologic Malignancies and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Division in the Department of Medical Oncology for Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University • Hao Shen, Ph.D., Professor of Microbiology at Penn Institute for Immunology at University of Pennsylvania bringing expertise in viral models of immune responses
  • Lawrence Young, Ph.D., Vice President and Director of the Warwick Cancer Research Centre at University of Warwick, UK, distinguished by work in the roles of the Epstein-Barr virus in nasopharyngeal carcinoma and other cancers; Fellow of the UK Academy of Medical Sciences

“The launch of Viracta’s SAB underscores our commitment to advance development of our therapeutic approach and applications of tractinostat to enhance antiviral and immunotherapies,” said Marshelle Smith Warren, M.D., VP of R&D and Chief Medical Officer at Viracta. “This group brings leading expertise on the interactions between viruses, tumors, the epigenome and immune response to guide our drug development efforts and rational expansion for applications of Viracta’s treatment platform.”

About Viracta

Viracta is a clinical-stage drug development company committed to advancing new medicines based on its unique kick & kill therapeutic approach to benefit patients with viral-associated cancers and other serious diseases.

For press or investor inquiries regarding Viracta, please call (858) 400-8470, or email For additional information see  

Back to news