Cambridge, UK: STORM Therapeutics Ltd. (STORM), the biotechnology company discovering and developing novel small molecule therapies targeting RNA modification enzymes for oncology and other diseases, today announced the appointment of Dr. Gerald (Jerry) McMahon as President and Chief Executive Officer and Board Director.
Dr. McMahon brings with him more than 30 years of biotechnology leadership, scientific innovation, creative deal-making, and financing experience with a broad disease-area expertise and a specialty in oncology therapeutics. Dr. McMahon has held scientific, pharmaceutical and venture capital positions and has been the CEO or President of multiple biotechnology companies leading novel therapeutic programs from discovery and development to drug approvals for internal and in-licensed products.
Commenting on the appointment, Tim Edwards, Chairman of STORM Therapeutics, said: “The Board is very pleased to welcome Jerry as CEO at a pivotal time of the Company’s growth and advancement in the field of RNA modifying enzymes (RME). As we look to accelerate progress in our pipeline and our discovery platform, and move our first candidate into clinical development, Jerry’s strong track record and wealth of expertise in clinical and public market experience in the US will further drive the evolution of STORM.”
Dr. Jerry McMahon added: “STORM is well positioned to fulfil its ambition of becoming the global leader in the field of RME. STORM’s first-in-class clinical candidate STC-15, an orally-bioavailable, highly selective METTL3 inhibitor, is on schedule to start initial clinical studies in solid tumors in 2022 and will be the first first-ever RME inhibitor molecule to enter clinical development. I look forward to guiding STORM through future growth, capitalizing on our world leading RME drug discovery experience, advancing programs into the clinic, and building the pipeline which was recently validated with a significant partner in oncology.”
Dr. McMahon was President and CEO of NASDAQ listed Harpoon Therapeutics, building the Company from early stage through to IPO, follow-on financings, and development collaborations. Prior to that he held numerous roles including President and CEO of Kolltan Pharmaceuticals which was acquired by Celldex, Senior VP Oncology at Medimmune (AstraZeneca), and President at SUGEN (Pharmacia and Pfizer), where he was instrumental in the invention and full development of several ground-breaking protein kinase inhibitors including sunitinib (Sutent®) marketed by Pfizer. Dr. McMahon has also held academic appointments at the Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center at Yale University, Tufts University School of Medicine, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his BS in biology and PhD in the field of biochemistry and genetics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has authored over 100 scientific and medical publications and is an inventor on over 60 US patents.
About STORM Therapeutics
STORM Therapeutics (STORM) is a biotechnology company creating novel therapies that inhibit RNA modifying enzymes (RME) for use in oncology and other diseases. There are more than 150 RNA modifications reported and approximately 300 RNA modifying enzymes which represent novel therapeutic targets.
STORM has leveraged its first-mover advantage to establish a novel drug discovery and RNA analytics platform leading to the identification of novel targets and a proprietary pipeline of first in class small-molecule drug candidates for potential use in oncology, inflammation, viral infections and CNS diseases.
The pipeline is exemplified by STORM’s METTL3 inhibitor (STC-15) for which an IND has been filed with the FDA to support initiation of a Phase 1 clinical trial in cancer patients in 2022. STC-15 represents the first RNA modifying enzyme inhibitor to enter clinical evaluation in humans. Additional candidates are planned for advancement into IND-track activities in 2023.
STORM investors include M Ventures (the corporate venture capital arm of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany), Pfizer Ventures, Taiho Ventures, Cambridge Innovation Capital, Seroba Life Sciences, IP Group, Fast Track Initiative (FTI) and the University of Tokyo Innovation Platform.
STORM’s lead program STC-15 is a first-in-class clinical candidate and will be the first inhibitor of RNA modification to enter clinical development in humans. STC-15 is an oral small molecule that inhibits METTL3 which is an RNA methyltransferase implicated in oncology and other diseases. Certain RNA methyltransferase are important regulators of RNA sensing and innate immune activation and represent novel immune-regulatory targets.
STC-15 has also been shown to inhibit tumor growth through mechanisms involving anti-cancer immune responses such as changes in interferon signaling and synergy with T cell checkpoint blockade. In addition, STC-15 has shown efficacy in leukemia models via mechanisms including inhibition of leukemia stem cell function.
STC-15 is planned for initial clinical study in cancer patients with solid tumors in 2022.