CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–DEM BioPharma, Inc.an oncology company developing therapies that target signals from cancer cells and macrophages to eliminate tumors has established its C-suite and scientific leadership teams with the appointment of Nenad Grmusa as managing director and Christophe Queva, Ph.D., as Chief Scientific Officer. At the same time, the company announced the previous appointment of Loise Francisco-Anderson, Ph.D., as SVP and Head of Biology. Mr Grmusa, Dr. Queva and Dr. Francisco-Anderson joins veteran industry leader John McCabe, who serves as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer.
Mr. Grmusa succeeds David Donabedian, Ph.D., co-founder and chief executive officer of DEM Bio’s startup and operating partner of the Longwood Fund, who will continue to serve as an advisor to the company.
“We welcome Mr. Grmusa, Dr. Queva and Dr. Francisco-Anderson, whose combined expertise in immuno-oncology, drug discovery and development, business development and R&D portfolio management will be critical to our team as we advance DEM Bio.” said Jan Skvarka, Ph.D., CEO of DEM Bio. “The addition of these three exceptional leaders underscores our recent momentum following our successful launch with a $70 million financing in June 2022 and positions us to build a leading, next-generation immuno-oncology company.”
“I am very excited to join DEM Bio and to work with this world-class team of leaders in the emerging and promising field of innate immune checkpoint inhibitors,” said Mr. Grmusa. “The successful launch of DEM Bio has positioned the company to continue pioneering next-generation therapeutics.”
Mr. Grmusa brings 20 years of industry experience in business development, pharmaceutical portfolio management, R&D finance, and financial planning and analysis. Prior to joining DEM Bio, Mr. Grmusa led the R&D Strategy and External Innovation (RSEI) group at Takeda after assisting the Head of R&D in managing Takeda’s diverse pipeline as Head of the Center for External Innovation (CEI). Previously, Mr. Grmusa supported Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in various financial planning and analysis roles of increasing responsibility and spent 3 years with Boston Biomedical Consultants. Mr. Grmusa holds an MA in International Economics and Finance from Brandeis University and a BS in Finance from West Virginia University.
“The identification of unexplored “Don’t Eat Me” (DEM) signals on cancer cells and macrophages using DEM Bio’s proprietary CHoMP™ (Co-culture with Human Myeloid Phagocytes) platform has the potential to facilitate the elimination of cancer cells through increased phagocytosis to improve.” said Dr. Queva. “I am honored to join this team of innovators and work on the development of immunotherapeutics that target novel checkpoints of the innate immune system.”
dr Quéva comes to DEM Bio with nearly 20 years of experience building successful immuno-oncology portfolios from target identification through clinical development to regulatory approval. Before joining DEM Bio, Dr. Quéva serves as Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President, Research at Oncorus, Inc. Previously, Dr. Quéva led the development of an innovative immuno-oncology portfolio of small molecule and antibody programs as Chief Scientific Officer at iTeos Therapeutics and has held successive senior positions at AstraZeneca, Amgen and Gilead Sciences. dr Queva holds a Ph.D. in Life and Health Sciences from the University of Lille, France, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.
dr Francisco-Anderson is a seasoned executive with proven experience in the biotech industry. She brings 17 years of experience in immuno-oncology, drug development, oncology and immunology with a particular focus on immune checkpoint inhibition and dendritic cell biology to the DEM Bio team. Before joining DEM Bio, Dr. Francisco-Anderson has held several positions of increasing responsibility at Evelo Biosciences, first as Senior Director of Immuno-oncology Research and later as VP of Discovery, Innovation and Oncology. Previously Dr. Francisco-Anderson is a Scientific Group Leader and Senior Principal Investigator, Immunology at GSK. dr Francisco-Anderson received her Ph.D. in Immunology from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and completed her postdoctoral studies at Harvard Medical School in the laboratory of Dr. Arlene Sharpe.
“On behalf of the entire board, I would like to thank David for his significant contributions as co-founder and start-up CEO of DEM Bio,” he said Christoph Westphal, MD, Ph.D., founding CEO of DEM Bio and founding partner of Longwood Fund. “Under David’s leadership, the company has raised $70 million and attracted a world-class consortium of investors, identified incubator laboratory space, and built the science and executive team. I look forward to working with David on our next new venture in Longwood.”
About DEM BioPharma Inc.
DEM Bio is pioneering the next generation of immunotherapeutics that unleash the innate immune system to eliminate tumors by targeting “don’t eat me” (DEM) and “eat me” (EM) signals on cancer cells, macrophages and other myeloid effector cells. Founded by the Longwood Fund, the company’s approach builds on the pioneering functional genomics research and discoveries in macrophage biology of its scientific co-founders, Drs. Jonathan Weissman and Kipp Weiskopf of the Whitehead Institute and Dr. Michael Bassik from Stanford University. The proprietary CHoMP™ (Co-culture with Human Myeloid Phagocytes) platform uses CRISPR-based functional genomic screens in human cancer cells and/or primary macrophages to discover and validate novel DEM and EM signals that support cancer cell elimination could profoundly induce and improve phagocytosis through an increase. For more information, visit: https://dembiopharma.com/.