HOX Therapeutics appoints Karl Keegan as Chief Executive Officer
Developing Targeted Therapies With Potential Applicability Across Many Cancer Types
Guildford, UK – 13 November 2018: HOX Therapeutics, the private biotechnology company developing first-in-class, highly targeted cancer therapies based on HOX genes, announces the appointment of Dr Karl Keegan as Chief Executive Officer.
The HOX genes offer a novel therapeutic target with potential applicability across many cancer types. The Company’s scientific approach is based on the over expression and unique role of developmental HOX genes in tumour biology and pathogenesis. HOX Therapeutics has developed proprietary technology that disrupts specific or targeted HOX to co-factor binding making the previously intractable HOX biology druggable.
Dr Karl Keegan has over 25 years’ experience in the biotech/pharma sector. Following his MPhil/PhD degrees at Cambridge, he did postdoctoral work at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas before moving to industry. He worked in research and strategic product development at SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals before moving to the City as a top ranked investment analyst. From 2009, he has held key executive positions including CFO/corporate development roles at Pharming Group NV, Vectura Group Plc and Shield Therapeutics Plc. He has significant experience in financing companies, business development and corporate M&A.
HOX Therapeutics was founded by world leading experts in HOX gene family biology and clinical oncology, Professor Hardev Pandha, Head of Oncology, University of Surrey and Professor Richard Morgan, Institute of Cancer Therapeutics, Bradford, UK. The role of HOX genes in early embryogenesis has been characterised over at least a hundred years but has hitherto been undruggable. Academic and industry interest in HOX as wholly new class of cancer therapies is now rising rapidly.
James Culverwell, Chairman of Hox Therapeutics, said:
“We are very pleased to welcome Karl at this critical stage in the Company’s development. As we are preparing to move into phase I proof-of-concept studies with our lead product, we are expanding the executive leadership team with experts in clinical oncology and operations, regulatory affairs and manufacturing as HOX transitions to be a clinical-stage biotech company.”
Karl Keegan, Chief Executive Officer of Hox Therapeutics, said:
“As the burden of cancer continues to rise globally there is an urgent need for effective therapies for hard to treat cancers associated with particularly poor outcomes. The HOX technology has potential applicability across many cancer types, offering a novel modality to develop therapeutics. We are initially focused on developing innovative therapies for brain cancer and prostate cancer, huge areas of major unmet medical need. I look forward to working with the team to take our lead asset to treat brain cancer into clinical development in 2019.”
Brain tumours are one of the rarest cancers and account for 3% of the overall cancer occurrences in the UK. Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and malignant sub-type of brain tumour. There are few clinically meaningful treatment options for patients with these aggressive cancers. The Glioma market in the US, EU5 and Japan is c. $700m today with growth to > $3bn by 2024 (source, GlobalData).
For more information, please contact:
Karl Keegan, CEO
Optimum Strategic Communications
Mary Clark, Hollie Vile
Tel: +44 203 950 9144
HOX Therapeutics is developing innovative, first-in-class and highly targeted cancer therapies. Its scientific approach is based on the over expression and unique role of developmental HOX genes in tumour biology and pathogenesis. The HOX genes offer a novel therapeutic target in cancer biology with potential applicability across many cancer types. Largely silenced just after birth, aberrant HOX gene expression has been shown to have pro-oncogenic effects. There is increasing recognition that re-activation of HOX genes is involved in the pathogenesis of common cancers. HOX proteins bind to DNA in combination with a co-factor, Pre-B-cell Leukaemia Homeobox (PBX). The Company was founded by world leading experts in HOX gene family biology and clinical oncology, Professor Hardev Pandha, Head of Oncology, University of Surrey and Professor Richard Morgan, Institute of Cancer Therapeutics, Bradford. The Company is initially focused on novel treatments for brain and prostate cancer. For more information: www.hoxtherapeutics.com