Head of CMC, Sapience Therapeutics
Developing Peptides that Disrupt Intracellular Oncogenic Protein-Protein Interactions
Sapience Therapeutics is focused on discovering and developing peptide-based therapeutics to previously ‘undruggable’ targets for major unmet medical needs, particularly high mortality cancers. Sapience uses a protein fragment complementation-based discovery platform, which includes additional competitive and negative design components to discover peptides that disrupt pathophysiologic protein-protein interactions. Our initial focus is on the discovery of peptides that disrupt interactions involved with the transcriptional regulation of oncogenic or immune-modulatory pathways. Our lead program, ST101, is a C/EBP antagonist and is anticipated to be in the clinic in 1H 2020.
Gene has over 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry and specializes in the development of peptide therapeutics, including CMC, preclinical, quality and regulatory CMC. Prior to his role with Sapience, Gene cofounded and served as Vice President and Head of Non-Clinical Development and CMC at Merganser Biotech, Inc., developing a Hepcidin mimetic to treat iron storage diseases. Previously, he served as the Head of CMC Development and Vice President at Azelon Pharmaceuticals, Inc., focusing on novel formulations and delivery routes for parathyroid hormone (PTH 1-34) and at Vicuron Pharmaceuticals, IntraBiotics Pharmaceuticals and Trimeris Inc.
Dr. Merutka holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from The University of Iowa and a B.S. in Chemistry from The University of Chicago. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at The Scripps Research Institute.