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Circle Pharma Appoints William G. Kaelin Jr. MD as Chair of Its Scientific Advisory Board

Read original article at Business Wire

May 27, 2020 09:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Circle Pharma, Inc., a macrocycle drug discovery and development company focused on intractable cancer targets, has appointed William G. Kaelin Jr. MD as Chair of its Scientific Advisory Board and Science Advisor to its Board of Directors.

Dr. Kaelin is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and a professor of medicine at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School. He was awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine along with Sir Peter Ratcliffe and Prof. Greg Semenza for discovering how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability. This work led to an understanding of the role of Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF) proteins in von Hippel-Lindau disease (VHL) and other cancers. Dr. Kaelin has been widely recognized for his contributions to cancer biology, and has received awards including the Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, the Wiley Prize in Biomedical Sciences from Rockefeller University and the Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Dr. Kaelin’s research focuses on the function of tumor suppressor proteins, such as pRb, pVHL and p53, with a goal of uncovering new approaches to treating cancer. Discoveries in Dr. Kaelin’s laboratory on the interactions between proteins in the Rb pathway and cyclins underlie Circle’s work to develop macrocycles that modulate cyclin function as cancer therapeutics.

“We are very fortunate to have Dr. Kaelin as our lead science advisor. His deep expertise in cancer biology and world-renowned reputation for scientific excellence will be of great value to Circle as we pursue our goals to develop new cancer therapeutics,” said David J. Earp, J.D., Ph.D., Circle’s President and CEO.

About Circle Pharma, Inc.
Circle is developing a new paradigm for macrocycle drug discovery based on rational design and synthetic chemistry. Circle’s technology facilitates the design and synthesis of intrinsically cell-permeable macrocycles that can address both intra- and extra-cellular therapeutic targets, and can be delivered by oral administration. Circle’s macrocycle development platform is applicable across a wide range of serious diseases; the company is initially focusing its development efforts on intracellular protein-protein interactions that are key drivers in cancer. Its lead program targets cyclins A and E, which are part of the regulatory machinery that controls the progression of cells through the cell growth and division cycle. Inhibiting cyclins A and E has been shown to be synthetically lethal in cancers that carry mutations causing dysregulation of the Rb pathway.

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David Earp