Black Diamond Therapeutics Appoints Thomas Leggett as Chief Financial Officer
Biotech and pharma industry veteran brings nearly two decades of multi-disciplinary financial experience and proven track record to advance company’s lead programs and MAP platform
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., September 12, 2019 – Black Diamond Therapeutics, Inc., a precision oncology medicine company pioneering the discovery and development of small molecule, tumor-agnostic therapies, today announced the appointment of Thomas (Tommy) Leggett as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). In this role, he will oversee all Black Diamond’s financial operations including financial strategy, investor relations, accounting operations, financial planning and analysis, tax, and treasury.
David M. Epstein, Ph.D., President and CEO commented, “We are fortunate to have an executive with Tommy’s financial acumen and pedigree join our management team at an exciting time for the company. His depth and breadth of experience in raising strategic capital, overseeing financial operations, and leading commercial planning complements the capabilities of our existing team and positions us well as we fulfill our mission to discover and develop next-wave precision medicines for people with cancer.”
Tommy Leggett brings nearly two decades of multi-disciplinary experience leading, obtaining financing for, and advising life science companies. He joins Black Diamond from Axcella Health, where he was CFO. During his tenure, Tommy was influential in raising $156 million across three financings, including an initial public offering on the Nasdaq Global Market in May 2019 that provided Axcella with more than two years of runway and funded the clinical development of its four lead programs, as well as additional clinical and regulatory milestones.
“This is a thrilling time to be at Black Diamond as it advances its lead program, BDTX-189, toward the clinic, and I am honored to join this world-class team at this pivotal moment. I’m extremely excited by the promise of our pipeline and powerful MAP platform as we have a truly unique opportunity to radically shift the way we treat cancers and develop potential small molecule therapies for patients for whom there are currently no targeted treatment options,” said Mr. Leggett.
Before joining Axcella, Tommy was Treasurer and Head of Business Development Finance at Purdue Pharma, L.P. Previously, he was an investment banker for the healthcare groups at J.P. Morgan Securities, Lazard Frères & Company, and UBS Securities, respectively. During this time, Tommy raised more than $6 billion in equity and $26 billion in debt while advising on more than $32 billion in mergers and acquisitions transactions for healthcare clients.
Tommy holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and earned his Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Columbia University.
Black Diamond’s Mutation-Allostery-Pharmacology (MAP) platform is built on three central pillars – discover, reveal, and target. The Company uses population-level cancer genetic data obtained from all tumor types to identify potential families of mutations that occur within individual oncogenes and rank the mutations for potential oncogenicity. Black Diamond then uses its MAP platform to understand the mechanism for oncogenic activation and its team of experienced medicinal chemists then develops mutation spectrum-selective drugs for the identified targets. Black Diamond’s MAP platform has generated a pipeline of orally available, potent and selective small molecule kinase inhibitors that target a range of driver mutations in cancer.
BDTX-189 is designed to be an orally available, irreversible small molecule inhibitor that targets undrugged oncogenic driver mutations of the ErbB kinases in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). These include extracellular domain allosteric mutations of HER2, as well as EGFR and HER2 domain exon 20 insertions, and additional activating oncogenic drivers of ErbB. The ErbB receptors are a group of receptor tyrosine kinases involved in key cellular functions, including cell growth and survival. Currently, there are no medicines approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to target all of these oncogenic mutations with a single therapy. Black Diamond Therapeutics is completing investigational new drug (IND)-enabling activities for BDTX-189 and plans to start a combined Phase 1/2 clinical trial in the first half of 2020.
About Black Diamond
Black Diamond Therapeutics is a precision oncology medicine company pioneering the discovery of small molecule, tumor-agnostic therapies. Black Diamond targets undrugged mutations in patients with genetically defined cancers. Black Diamond is built upon a deep understanding of cancer genetics, protein structure and function, and medicinal chemistry. The Company’s proprietary technology platform, Mutation-Allostery-Pharmacology, or MAP, platform, is designed to allow Black Diamond to analyze population-level genetic sequencing data to identify oncogenic mutations that promote cancer across tumor types, group these mutations into families, and develop a single small molecule therapy in a tumor-agnostic manner that targets a specific family of mutations. Black Diamond was founded by David M. Epstein, Ph.D., and Elizabeth Buck, Ph.D., and, beginning in 2017 together with Versant Ventures, began building its MAP platform and chemistry discovery engine. For more information please visit www.bdtherapeutics.com.
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