Mission

     
 

Rgenix is revolutionizing the treatment of cancer by generating first-in-class therapeutics.

 
 

Cancer claims the lives of over 500,000 Americans a year. Unfortunately, the majority of current cancer therapies are only designed to reduce the growth of primary tumors - an approach that does not directly treat tumor spread or metastatic progression. As a result, despite an ever-growing arsenal of cancer therapeutics, the annual mortality rates from cancer have remained virtually unchanged over the past half-century. The lack of effective therapeutics against the progression of the majority of cancers results, in turn, from an inadequate understanding of the biological pathways that drive the growth of metastatic disease.

Rgenix is revolutionizing the treatment of cancer by generating first-in-class therapeutics that target key nodes in cancer progression. Utilizing a discovery platform developed by founding scientists Dr. Sohail Tavazoie and Dr. Saeed Tavazoie, Rgenix is leading a breakthrough in the study and treatment of both cancer growth and metastasis. Our proprietary discovery platform is based on innovations in cancer biology that enable the identification and validation of novel post-transcriptionally regulated targets. Rgenix's highly productive approach has yielded multiple novel targets to date across several cancer types for which the company is developing drugs.

Rgenix's target discovery platform and scientific approach has led to the discovery of novel therapeutic targets and first-in-class drugs for several cancer sub-types, including melanoma, colorectal cancer and triple-negative breast cancer, among others. Our mission is to discover and develop safe, effective and commercially viable therapies that will transform the lives of cancer patients by treating metastatic disease.

  • This year over 8 million people will die from cancer globally, most as a result of metastatic disease stemming from ineffective available therapies and drug resistance. We aim to save lives by developing novel drugs with robust and persistent efficacy in cancer patients who lack effective therapies.

    - Dr. Masoud Tavazoie (co-founder) -

Science

     
 

Rgenix has generated first-in-class drugs using an innovative drug discovery platform.

 
 
Rgenix was founded on breakthrough science developed in the laboratory of Dr. Sohail Tavazoie, a clinical oncologist and leading cancer researcher at Rockefeller University and co-founder of Rgenix. Dr. Tavazoie’s laboratory has developed a novel target discovery platform that utilizes microRNAs as molecular probes to reveal biological signaling pathways and relevant drug targets that drive the crucial steps of cancer progression and metastasis. This unique platform relies on an in vivo metastasis model in conjunction with clinical validation of target expression in patient tumors and both in vitro and in vivo biological assays. In addition to generating novel therapeutic targets, our approach inherently generates predictive and prognostic biomarkers of metastatic progression with the potential to serve as companion diagnostics.

Utilizing this proprietary target discovery platform, Rgenix has developed several first-in-class drug candidates (small molecules and monoclonal antibodies) against novel targets for melanoma, colorectal cancer, and triple-negative breast cancer, among other indications.

Publications

Science underlying Rgenix’s technology and pipeline has been published in leading scientific journals.

Pipeline

Rgenix has multiple programs in preclinical development, impacting cancers diagnosed in over 500,000 Americans annually.

 
Rgenix's product pipeline addresses cancers diagnosed in more than 500,000 patients annually in the US. These cancers result in more than 250,000 deaths per year in America, with 5-year survival rates often as low as 10%-20% for patients with metastatic disease. Rgenix has exclusive worldwide rights to each of its programs below.

RGX-104

RGX-104 is an orally bioavailable small molecule LXR-agonist that has demonstrated robust efficacy in inhibiting tumor proliferation in established animal models of various cancer types. This efficacy includes, in some cases, complete tumor regression and the halting of the growth of metastatic disease. In preclinical experiments, RGX-104 has demonstrated remarkable single-agent activity as well as additivity with approved therapies.  Rgenix is currently developing RGX-104 to be a first-in-class agent for melanoma and several other cancer types.

Melanoma
Undisclosed solid tumor 1
Undisclosed solid tumor 2

RGX-202

RGX-202 is a small molecule that inhibits a metabolic protein involved in supplying tumor cells an energy source that allows them to survive. It was discovered using Rgenix’s miRNA-based experimental and bioinformatics platform. Rgenix is initially developing RGX-202 in metastatic colorectal cancer and is evaluating several other gastrointestinal cancers where RGX-202 has also shown pre-clinical efficacy.

Colorectal cancer
Undisclosed solid tumor

RGX-014

RGX-014 is a therapeutic monoclonal antibody that targets the insulin-like growth factor binding protein 2 (IGFBP-2) for the treatment of breast cancer. In pre-clinical studies, RXG-014 significantly inhibits primary tumor growth and metastasis of triple-negative breast cancer, a subtype of breast cancer for which there currently exists no targeted therapy.

Triple negative breast cancer
 
 

Melanoma

 

diagnosed in US/ year

 

Colorectal Cancer

 

diagnosed in US/ year

 

Trip Neg Breast Cancer

 

diagnosed in US/ year

 

Addressable Cancers

 +

diagnosed in US/ year

Team

Rgenix’s management comprises scientists and biotech professionals with deep scientific and operational expertise.

 

Management

Shahram Seyedin-Noor, J.D.

Executive Chairman
co-founder

Shahram Seyedin-Noor, J.D.

Executive Chairman
co-founder

Shahram is the co-founder and Executive Chairman of Rgenix. Prior to Rgenix, Shahram was a founding executive at NextBio, a pioneer in genomics data analysis and personalized medicine. NextBio was acquired by Illumina in 2013 (NASDAQ: ILMN). Shahram helped grow NextBio into a profitable leader in the life sciences with millions in revenues from top-tier customers such as Merck, Celgene, J&J, Regeneron, Pfizer and nearly every other major biotech/pharma company. Shahram is also an angel investor in various innovative healthcare startups, including Avantome (acq. by Illumina), Bina Technologies (acq. by Roche), Counsyl and Omada Health, among others. Earlier in his career, Shahram worked with leading tech/biotech companies as an attorney at Wilson Sonsini and Cooley, and later as an investment banker at Goldman Sachs. Shahram earned a degree in economics from Pomona College, cum laude, and obtained his JD from Harvard University, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard International Law Journal.

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/shahramseyedinnoor

Masoud Tavazoie, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer
co-founder

Masoud Tavazoie, M.D., Ph.D.

Chief Scientific Officer
co-founder

Masoud received his undergraduate degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley, and his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the College of Physicians & Surgeons at Columbia University. He completed his medical internship at the St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Internal Medicine Program of Columbia University. His thesis and post-doctoral research focus was on the role of microRNAs and angiogenesis in regulating stem cells in brain and skin development. He has authored publications in leading journals such as NatureCell Stem CellNature Neuroscience, and Neuron. Among his awards are the NIH Medical Scientist Training Program Fellowship, the Brunie Neural Stem Cell Award, and the Lowenfish Prize for creative research in Dermatology.

David Darst

Chief Operating Officer

David Darst

Chief Operating Officer

David heads finance and operations at Rgenix and joined the company in April 2013.  He was most recently a venture capitalist at OrbiMed Advisors from 2007-2012. During his VC career, David invested in leading biotechnology companies developing medicines for hypertriglyceridemia (Amarin, NASDAQ: AMRN), Behcet’s uveitis (Xoma, NASDAQ: XOMA), chronic migraines (Arteaus, acquired by Eli Lilly), and obesity/diabetes (Vivus, NASDAQ: VVUS). He was also a founding investor in Good Start Genetics, where he is currently a Board Observer, and made additional investments in ForteBio (acquired by Pall Corporation) and Complete Genomics (acquired by BGI-Shenzhen). David was previously a co-founder, Director, and EVP of Potentia Pharmaceuticals, which licensed its lead drug for age-related macular degeneration to Alcon (now Novartis). David is also a co-founder and former Director of Apellis Pharmaceuticals and sits on the Rockefeller University Advisory Council. David received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA, cum laude, from Harvard College.

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/pub/david-darst/0/b3/114

Isabel Kurth, Ph.D.

Vice President
Research

Isabel Kurth, Ph.D.

Vice President
Research

Isabel received her M.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Bern, Switzerland, and her Ph.D. from the Institute of Experimental Cancer Research (ISREC), University of Lausanne, Switzerland. Following a brief postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University, Isabel joined The Rockefeller University to continue her research studies. As a protein biochemist, her interest has focused on various aspects of cellular proliferation in cancer, bacteria and immunology, with emphasis on DNA replication, DNA repair and telomere biology. She has authored numerous book chapters as well as international reviews and her research discoveries were published in leading journals including Nature, the EMBO journal, Journal of Experimental Medicine, and Nature Structural Molecular Biology. Isabel is a recipient of the ISREC Ph.D. fellowship and a postdoctoral fellowship from the Swiss National Research Foundation.

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/pub/isabel-kurth/16/8a3/658

Foster Gonsalves, Ph.D.

Vice President
Preclinical Development

Foster Gonsalves, Ph.D.

Vice President
Preclinical Development

Foster heads preclinical development at Rgenix. Prior to Rgenix, Foster was a management consultant within the life sciences practice of Navigant Consulting/Easton Associates where he served clients in the pharmaceutical, biotech, private equity, and medical device sectors. As a consultant, Foster helped his clients address key issues in product development, valuation analysis, operations, portfolio optimization and life cycle management for both early stage and marketed products. Foster completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the NYU Cancer Institute where he was awarded the Kimmel Foundation Fellowship to study and develop novel modulators of the Wnt signaling pathway. Foster has authored scientific research articles and book chapters and is a named inventor on several patents. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.Sc. with honors in microbiology and biochemistry from St. Xavier's College in India.

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/pub/foster-gonsalves/4/43a/408/

Eduardo Martinez, Ph.D.

Vice President
Chemistry

Eduardo Martinez, Ph.D.

Vice President
Chemistry

Eduardo received his Ph.D. from the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University and his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Martinez is a medicinal chemist focused on directing drug discovery and development in high-growth biotech companies. He worked for five years at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals where he helped start the chemistry group and led a team of chemists to advance two drugs into clinical trials. In addition, Eduardo previously managed operations at Medros where he helped build a drug discovery platform utilizing fruit flies to screen for drugs. He is co-founder of Euclises Pharmaceuticals, a drug discovery company focused on commercializing coxibs for the treatment of cancer, and SARmont, a medicinal chemistry and drug design consulting firm. Eduardo has also collaborated in academic drug discovery projects at Janelia Farms Research Campus and Rockefeller University.

Nancy Chang, Ph.D.

Board Director

Nancy Chang, Ph.D.

Board Director

Nancy T. Chang is an investor in and Director at Rgenix. Dr. Chang is a renowned biochemist who cofounded Tanox in 1986 to address medical needs in the areas of allergy, asthma, inflammation, and diseases affecting the human immune system. Tanox took an innovative approach in developing an asthma drug (Xolair) that focused on the allergy-related basis of asthma. In June 2003, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Xolair, the first biotech product cleared for treating those with asthma related to allergies. Tanox was also active in the development of TNX-355, an antibody for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. In 2007, Tanox was sold to Genentech for nearly $1 billion. Dr. Chang grew Tanox from an idea to a substantial publicly traded company pioneering innovative science. Following her success with Tanox, Dr. Chang became an angel investor in healthcare companies and performs philanthropic work in community health-education projects.

Scientific + Clinical Advisors

SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD

Saeed Tavazoie, Ph.D. (Chairman of SAB)

Saeed is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University. Prior to that, he was a Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and the Institute for Integrative Genomics at Princeton. He received his graduate training at Harvard Medical School where he developed the very first computational methods for discovering regulatory networks from large scale genomic data. He has made fundamental contributions to the field of systems biology, including methods for discovering and validating regulatory perturbations in cancer. A major focus of his laboratory is to reveal how transcription factors, microRNAs, and RNA-binding proteins orchestrate precise patterns of gene expression sub-serving pathological states. Saeed is a recipient of the NSF Career Award, the NIH Director's Pioneer Award, and numerous other scientific awards and grants.


http://systemsbiology.columbia.edu/faculty/saeed-tavazoie

Nancy Chang, Ph.D.

Nancy T. Chang is a renowned biochemist who cofounded Tanox in 1986 to address medical needs in the areas of allergy, asthma, inflammation and diseases affecting the human immune system. Tanox took an innovative approach in developing an asthma drug (Xolair) that focused on the allergy-related basis of asthma. In June 2003, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Xolair, the first biotech product cleared for treating those with asthma related to allergies. Tanox was also active in the development of TNX-355, an antibody for the treatment of HIV/AIDS. In 2007, Tanox was sold to Genentech for $919 million. Dr. Chang grew Tanox from an idea to a substantial publicly traded company pioneering innovative science. Following her success with Tanox, Dr. Chang became an angel investor in healthcare companies and performs philanthropic work in community health-education projects.

David Mangelsdorf, Ph.D.

David J. Mangelsdorf is currently the Chair of Pharmacology at UT Southwestern. He received his BS in Biology and Chemistry from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff (1981) and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Arizona in Tucson (1987). He did his postdoctoral studies at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Since 1993, he has been at UT Southwestern where he currently is Professor and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He holds the Raymond and Ellen Willie Distinguished Chair in Molecular Neuropharmacology, in Honor of Harold B. Crasilneck, PhD, and he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Siavash K. Kurdistani, M.D.

Siavash is Associate Professor of Biological Chemistry at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He received his B.S. in Biochemistry from UCLA and M.D. from Harvard Medical School as an HHMI Medical Student Fellow. After residency training in Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and an HHMI postdoctoral fellowship, he joined the faculty in the UCLA Department of Biological Chemistry in 2004. His laboratory investigates how chromatin and the epigenome are integrated into the cellular metabolic network and how alterations of chromatin structure and function contribute to cancer development and progression.

Tarun Kapoor, Ph.D.

Tarun is the Pels Family Professor and Head of Laboratory of Chemistry and Cell Biology at the Rockefeller University. Dr. Kapoor earned bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and biology from the California Institute of Technology, and master’s and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from Harvard University. During this period, Tarun developed and validated new drug discovery strategies. His post-doctoral work at the Harvard Medical School led to the first anti-mitotic agent that did not target tubulin, the only target of all clinically used anti-mitotic agents. This work catalyzed the development of new anti-cancer drugs that have entered clinical trials. His laboratory’s translational research has led to new drug candidates that target proteins whose dysfunction has been linked to cancer. His basic research program focuses on revealing molecular and physical mechanisms underlying cell division. He has served as a Consultant or Scientific Advisory Board member for several pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms developing anti-cancer drugs. His work has been recognized by many awards, including the Pew Scholar and Leukemia Lymphoma Scholar Awards.

CLINICAL ADVISORY BOARD

Sohail Tavazoie, M.D., Ph.D. (Chairman of CAB)

Sohail is the Director of the Elizabeth and Vincent Meyer Laboratory of Systems Cancer Biology and Leon Hess Assistant Professor at The Rockefeller University as well as senior attending medical oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). He received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley, his Ph.D. from Harvard University and his M.D. from Harvard Medical School (HMS) and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences & Technology. Following a residency and internship in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and HMS, he joined MSKCC as a clinical fellow and then as a research fellow in medical oncology. Sohail is the recipient of the The American Society of Clinical Oncology and American Association for Cancer Research Young Investigator Award, the NIH New Innovator Award, and numerous other awards and grants.


http://www.rockefeller.edu/research/faculty/labheads/SohailTavazoie/

Richard Carvajal, M.D.

Dr. Carvajal is an oncologist/hematologist at Columbia University. He was previously a medical oncologist at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and an Assistant Professor at Weill Cornell Medical College. Dr. Carvajal has been a Principal Investigator for several important clinical trials of novel melanoma drugs, including cobimetinib, vemurafenib, and imatinib. He received his medical degree from the NYU School of Medicine.

Anthony Johnson, M.D., M.B.B.S., M.P.H., F.R.A.C.P.

Tony is the Head of Early Clinical Development at AstraZeneca. He serves on the Board of Cardioxyl and was previously a Venture Partner at OrbiMed Advisors. He led exploratory clinical development, biomarkers, clinical pharmacology and pharmacometrics at Bristol-Myers Squibb to superior productivity and drove translation to clinical proof of concept successfully as VP of Discovery Medicine at GlaxoSmithKline. He also established the GlaxoWelcome Medicines Research Unit and had an academic appointment at Queensland University (U.Q.) for which he achieved tenure. Tony received his medical training and research doctorate at New South Wales University and his M.P.H. from U.Q.. Tony is also a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and is board certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatric Medicine, and Clinical Pharmacology with 18 years of broad clinical experience.

Pamela M. Klein, M.D.

Dr. Klein is a medical oncologist with strong expertise in drug development. She currently serves as an advisor/consultant on strategy and drug development to all stages of biotechnology and pharma companies. She is also an expert advisor to several Venture Capital firms. Most recently, Dr. Klein was CMO for Intellikine, where she built and led the clinical development organization enabling several first-in-man studies. Prior to that, Dr. Klein was VP of Development at Genentech where she led the development of a large portfolio of drugs, including Herceptin, that have changed the way breast cancer is treated. Prior to Genentech, Dr. Klein spent 7 years at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) where she built and developed the NCI-Navy Breast Care Center, serving as Research Director for the Center. Klein earned her medical degree from Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University and completed her internal medicine residency training at Cedar-Sinai Hospital where she received the Leo Rigler Award for Resident of the Year, and the Ben Newman Award for the Most Humanistic Physician. She did a Medical Oncology Fellowship at the NCI, serving as Chief Fellow from 1995-996, and then went on to complete an advanced research fellowship within the Department of Genetics.

Yelena Janjigian, M.D.

Dr. Yelena Janjigian is a medical oncologist who specializes in the treatment of malignancies of the gastrointestinal tract, particularly esophagus and stomach cancers. Her research focuses on the development of new treatments for patients with esophagus and stomach cancers, and she is particularly interested in finding ways to select the best treatments for persons with cancer based on the molecular characteristics of their tumor specimens. Dr. Janjigian runs clinical and translational studies designed to develop a better understanding of the driving factors in the development of stomach and esophagus cancer to develop better prevention, early diagnosis, staging, and treatment strategies. She is the Principal Investigator of national clinical trials. Her research has been supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Dr. Janjigian earned her medical degree from the NYU School of Medicine.

Paul Chapman, M.D.

Dr. Chapman is a Medical Oncologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), which he joined in 1988. He is physician-scientist and specialist in melanoma metastasis, having participated in and led the early stage clinical development of several approved drugs, including vemurafenib and ipilimumab, and multiple drug therapies currently in development with novel mechanisms of action. Dr. Chapman is Vice Chairman of MSKCC’s Research Council and a Professor of Medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He was appointed to the melanoma “Dream Team” sponsored by the not-for-profit organizations Stand Up To Cancer and the Melanoma Research Alliance. Dr. Chapman received the Wings of Hope Award from the Melanoma Research Foundation in 2007. He is the author of 95 peer-reviewed publications and has been an editorial board member for the journals Cancer, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Current Cancer Therapy Reviews, and Clinical Cancer Research.

 

 

 

    • Rgenix's innovation is based upon a novel target discovery platform that has yielded several exciting programs, including first-in-class drugs in high unmet need cancers for patients who have failed immunotherapy.

      - Dr. Tony Johnson (AstraZeneca) -

Contact Us

     

To learn more about our science and products, please send us a message below.

 
 

Address

310 East 67th Street, Suite 1-12‎

New York, NY 10065, USA

 

Phone number

(646) 856-9261