Inspirna Strengthens Scientific Advisory Board with Two Globally Renowned Experts in Gastrointestinal Oncology

–Drs. Josep Tabernero, M.D., Ph.D. and Alan Venook, M.D. to Support Company in Advancing Pipeline of Novel Drug Candidates Derived from its RNA-DRIVErTM Discovery Platform

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Inspirna, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing first-in-class small molecule and biologic cancer therapeutics, announced today the appointment of Josep Tabernero, M.D., Ph.D. and Alan P. Venook, M.D., to its scientific advisory board.

“We are honored to welcome Dr. Tabernero and Dr. Venook to our scientific advisory board,” commented Masoud Tavazoie, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Inspirna. “Both individuals are experts in their respective fields and have extensive clinical experience in Gastrointestinal oncology and the development of molecular targeted therapies. We are grateful for their scientific contributions and look forward to benefiting from their expertise at Inspirna as we continue to progress our pipeline based on our RNA-DRIVErTM platform.”

“I am pleased to be joining the Scientific Advisory Board at Inspirna,” said Dr. Tabernero. “I believe the Company’s lead asset, RGX-202, has potential to be a differentiated treatment option for patients with colorectal cancer, and I look forward to advising the Company through the readout of their Phase 1b combination trial of RGX-202 with FOLFIRI and bevacizumab in the first half of next year as well as through further clinical development.”

“Inspirna’s RNA-based target discovery platform, RNA-DRIVErTM is a powerful platform for the generation of novel cancer therapeutics with the opportunity to address patient populations underserved with current therapies,” said Dr. Venook. “I am delighted to be joining the Company’s scientific advisory board and to advise them on their clinical development as they progress their novel pipeline forward to generate meaningful clinical benefit.”

Josep Tabernero, M.D., Ph.D. is the Director of the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) and Head of the Medical Oncology Department of Vall d’Hebron University Hospital. He is also Co-Director of VHIO’s Gastrointestinal and Endocrine Tumours Group and the Research Unit for Molecular Therapy of Cancer (UITM). Dr. Tabernero is Principal Investigator of several phase I pharmacodynamic studies and translational projects with molecular targeted therapies, as well as phase II and III studies with novel chemotherapeutics. Dr. Tabernero previously served as ESMO president for the 2018-2019 term and currently serves as a member of several editorial boards, including Clinical Cancer Research, Cancer Discovery, Clinical Colorectal Cancer, and Annals of Oncology. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain.

Alan P. Venook, M.D. is the Madden Family Distinguished Professor of Medical Oncology and Translational Research at the University of California (UCSF) San Francisco and the Shorenstein Associate Director for Program Development at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Dr. Venook served as the Founding Chair of the National Cancer Institute’s Hepatobiliary Task Force and from 2011 to 2016 served as Chair of the GI Cancer Committee in the Alliance. A nationally recognized expert in colorectal and liver cancers, Dr. Venook served as Principal Investigator for the CALGB/SWOG 80405 trial which, amongst other findings, helped to clearly demonstrate the difference in outcome between colon cancers developing in the right vs. left side of the large intestine. Dr. Venook received his B.A. from Rutgers University and his M.D. from the UCSF School of Medicine.

About Inspirna

Inspirna, Inc. is a privately-held clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel cancer drugs that target key pathways in cancer progression. The company is pursuing several first-in-class drug candidates to treat cancers of high unmet need. Inspirna identifies novel cancer targets using its RNA-based target discovery platform, RNA-DRIVErTM, which was originally developed by Inspirna’s scientific co-founders at The Rockefeller University and exclusively licensed to Inspirna. The Company brings together distinguished scientific founders, a seasoned board of directors, and a leadership team comprised of experienced drug developers. The Company is funded by leading biotechnology investors, including Novo Holdings A/S, Sofinnova Partners, Lepu Holdings Limited, Sixty Degree Capital, K2 HealthVentures, Oceanpine Capital, WuXi PharmaTech Healthcare Fund I, LP, Alexandria Venture Investments, LLC, Exor Seeds, and the Partnership Fund for New York City. For more information, please visit


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