OrbiMed Partner and Co-Founder of Alexion increases leadership role in oncology focused private company
JULY 7, 2020
(San Antonio, TX)
bioAffinity Technologies, a privately-held cancer diagnostics and therapeutics company, today announced that Stephen Squinto, Ph.D., has been named Vice Chairman of the Company’s Board of Directors, and David Elzi, Ph.D., has been appointed Vice President of Research in recognition of Dr. Elzi’s pivotal role in the Company’s scientific discoveries related to cancer therapeutics.
Dr. Squinto is an Executive Partner with OrbiMed Healthcare Fund Management. He previously co-founded Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of breakthrough therapies for patients with rare and ultra-rare diseases. As Executive Vice President and Chief Global Operations Officer, Dr. Squinto helped build Alexion into a company currently valued at $22 billion. Prior to 2013, he served as head of Alexion’s Global Research and Development. Most recently, Dr. Squinto served as the Interim Chief Executive Officer of Passage Bio and led the company through a successful $248.4 million public offering. He currently holds the position of Acting Head of Research and Development for Passage Bio.
“We are immensely pleased to have Dr. Squinto accept the position as Vice Chairman of the Board. Steve is both a scientist and a business leader whose expertise and strategic leadership on the bioAffinity Board of Directors has been invaluable over the past three years to advance our diagnostic tests and therapeutics for the early detection and successful treatment of multiple cancers,” said Steve Girgenti, Chairman of the bioAffinity Board of Directors. “Dr. Squinto will continue to substantially contribute to our success as we accelerate the commercialization of our test for lung cancer, CyPath® Lung, and the advancement of our Targeted Gene Silencing therapeutic platforms.”
Prior to his work at Alexion, Dr. Squinto held various positions at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and served in a joint academic position at the Tulane University and Louisiana State University Schools of Medicine. He is a recipient of numerous honors and awards from academic and professional organizations for his scientific work. Dr. Squinto earned his B.A. in Chemistry and Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Loyola University of Chicago.
Dr. Elzi, who has served as bioAffinity’s Director of Basic Research since joining the Company four years ago, will continue his research on Targeted Gene Silencing (TGS), a therapeutic approach that selectively kills cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed. TGS currently is being tested in animal studies for triple-negative breast cancer. The Company also plans to test TGS in glioblastoma due to the significant effect seen in vitro on the deadly brain cancer.
“David has been instrumental in the discovery and development of novel cancer therapies including our Targeted Gene Therapy platform,” bioAffinity Senior Vice President for Therapeutics William Bauta, Ph.D., said. “His exacting methods and innovative approach to research have resulted in scientific discoveries that exponentially advance our knowledge of how to effectively diagnose and treat cancer.”
Dr. Elzi earned his Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Washington, in conjunction with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. He subsequently performed post-doctoral research at the Bonfils Blood Center and University of Colorado Department of Surgery. Dr. Elzi came to bioAffinity from The University of Texas Health Science Center where his research included applying advanced biochemical approaches to characterize cell proliferation in adult and pediatric cancers. Dr. Elzi has co-authored more than 20 peer-reviewed articles.
Dr. Bauta is a medicinal chemist with more than 25 years of experience in discovery, development and commercialization of pharmaceuticals to treat oncology, virology, neuroscience, immunology and metabolic diseases. He joined bioAffinity Technologies from Southwest Research Institute where he helped develop the Institute’s pharmaceuticals services and bioengineering business. Dr. Bauta was Associate Director of Science at Genzyme Corporation and held a similar position at Ilex Products, Inc., where he was responsible for the discovery, development and FDA approval of multiple therapeutics. He has more than 30 patents and publications. Dr. Bauta received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago.
About bioAffinity Technologies, Inc.
bioAffinity Technologies, Inc. (www.bioaffinitytech.com) is a privately held company addressing the significant unmet need for non-invasive, early-stage cancer diagnosis and treatment. The Company develops proprietary in vitro diagnostic tests and targeted cancer therapeutics using breakthrough technology that preferentially targets cancer cells. Research and optimization of its platform technology are conducted in bioAffinity Technologies’ laboratories at the University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA). The Company’s platform technology is being developed to diagnose, monitor and treat many cancers.