CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ROME Therapeutics, a biotechnology company harnessing the power of the repeatome in drug development, today announced key appointments to its science leadership: David Proia, Ph.D., as Vice President, Oncology; Menachem Fromer, Ph.D., as Head of Data Science; and Sarah Knutson, Ph.D., as Senior Director, Early Discovery. Together these appointments accelerate ROME’s scientific capabilities to support its growing pipeline of repeat-derived targets in cancer and autoimmune diseases.
“ROME has made tremendous progress in our mission to unlock the uncharted territory of the repeatome for the development of novel therapeutics in autoimmune disease and cancer,” said Dennis Zaller, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of ROME Therapeutics. “As we build on this knowledge, we are expanding our capabilities across oncology and data science, and are investing in additional drug discovery programs. David, Menachem and Sarah each bring deep and unique expertise in core pillars of our science, and we are thrilled to welcome them to the ROME team.”
David Proia, Ph.D., joins ROME as Vice President, Oncology, to advance oncology strategy and accelerate the application of repeatome insights to cancer research. He joins ROME after serving as the Senior Director of In Vivo Pharmacology at C4 Therapeutics and project leader on multiple programs, including CFT7455 (IKZF1/3 degrader), which recently entered Phase 1 studies in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. David has experience in all aspects of drug discovery, from target selection and validation to drug candidate selection, with broad knowledge across multiple disciplines. Prior to C4, he was the Director of Cancer Biology and In Vivo Pharmacology at Synta Pharmaceuticals and a Scientist at AstraZeneca. David has a B.S. in biochemistry from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology from Baylor College of Medicine.
Menachem Fromer, Ph.D., joins ROME as Head of Data Science to lead the development and buildout of its proprietary repeatomics data and analytics platform. Most recently, Menachem was the Data Science and R&D Lead at Verily Life Sciences where he studied mental health, as well as population health during COVID-19. He is also an Associate Professor of Genetics and Genomic Sciences and Psychiatry at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. Prior to joining Verily, Menachem was a computational biologist in the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, where he researched novel disease-causing changes throughout the genomes of patients with schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric diseases. He received his B.S. in biology and computer science, his M.S. in computer science and genomics/bioinformatics and his Ph.D. in computer science from Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Sarah Knutson, Ph.D., joins ROME as Senior Director, Early Discovery, where she is responsible for identifying new targets to expand the program pipeline. She has more than 13 years of oncology drug discovery experience, with a focus in epigenetics and transcriptional regulation. Sarah most recently led the biology team at Twentyeight-Seven Therapeutics in the emerging field of RNA modulation. Prior to this, she held roles at Nimbus Therapeutics and Syros Pharmaceuticals, where she led new target identification, early-stage discovery programs and novel platform development in oncology and immuno-oncology. Sarah started her career at Epizyme, Inc., where she played a key role on the team that discovered and developed the first-in-class EZH2 histone methyltransferase inhibitor, which is now FDA-approved for epithelioid sarcoma and follicular lymphoma. Sarah earned her B.S. in molecular genetics from The Ohio State University and her Ph.D. in biochemistry from Vanderbilt University.
ROME Therapeutics is developing novel therapies for cancer and autoimmune diseases by harnessing the power of the repeatome – vast stretches of uncharted genetic material that have long been dismissed as “junk DNA.” With several drug targets identified and multiple discovery programs underway, ROME is moving rapidly to leverage this new frontier in biology. To lead this exploration, ROME has assembled a team of world-class leaders across fields including oncology, immunology, virology and machine learning. ROME was launched in April 2020 and was incubated at GV, in collaboration with ARCH Venture Partners and Partners Innovation Fund. ROME is based in Cambridge, Mass. For more information, please visit www.rometx.com.