Lexington, Mass., September 23, 2022- KSQ Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing therapies to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases using its proprietary, integrated discovery CRISPRomics® platform, today named Micah Benson, PhD as the new Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) and announced the addition of a new Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Tom Leitch to the KSQ leadership team. Dr. Benson previously served as Senior Vice President, Immunobiology for KSQ and has been a catalyst for the company’s adaptive cell therapy programs. He will succeed Frank Stegmeier, PhD, who served as KSQ’s founding CSO, who is leaving to pursue a new opportunity. Dr. Stegmeier will join KSQ’s Board of Directors. Board member Pearl Huang, PhD, is stepping down from the board.
“Micah’s work leading our Immunobiology Team has been invaluable in advancing our engineered TIL (eTIL) programs, and his appointment as CSO comes at a critical time, as we move those programs towards the clinic. We’re also thrilled to have Tom on board as our new CTO, as he brings deep experience in cell & gene therapy, manufacturing sciences, CMC strategy development, manufacturing operations, quality, and supply chain,” said Qasim Rizvi, Chief Executive Officer of KSQ Therapeutics. “I would also like to thank Frank for his contributions to KSQ since the company’s founding. Frank’s scientific leadership has shaped and guided KSQ into the company it is today, and we’re thrilled he will remain an advisor and member of our Board of Directors. Similarly, I would like to thank Pearl for her guidance over the last three years. I wish her the best in future endeavors.”
“KSQ’s CRISPRomics platform has the potential to change the foundation of how we treat a wide variety of cancers and autoimmune diseases and has already generated multiple high impact programs that are either in or nearing clinical trials. I look forward to continuing to advance our science and leading our fantastic team,” said Dr. Benson.
“KSQ has made great strides advancing its CRISPRomics® platform, identifying important disease targets and pioneering therapies to target them. I’m impressed by the tenacity and incredible hard work of this team, and I’m energized to work closely with them to realize our goal of developing transformative therapies for the patients that we all serve,” said Leitch.
Micah Benson, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer
Micah has over 15 years of academic and industry experience as an immunologist and drug hunter. Prior to joining KSQ, Micah served as Head of Tolerance Therapeutics in the Immunology and Inflammation Research Unit at Pfizer, Inc. He earned his PhD in Immunology from Dartmouth Medical School and was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School. He has authored several patents and published extensively in top-tier scientific journals.
Tom Leitch, Chief Technology Officer
Tom brings more than 20 years of leadership experience in cell and gene therapy, biologics, and vaccines. His experience spans Manufacturing Sciences, CMC Strategy Development, Internal and External Manufacturing Operations, Quality, Engineering, Tech Transfer, and Supply Chain across a broad range of leading biopharmaceutical companies.
Leitch came to KSQ from bluebird bio, where, as head of Manufacturing, he led the development and execution of the company’s manufacturing strategy during a period of rapid growth that expanded the network to include more than ten internal and external manufacturing sites around the world. Before bluebird, Tom held roles at Alexion and Merck. He holds M.S. and B.S. degrees in engineering from Virginia Tech.
About KSQ Therapeutics
KSQ Therapeutics is advancing a pipeline of tumor- and immune-focused drug candidates to treat cancer and autoimmune disease across multiple drug modalities, including targeted therapies, adoptive cell therapies, and immunotherapies. KSQ’s proprietary CRISPRomics® discovery engine enables genome-scale, in vivo validated, unbiased drug discovery across broad therapeutic areas. For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.ksqtx.com and follow @ksq_tx on Twitter.
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