SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Boundless Bio, a company interrogating and targeting extrachromosomal DNA (ecDNA) in aggressive cancers, today announced that Christian (“Chris”) Hassig, Ph.D., has been appointed Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Hassig will oversee Boundless Bio’s drug discovery efforts, grow the company’s research team, and guide the company in building out a pipeline of ecDNA-targeting therapeutics.
“Chris is a scientific leader who brings deep industry and oncology expertise, including an impressive track record advancing novel agents against innovative targets,” said Zachary Hornby, Boundless Bio’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to drawing on his extensive experience in oncology drug development as we work to advance our therapeutic programs targeting cancers driven by ecDNA.”
“By targeting ecDNA, Boundless Bio is pioneering a truly innovative approach to tackling cancers that have previously proven intractable to treatment,” said Dr. Hassig. “I am delighted to join the Boundless team in its efforts to discover and develop novel therapeutics that address unmet needs in oncology.”
Prior to joining Boundless Bio, Dr. Hassig served as Chief Scientific Officer of Sierra Oncology, a publicly traded clinical development stage company focused in hematology and oncology. He previously served in a series of roles of increasing responsibility at the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, culminating as Vice President of Drug Discovery. Dr. Hassig also held several positions within the Biology and Lead Discovery departments at Kalypsys, Inc., a private biopharmaceutical company specializing in small molecule drug discovery and development. He began his career at the Scripps Research Institute, where he still holds an academic appointment. Dr. Hassig earned a B.A. in Chemistry and Biochemistry from the University of California, San Diego and a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Harvard University. He completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of California, Berkeley.
Extrachromosomal DNA, or ecDNA, are large circles of DNA containing genes that are outside the cells’ chromosomes and can make many copies of themselves. ecDNA can be rapidly replicated within the cell, causing high numbers of oncogene copies, a trait that can be passed to daughter cells in asymmetric ways during cell division. Cells have the ability to upregulate or downregulate ecDNA and resulting oncogenes to ensure survival under selective pressures, including chemotherapy or radiation, making ecDNA one of cancer cells’ primary mechanisms of recurrence and treatment evasion. ecDNA are rarely seen in healthy cells but are found in many solid tumor cancers. They are a key driver of the most aggressive and difficult-to-treat cancers, specifically those characterized by high copy number amplification of oncogenes.
About Boundless Bio
Boundless Bio is a biotechnology company committed to interrogating a previously unexplored dimension in cancer biology, extrachromosomal DNA (ecDNA), to deliver transformative therapies to patients with previously intractable cancers. For more information, visit www.boundlessbio.com.