MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Curve Biosciences (“Curve”), an early-stage company bringing precision to chronic disease care, today announced the addition of Nathan Hunkapiller, PhD, as chief scientific officer (CSO) and Chuba Oyolu, PhD, as chief technology officer (CTO). Hunkapiller leads Curve’s research and development, and Oyolu oversees technology development and software.
Curve has created a proprietary Chronic Disease Tissue Atlas (CDTA) with over 250,000 tissues from more than 1,000 clinical studies using data mining research from the lab of Professor Shan X. Wang at Stanford University. Curve’s CDTA uniquely enables discovery of precise biological changes in chronic disease progression that can act as biomarkers and targets. Hunkapiller and Oyolu will help accelerate commercialization of Curve’s liquid biopsy products for patients with chronic liver diseases, and create new products for other chronic diseases such as endometriosis and inflammatory bowel disease.
“Chuba and Nathan have created, launched, and scaled multiple products, including in early disease detection,” said Ritish Patnaik, PhD, CEO of Curve. “Their deep experience and strong leadership capabilities will help us advance our promising technology into fully developed and commercialized tests to improve human health.”
There continues to be significant advances in early cancer detection through blood testing, but precision medicine for patients with chronic liver disease or other chronic diseases has lagged. Curve aims to address this disparity.
“Precision genomics is transforming early detection for doctors and their patients, even identifying a disease’s presence and location in the body before symptoms appear,” added Patnaik. “Our work will improve the speed and precision of care and open new avenues for developing new medicines for diseases of the liver and other chronic diseases.”
Chronic liver disease is responsible for 2 million deaths annually worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.
Hunkapiller joined Curve as a scientific advisor last year. Prior to Curve, he was senior vice president of R&D at GRAIL, leading laboratory research and development efforts for the company’s multi-cancer early detection product. Prior to GRAIL, Hunkapiller was the vice president of R&D at Natera, where he led research and product development for the company’s reproductive health and oncology products. Hunkapiller has a PhD in biomedical sciences from the University of California San Francisco and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Stanford University.
"Curve’s Chronic Disease Tissue Atlas has the potential to profoundly deepen our understanding of chronic disease progression and pave the way for earlier detection and personalized treatment options,” said Hunkapiller. “I look forward to working with my teammates in this expanded role to develop innovations that address important unmet needs in health care.”
Oyolu joined Curve in a technical advisory role last year. Prior to Curve, he was founding scientist and senior site director at Counsyl, leading multiple product launches while also building and automating complex laboratory processes. Oyolu has a PhD in Bioengineering from Stanford University and a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh.
“Using my data and technology experience to address diseases that take the lives of millions of people prematurely is as meaningful a career opportunity as one could imagine,” said Oyolu. “Our work at Curve is unlocking earlier and more personalized treatments, and I am grateful to help lead this deeply meaningful mission.”
In addition to the leadership appointments, Curve announced initial members of its commercial advisory board:
- Sam Asgarian, MD, serves as chief medical officer for Scipher Medicine. He previously held the same role with Thrive Early Detection and served in senior leadership roles at Aetna, CVS Health, and axialHealthcare. Asgarian supports Curve’s clinical study design and evidence generation efforts.
- Kristin Ashcraft is chief operating officer for Genome Medical. She previously was vice president of Commercial Operations at Counsyl, and held leadership roles at DaVita and MyHealthTeam. Ashcraft supports Curve’s commercial operations strategy and long-range planning efforts.
- Matt Burns is managing partner at Acumen Strategies, a communication and business consultancy supporting early-stage companies. He previously led communications for GRAIL and Scipher Medicine, and held leadership roles at UnitedHealth Group and Health Care Service Corporation. Burns supports Curve’s external communication and product messaging efforts.
- Alice A. Chen, PhD, is a product executive and product advisor serving health tech startups in their incubation, commercialization, and scale-up stages. She previously served as senior vice president of product at GRAIL and held product and R&D leadership roles at Natera, Progyny, and Sienna Biopharmaceuticals. Chen supports Curve’s product management and long-range planning efforts.
- Christopher Ho is senior vice president of the Customer Operations Group at Myriad Genetics, overseeing reimbursement strategy, revenue cycle management, and customer service. Over more than two decades with the company, Ho has held roles of increasing responsibility in sales, customer service, and payer markets. Ho supports Curve’s evidence generation and insurance reimbursement efforts.
- Noah Nasser is chief executive officer of Omics Data Automation, a healthcare technology company. He previously held the same role at Serimmune, Inc., and held commercial leadership roles at Human Longevity, Counsyl, AltheaDx and Verinata. Nasser supports Curve’s marketing and sales strategy efforts.
“Our advisors are instrumental to Curve fulfilling its mission,” said Patnaik. “With the benefit of their experience and expertise, we are on track to deliver a best-in-class product that addresses a huge gap in the $10 billion disease surveillance market. We look forward to working with our advisors to maintain our progress and explore commercial opportunities in other chronic diseases.”
About Curve Biosciences
Curve Biosciences (“Curve”), a company bringing precision to chronic disease care, creates products targeting biological changes in tissues that result in the development and progression of chronic diseases. Curve’s Chronic Disease Tissue Atlas (CDTA) uniquely allows the company to discover these precise changes with data from over 250,000 tissues across more than 1,000 clinical studies. Curve is focused on first commercializing its best-in-class blood tests for the $30 billion market of chronic liver diseases while using CDTA to find biomarkers and targets for other conditions. For more information about Curve, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.