Pearl Huang is not new to the fight against cancer but in her role as CEO of Cygnal Therapeutics, she’s able to take that fight to the next level. The biotech company has a novel take on how to treat the disease and Huang is glad to be part of it.
“I am tremendously excited to take the helm at Cygnal, whose scientists have uncovered paradigm-shifting biological insights and are now applying them to the development of entirely novel therapies,” said Huang. “The breadth of our discoveries promises applications in a wide array of serious diseases with unmet medical need. Our initial focus will be in cancer therapeutics where other breakthroughs have still left patients without treatment. Cygnal has uncovered one of the most exciting…approaches to cancer therapeutics that I have seen in almost 30 years in the industry.”
The new frontier in cancer treatment is called Exoneural Biology – the impact of the peripheral nervous system on cancer, the immune system, metabolism and regeneration. The company is on the cutting-edge of research with drug development that may be able to manipulate the nervous system’s management of cancer and the immunity process.
“Pearl’s deep expertise in drug discovery and development and track record of bringing multiple medicines to the clinic and the market makes her an ideal leader for Cygnal,” said Noubar Afeyan, chairman of Cygnal Therapeutics and CEO of Flagship Pioneering. “We are pleased to welcome Pearl as CEO of Cygnal and to the Flagship family.”
Prior to her position with Cygnal, Huang served as senior vice president and global head of therapeutic models at Roche. During her tenure, she supervised the development of small molecule and nucleic-based therapies. She also worked with GlaxoSmithKline as vice president and global head of discovery academic partnerships.
However, Huang’s first venture into biotech began in 2010 when she co-founded Beigene, a Chinese-based company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of immuno-oncology drugs for the treatment of cancer. In her role as acting CSO, she helped develop the company’s first drug discovery pipeline and successfully moved their first programs to clinic.
Huang received her undergraduate degree in life sciences from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her Ph.D. from in Molecular Biology from Princeton University.