About

Our goal is to bring new therapy to cancer’s most frequently mutated oncogenic target.

Global New Cancer Cases1
0 m+
U.S. New Cancer Cases2
0 m
RAS Mutations in Cancer3
> 0 %

RAS Inhibitor Discovery Strategy:
Focus on Potency and Selectivity

Precise. Swift. Lethal.

Exploiting oncogene addiction has been the foundation of extraordinarily fruitful efforts to precisely drug mutated cancer targets and eliminate the malignant cells that carry them. At Kestrel Therapeutics our aspiration is to extend the methodologies and successes of this field to targeting RAS and then to other significant targets. We have created a foundation of unique science that employs a physical understanding of the drug-target interaction, funded by thought-leading investors, to build a lead program  designed to potently address all RAS mutations in all tumor types. The prospect  of patient benefit through the application of these approaches is profound.

NRAS G13D mutant bound to GNP (PDB 6E6H)

Leadership & Team

Our experienced leadership team has a proven track record of combining innovation and entrepreneurship to bring transformative technologies to the world of healthcare.

Frank Haluska, MD, PHD

Founder, President & CEO

Mark Bilodeau, PHD

SVP, Chief Scientific Officer

Tom Phair

Chief Financial Officer

Ross Pettit

SVP, Head of Development Operations

Aleksandra Franovic, PHD

VP, Head of Biology

Omar Ahmad, PhD

VP, Head of Medicinal Chemistry

Shyam Karki, PhD

VP, Head of CMC

Nick Larsen, PhD

Senior Director, Biophysics & Structural Biology

Jamie Im, PhD

Director, Medicinal Chemistry

Jiali Li, PHD

Director, Biology

Huan Rui, PhD

Associate Director, Computational Chemistry

Neil Lajkiewicz, PhD

Principal Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry

Dilinie Fernando

Senior Scientist II, Medicinal Chemistry

Ruzanna Atoyan, MD

Senior Scientist I, Biology

Meghan Wyatt, PHD

Scientist I, Biology

Elizabeth Wharton

Head of Operations & Administration

Board of Directors

Denis Patrick, PhD

Pfizer Ventures
Vice President, Pfizer WRDM and Head of Partnering Innovation, and Managing Partner of Pfizer Ventures. Currently has responsibility for a number of Pfizer’s investments.

Omar H. Khalil

Santé Ventures
Partner, Santé, has managed and led businesses ranging from early clinical development to commercial stage. Previously held leadership roles with Baxter International, Baxalta, and Kaléo.

Andrew Phillips, PhD

Aleksia Therapeutics &
Nexo Therapeutics
President and CEO of Aleksia Therapeutics & Nexo Therapeutics. Previously, Managing Director at Cormorant Asset Management, CEO & CSO of C4 Therapeutics, Senior Director at the Broad Institute, Professor at Yale and University of Colorado.

Nick A. Saccomano, PhD

Formerly ARRAY
An experienced research and development leader with a nearly 35 years track record in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, most recently Chief Science Officer and Site Head at Pfizer R&D, Inc.

Barbara Sosnowski, PHD

Formerly Pfizer
Previous Vice President & Global Head, Emerging Science & Innovation Leads, WWRDM at Pfizer; President, CEO & COO at Tissue Repair Company; and other senior leadership positions in the health care industry.

Frank G. Haluska, MD, PhD

Kestrel Therapeutics
Founder, President & CEO, Kestrel Therapeutics, previously CEO of Anchiano Therapeutics, CMO of Ariad Pharmaceuticals, and faculty at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Dana Farber Cancer Institute.

Casey Cunningham, MD
(observer)

Santé Ventures
 Partner and CSO, Santé Ventures, faculty at Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Previously, Associate Director Mary Crowley Cancer Research Center.

Christopher O'Donnell, PHD (observer)

Pfizer Ventures
Vice President and Partner at Pfizer Ventures with 25 years of drug discovery and development leadership. Experienced biotech investor and board member for companies ranging from early stage to IPO.

Scientific Advisory Board

Andrew Aguirre, MD, PhD

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Medical oncologist at DFCI, Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School, and Institute Member at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Leads a research laboratory that studies RAS signaling and pancreatic cancer biology.

D. Ross Camidge, MD, PhD

University of Colorado
Director of Thoracic Oncology; Joyce Zeff Chair in Lung Cancer Research.

Sharon Campbell, PhD

University of North Carolina
Liebscher Distinguished Professor and Vice Chair; Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of North Carolina; PHD, Chemistry, Yale University; Formerly, Senior scientist at DuPont CRD and DuPont Merck Pharmaceuticals.

Channing Der, PhD

University of North Carolina
Sarah Graham Kenan Distinguished Professor, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

William C. Hahn, MD, PHD

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
EVP and COO at DFCI, William Rosenberg Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medical Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, and an Institute Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

1Globocan 2020 citation.

2ACS citation.

3US NCI citation.

Frank Haluska, MD, PhD

Founder, President & CEO

Recognized leader with a long record of success in cancer investigation and drug development. Formerly an academic researcher, was Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts General Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute faculty, and Dana-Farber Harvard Cancer Center program leader. At Anchiano Therapeutics, as CEO he led acquisition of the RAS program subsequently acquired by Kestrel. Previously was Chief Medical Officer at Ariad Pharmaceuticals, where he led a global research team and programs resulting multiple oncology drug approvals. He holds an AB magna cum laude from Harvard University, MD and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the MIT Center for Cancer Research. An Air Force veteran who served in Iraq and in multiple military leadership positions, he is also a distinguished graduate of the United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine and an excellent graduate of Air War College.

Mark Bilodeau, PhD

Chief Scientific Officer

Mark has extensive leadership experience in drug discovery, medicinal chemistry and drug development having guided numerous compounds from the bench through IND to the clinic. Formerly Chief Scientific Officer at Tarveda Therapeutics, he led the development of novel drug conjugates through IND filings to phase 2 clinical trials in for oncology indications. Prior to that role, he led chemistry including discovery leading to the first IND and out-licensing efforts at Blend Therapeutics, before it became Tarveda. Earlier he led seven lead-optimization programs that progressed into clinical testing in oncology, neuroscience, and cardiovascular medicine at Merck Research Laboratories. While there he also directed establishment of and led exploratory chemistry group based in West Point. BS summa cum laude from Boston College, PhD from Harvard University, and post-doctoral training on an NIH fellowship at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Tom Phair

Chief Financial Officer

Tom has over 25 years of experience in financial management in the life science industry.  He is currently a Senior Director at Danforth Advisors, LLC, a financial consultancy firm that specializes in working with life science companies.  He began his career at Price Waterhouse, and before joining Danforth held senior management positions at several public and private companies in various stages of development, including PAREXEL, ArQule,  Altus Pharmaceuticals, Acton Pharmaceuticals, Boston Biomedical and Telcare.  Tom is a CPA and has a BBA in Accounting from the Isenberg School of Management at UMass Amherst.