Elicio Therapeutics is committed to transforming the lives of patients by re-engineering the body’s immune response to defeat cancer. They are currently developing vaccines and immunotherapies by combining expertise in materials science and immunology.
In parallel with raising a series A round of funding, CEO Robert Connelly approached Occam to recruit Elicio’s first Chief Medical Officer, a role essential to giving shape to Elicio’s platform. The new CMO would be charged with taking ownership of the firm’s clinical development pipeline as the company moved into a series B round of funding.
Elicio had many programs that were moving toward clinical trials and the company had non-traditional funding sources. This meant that any new executive needed to be able to jump into the science of these novel products quickly, but also have the requisite gravitas to help establish the firm in the traditional biotech investor ecosystem.
Christopher Haqq, M.D., Ph.D., was placed as Elicio’s CMO, later taking on the additional role of Executive Vice President and Head of Research and Development.
He brings over 20 years of drug development leadership across large and small biotechnology companies and across cell therapy, small molecule and biologics in large and small biotech settings.
He was the first employee and Chief Medical Officer of Atara Biotherapeutics, and later Chief Scientific Officer, where he was the architect for an innovative T cell product candidate pipeline including specific EBV specific T cell product candidates for oncology and autoimmune disease, and he led the design of a next-generation off the shelf CAR T cells for solid tumors. Earlier at Cougar Biotechnology and Janssen, he was the lead clinician for a pivotal prostate cancer study leading to market approval for Zytiga® (abiraterone acetate). At Amgen, he led early development studies of the anti-insulin like growth factor type 1 receptor AMG 479 (ganitumab) antibody. Chris holds multiple patents and publications. He has served as the medical monitor for numerous oncology clinical trials and has worked closely with the US Food and Drug Administration and other global regulatory agencies. He has filed successful applications for investigational new drug applications, breakthrough therapy, priority medicines, special protocol assessments and their international equivalents, and marketing approval.
Chris initially practiced as a medical oncologist and led a translational science laboratory as an Assistant Professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of California, San Francisco following his post-graduate training as an Intern and Resident in Internal Medicine, Fellow in Medical Oncology and Fellow in Molecular Medicine. Chris completed his MD and PhD in Genetics at Harvard Medical School and his undergraduate training at Stanford University and the University of British Columbia.