Andrew Phillips was named CEO of C4 Therapeutics, a 2016 Fierce 15 winner. Phillips has helped lead the Dana-Farber spinout’s research efforts as chief scientific officer since January 2016, and was named president later that September.
Based in Watertown, Massachusetts, C4 has focused on small-molecule treatments that target the body’s naturally occurring protein degradation pathways, aiming to trigger the destruction of disease-causing proteins from within the cell.
The company hopes the program will have a major impact on cancer and other diseases, while avoiding traditional drug resistance, and has planned to begin human testing at some point this year.
Prior to joining C4, Phillips was senior director for the Center for Development of Therapeutics at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Before that, he served as a professor of chemistry at Yale University and the University of Colorado at Boulder.
“Andy has played a key role in C4T’s growth and has helped define who we are today as a company,” Marc Cohen, co-founder and executive chairman, said in a statement. “[He] has provided exemplary leadership in recruiting a phenomenal management team, developing a robust internal pipeline of projects, and nurturing our strategic alliances with Roche and Calico.”
Early last year, C4 signed a five-year research partnership with the secretive, Google-supported Calico, focused on the diseases of aging, including cancer, with the goal of improving lifespans. And shortly after being founded, C4 announced a $750 million collaboration with Roche in January 2016, to develop its small molecule therapeutics, called degronimids, to destroy and clear harmful proteins from cells.
Meanwhile, Stewart Fisher, C4’s senior VP of discovery sciences, will take Phillips’ place as chief scientific officer.
“[Fisher’s] deep expertise in quantitative aspects of drug discovery has transformed our approach to the discovery of degraders and has provided many mechanistic insights that have enabled our internal and collaboration projects,” said Phillips.
Before joining C4, Fisher held a series of leadership roles at the Broad Institute and AstraZeneca, where he focused in target validation, drug discovery and clinical candidate support.