Face It – Part 1

Mar 22, 2024

The other day someone jokingly called EpicentRx a two-faced company – because we have 2 lead therapeutic candidates, RRx-001 (nibrozetone) and AdAPT-001, each with 2 main mechanisms of action.

Point taken, but that comment prompted us to calculate the ‘actual’ face value of the company, which is, by our, admittedly creative calculation, over 50. Here’s how we arrived at that number.

1. The main face of EpicentRx is its CEO, Dr. Tony Reid, a creative dynamo and inventor of the AdAPT platform of oncolytic viruses, who shows his face often at scientific conferences around the US where he presents data on RRx-001 and AdAPT-001.

2. The dedicated and diligent face of viral manufacture is Dr. Chris Larson. But since the viruses themselves are icosahedronic, comprising 20 triangular faces, and since Chris works with them day in and day out, weekends included, with nary a sick day or a vacation, we thought it made sense to add 20 to his name.

3. The face of AdAPT-001, at least in sarcoma, is the warm, compassionate, and highly skilled oncologist, Dr. Anthony P. Conley from the MD Anderson Cancer Care Center, who has first-authored several important abstracts and manuscripts about AdAPT-001 and regularly appears at important scientific conferences like AACR, SITC, and ASCO, often with Dr. Tony Reid, to talk about it.

4. Sorely, sorely missed, and mourned is the forefather, founder, and former face of EpicentRx, Dr. Arnold Oronsky, a titan of venture capital, immunology, and wisdom, as well as mentor and best friend who, to all our deepest regret and continuing sorrow, passed away in 2020.

5. Meaghan Stirn is the straw that stirs the drink at EpicentRx, the one everyone turns to for answers and for help. This includes her Great Dane, Ranger, who sometimes turns up on Zoom calls predictably looking for food and who is so yuuge that they wear saddles instead of leashes, a joke that we’re guessing she hears all the time (and then rolls her eyes to). As the VP of Special Projects, a title which is shrouded in mystery and secrecy, hers could be the last face you see if you are foolish enough to press Meaghan for details about exactly what that title means.

6. Another straw – and pot-stirrer is Jeannie Williams, who looks for problems – and then solves them! Jeannie is the face of magic, which she makes happen daily, so we cannot rule out for certain whether Jeannie, like the TV actress, Barbara Eden, is really a genie who nods, crosses her arms, and blinks her way out of tight spots. A real straight shooter, probably literally, in fact, since she served as an Army nurse in Afghanistan, Jeannie is the one to call on, as everyone in the company knows, when the going gets tough.

7. The face of Philly tough – and data management – is Philadelphia-born and raised, Erica “Rocky” Burbano. Immensely likeable, and quick to laugh, Erica is only tough when she needs to be i.e., when she detects discrepancies in the clinical trial data and woe betide the clinical trial sites that do not promptly answer her queries.

8. Another tremendous resource, or human resource, if you will, is Allison Pratt, who, as Head of Human Resources, and the one face we consistently see on company Zoom calls, changed EpicentRx for the better—so much for the better—when she arrived on the scene in 2019 with her always cheerful demeanor, and absolutely first-rate, wonderful laugh.

We’ll stop here with Allison, because let’s face it, this is a lot of text to read. But, hey, no long faces because we’ll be back soon with Parts 2 and 3 of this blog post.