Platform drugs for orphan diseases like Cancer and Ebola

Last Funded June 2015


raised from 35 investors
$3M Series A by Connecticut Innovations
Last updated May 2018


Platform drug for the treatment of very serious diseases.
Dramatic efficacy in clinically relevant cancer models.
Awarded Orphan Drug Designation by the FDA in oncology.
Only multi-mechanism experimental Ebola drug in development.

Our Team

Our lead platform drug: OS2966

Shawn is a brain surgery dropout. He left clinical neurosurgery training in order to start OncoSynergy so that he could focus all of his efforts to advance medicine and improve outcomes for cancer patients. Shawn had spent 18 years prepping for a career as an academic neurosurgeon until one day his obsession with a new strategy for fighting cancer took over and he left his dream to be an entrepreneur.

Shawn was laser focused on neurosurgery from the beginning of his career as an undergrad at the University of Washington. Shockingly, neuroscience was not an available major at the University of Washington in the early 90s so he received his BS in Psychology instead. He then pursued the dual MD/PhD at the University of Virginia through the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) where he was a Dean's Merit Scholar.

After he received his PhD in Neuroscience, still hungry for more, Shawn deferred neurosurgery residency for 3 years to study brain metastasis at Oxford University as a Nicolas Kurti Junior Fellow at Brasenose College. Oxford eventually tried to recruit Shawn as a young faculty member, but he left to continue his surgical training at Cedars-Sinai in Beverly Hills and build an academic powerhouse and lab with one of the most respected brain cancer experts in the world.

Oxford is where Shawn first had a hunch about the potential for targeting a molecule called CD29 and its ability to block very fundamental critical path drivers of serious disease. However, during residency at Cedars-Sinai, 15 hour days turned to 20 hour days and Shawn dove headfirst into determining how to most rapidly bring his ideas into the clinic. After a two-week vacation developing his master plan, Shawn was so energized by the potential that he immediately decided to resign from his training program. His Chairman tried to retain him as a full-time tenure-track scientist but Shawn had already decided he needed to develop this outside of academia and bootstrap OncoSynergy.

For Shawn it was all about speed. He knew targeting CD29 could be a blockbuster approach and his patients typically only had a year to live from time of diagnosis. The academic credentials was worth nothing at this point, he wanted to get the drug out the door as soon as possible and that meant leaving the ivory tower . Shawn lost more than a paycheck when leaving clinical medicine , he lost his lab, he burnt bridges, and started maxing out his credit cards. But luckily he was able to demonstrate initial proof of concept at UCSF during his second postdoc and in six months spun out OncoSynergy. Four years and nearly $6 million in funding later OS2966 has FDA Orphan Drug Status and is ready for testing in patients.