« Back

ROME Therapeutics Appoints Keith Wilcoxen, Ph.D., as Executive Vice President, Early Development

Company’s inaugural development candidate, targeting dark genome’s first therapeutic target in autoimmune disease, now in IND-enabling studies

BOSTON – March 9, 2023 – ROME Therapeutics, a biotechnology company harnessing the power of the dark genome to develop breakthrough medicines for autoimmune diseases and cancer, today announced the appointment of Keith Wilcoxen, Ph.D., as Executive Vice President, Early Development. Dr. Wilcoxen is a translational leader with more than 25 years of experience advancing new therapies through preclinical and early clinical development, most recently as Senior Vice President, Global Research, at Zenas BioPharma, an autoimmune-focused biotechnology company.

“We are pleased to welcome Keith to ROME’s management team at this exciting moment in our company’s growth. We recently nominated ROME’s first development candidate, the LINE-1 reverse transcriptase inhibitor RPT-2950, providing a powerful demonstration of the progress we have made toward illuminating the dark genome’s role in disease,” said Rosana Kapeller, M.D., Ph.D., President, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of ROME. “Keith’s expertise in early clinical development and experience leading high-performing scientific teams will be valuable assets as we advance our development candidate to the clinic and progress our pipeline of first-in-class therapies for autoimmune diseases and cancer.”

Dr. Wilcoxen’s career spans more than two decades in the biopharmaceutical industry. He joins ROME from Zenas BioPharma where he served as Senior Vice President, Global Research, overseeing all pre-clinical and translational activities for a portfolio of autoimmune therapeutic candidates. Prior to joining Zenas, Dr. Wilcoxen was Vice President of Diligence and Non-Clinical Development, followed by Vice President of Translational Research at Boston Pharmaceuticals where he was a core member of the Research and Development leadership team. In previous roles at TESARO, culminating in the role of Executive Director and Head of Strategic Drug Hunting Partnerships, Preclinical Research, Dr. Wilcoxen supported three Investigational New Drug submissions, including for cancer therapies TSR-011, Jemperli™ (dostarlimab) and cobolimab, and New Drug Application submissions for cancer therapies Varubi™ (rolapitant) and Zejula™ (niraparib). He previously held roles of increasing responsibility with Eisai, Neurocrine Biosciences and Pfizer. Dr. Wilcoxen holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Scripps Research Institute and a B.A. in chemistry from Northwestern University.

“I am excited to join ROME to help drive forward their groundbreaking portfolio of therapies targeting the dark genome’s role in autoimmune diseases and cancer. I believe research into the dark genome is key to the next wave of therapeutic breakthroughs,” said Dr. Wilcoxen. “I look forward to working with the team to bring these important medicines to patients.”

About ROME Therapeutics

ROME Therapeutics is developing novel therapies for autoimmune diseases and cancer by illuminating the role of the dark genome in human health and disease. Leveraging the company’s unprecedented data sciences platform, ROME has built a deep pipeline of therapies targeting the dark genome. To lead this exploration, ROME has assembled a team of world-class leaders across immunology, oncology, virology and machine learning. ROME is based in Boston, Mass. For more information, please visit www.rometx.com.

Media Contact

Lisa Raffensperger
Ten Bridge Communications

Investor Contact

Monique Allaire
THRUST Strategic Communications