About Us

Black Diamond Therapeutics, Inc

Our Vision

Precision Cancer Medicines for Every Genetically-Defined Patient    

Company Overview

Black Diamond Therapeutics: A Next-Wave Cancer Precision Medicine Company

Black Diamond Therapeutics has pioneered the development of selective medicines for patients with genetically-defined cancers driven by oncogenes activated by allosteric mutations.

The cornerstone of our approach derives from evolving trends in cancer clinical medicine. Genome-wide information – now routinely obtained from DNA testing of cancer patients – identifies clusters of uncharacterized genomic alterations. Today, new baskets of un-drugged oncogenic targets exist, leading to the identification of additional cancer patients in need of novel therapies.

Using our MAP platform, Black Diamond Therapeutics is pioneering new ways to functionally assess the mutational landscape of individual oncogenes – to discover and validate new targets, and to develop novel approaches to creating highly selective therapeutics.

Our Team

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David M. Epstein, Ph.D. - Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer

David M. Epstein, PhD is founder & CEO of Black Diamond Therapeutics. David is a biopharma leader and executive who has successfully led large and small R&D teams in academic, virtual, start-up, mid-size and global large-pharma settings. His teams have progressed multiple novel agents through development in oncology, cardiovascular disease, and retinal degeneration. David was Chief Scientific Officer at Astellas/OSI Pharmaceuticals, and previously a founder of Archemix Corp.

Most recently Vice Dean, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and Associate Professor in Cancer & Stem Cell Biology at Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore, David founded and built Duke-NUS’s Centre for Technology & Development (CTeD). The Centre has developed a pipeline of innovation projects, completing 2 product-development biopharma partnerships, and 7 spin-outs from its technologies.

David’s research focuses on RNA splicing and immune-tumor cell interactions in cancer. He earned a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Brandeis University and completed a joint post-doctoral fellowship leading a collaboration in protein structure, function and NMR dynamics between the labs of Steven Benkovic (Penn State) and Peter Wright at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla.

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Elizabeth Buck, Ph.D. - Co-Founder, Executive Vice President, Discovery & Translational Sciences

Dr. Elizabeth Buck is co-founder and Executive VP, Discovery & Translational Sciences for Black Diamond Therapeutics. Dr. Buck was instrumental in developing Black Diamond’s MAPing platform though which she made critical discoveries leading our understanding of the properties of allosteric mutations in oncogene activation. 

Dr. Buck has over 15 years of experience in oncology therapeutics in biotechnology and large pharma industries. Her expertise and productivity are evidenced by more than 40 peer reviewed publications and patents. Prior to joining Black Diamond, Dr. Buck was Assistant Director of Advanced Preclinical Pharmacology at OSI Pharmaceuticals, where she led discovery and translational research to advance a series of oncology programs to clinical development. During this role Dr. Buck managed multidisciplinary global teams and spearheaded major academic collaborations to progress programs to IND. Dr. Buck received her undergraduate degree in physics from the University of New Hampshire, Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology from New York University / Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and completed postdoctoral work with Jim Wells at Sunesis Pharmaceuticals.

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Brent Hatzis-Schoch - Chief Operating Officer, General Counsel

Brent Hatzis-Schoch is Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of Black Diamond Therapeutics. With more than 20 years’ experience in the global pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, he has held leadership positions at both commercial and development-stage companies.

Prior to joining Black Diamond, Brent was Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at Radius Health, Inc., a publicly traded commercial-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the areas of osteoporosis and oncology. While at Radius, Brent had responsibility for the legal, intellectual property (IP), contracts management, compliance, regulatory, and quality assurance functions, and helped build the company from a 35-employee development-stage company to a 500-employee commercial organization. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Counsel at Merz Pharma in Frankfurt, Germany, where he had global responsibility for the legal, IP, and compliance functions. Brent began his legal career in private practice and later held senior legal positions in the U.S. and internationally, including as General Counsel to two publicly traded development-stage German biopharmaceutical companies, European legal counsel for Baxter International, and Associate General Counsel of Pharmacia Corporation. Brent holds a Juris Doctor from George Washington University and was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Cologne, Germany.

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Alex Mayweg, Ph.D. - Founding, Chief Scientific Officer

Alex Mayweg, Ph.D., is founding CSO at Black Diamond. Alex is an accomplished leader in pharmaceutical drug discovery and medicinal chemistry across Europe, the U.S. and Asia. Most recently, Alex served as VP and global head of chemistry at Roche. Alex brings deep operating capabilities, having managed both large research portfolios and successful therapeutic programs.  Prior to Roche, Alex earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry at Oxford University, followed by post-doctorate training at Stanford University. His undergraduate degree was in chemistry from the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London.

Alex joined Versant in 2016 from Roche where he served as VP and global head of chemistry. He brings to Black Diamond deep operating capabilities, having led both large research portfolios and several successful therapeutics programs within Roche.

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Fang Ni, D.Pharm. - Chief Business Officer

Fang Ni joined Black Diamond in January 2018 to head the company’s business and corporate development. Fang previously worked within Roche’s business development organizations in the U.S. and Europe. In his previous role as Director, Global Oncology and Immuno-Oncology Business Development & Licensing, Fang was intimately involved in constructing an innovation strategy for cancer immunology and the molecular targeted therapy landscapes. Fang earned a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Purdue University, and then completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Rutgers University. Fang is a principal in Versant’s Basel, Switzerland office.

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Alexander Flohr, Ph.D. - Vice President, Chemistry

Alexander Flohr serves as the Vice President of Chemistry at Black Diamond Therapeutics. Prior to joining Black Diamond he spent 17 years at Roche as Medicinal Chemist where he was leading research and early development projects and leading international collaborations. He has created 7 clinical candidates maturing through all development phases. Alexander has authored over 50 patent applications and 41 scientific articles and invited conference presentations. He graduated with a degree in chemistry from University Bonn, received a Ph.D. from the University of Karlsruhe, and completed postdoctoral fellowships at the Scripps Research Institute and the ETH Zurich.

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Roberto Iacone, Ph.D. - Vice President, Biology

Roberto Iacone is a physician scientist and serves as the VP Biology at Black Diamond Therapeutics. Roberto previously served as Director and Global Head of the Rare Diseases Research at Roche, where he was employed for 10 years. During his tenure at Roche, he was responsible for generating disease area strategies and advancing several assets for immunological and neurological disease from discovery to early clinical development, which included both large and small molecule programs. He obtained his MD/PHD from the Max Planck Institute and University of Naples Federico II.

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Giorgio Ottaviani, PhD, DABT - Vice President, Preclinical Development

Giorgio Ottaviani, Ph.D, DABT is a drug development expert with  successful scientific and global leadership track records and serves as the VP Preclinical Development at Black Diamond Therapeutics.

Giorgio joins from Roche where he served in roles of increasing responsibility as Senior DMPK Project Leader, Head of Physicochemistry group, Site Head of Non-Clinical Safety in Shanghai and most recently as Global Head of DMPK-PD Project Leaders and Pharmacokinetics. Previously, Giorgio was DMPK principal scientist at Novartis and prior to that at Merck Serono. Giorgio brings broad development expertise across multiple therapeutic areas and modalities as well as proven ability to lead multi-disciplinary cross-cultural teams.

Giorgio earned a masters degree in organic and computational chemistry from the University of Perugia (Italy) followed by a Ph.D in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the University of Geneva (Switzerland) and is a certified toxicologist from the American Board of Toxicology (DABT).

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Ali Behbahani

Ali joined NEA in 2007 and is currently a General Partner on the healthcare team. He specializes in investments in the biopharmaceutical, medical device, specialty pharmaceutical and healthcare services sectors. Prior to joining NEA, Ali worked as an intern and later as a consultant in business development at The Medicines Company, a specialty pharmaceutical company developing acute care cardiovascular products. He previously held positions as a Venture Associate at Morgan Stanley Venture Partners and as a Healthcare Investment Banking Analyst at Lehman Brothers. He conducted basic science research in the fields of viral fusion inhibition and structural proteomics at the National Institutes of Health and at Duke University. Ali concurrently earned his MD degree from The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and his MBA degree from The University of Pennsylvania Wharton School, where he graduated with Honors and was a Palmer Scholar. He graduated summa cum laude and received his bachelor’s degrees with distinction in Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Chemistry from Duke University.

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Brad Bolzon, Ph.D. - Versant Ventures

Brad Bolzon, Ph.D., is a Managing Director and chairman of the investment team at Versant. Brad combines 13 years of global pharmaceutical industry experience and a similar tenure as a venture capitalist. His track record consists of successive outlier returns including Amira (sale), Okairos (sale), Speedel (sale), Quanticel (sale), Novira (sale), Flexion (2014 IPO), Crispr (2016 IPO), BioTie (sale), Jecure (sale) and Inception (multiple sales), and he continues to manage several other promising investments. Brad is the architect of Versant’s investment strategy.

Prior to joining Versant, Brad served as Executive Vice President, Global Head of Business Development, Licensing & Alliances at Roche. Under his leadership, Roche established alliances with over 75 venture-backed biotech companies worldwide and transformed its R&D pipeline into an industry leader. Prior to that, Brad held executive roles at Eli Lilly in drug discovery, clinical research, regulatory affairs and business development. He earned Master of Science and Ph.D. degrees in Pharmacology from the University of Toronto.

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David M. Epstein, Ph.D. - Founder, President & Chief Executive Officer

David M. Epstein, PhD is founder & CEO of Black Diamond Therapeutics. David is a biopharma leader and executive who has successfully led large and small R&D teams in academic, virtual, start-up, mid-size and global large-pharma settings. His teams have progressed multiple novel agents through development in oncology, cardiovascular disease, and retinal degeneration. David was Chief Scientific Officer at Astellas/OSI Pharmaceuticals, and previously a founder of Archemix Corp.

Most recently Vice Dean, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and Associate Professor in Cancer & Stem Cell Biology at Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore, David founded and built Duke-NUS’s Centre for Technology & Development (CTeD). The Centre has developed a pipeline of innovation projects, completing 2 product-development biopharma partnerships, and 7 spin-outs from its technologies.

David’s research focuses on RNA splicing and immune-tumor cell interactions in cancer. He earned a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Brandeis University and completed a joint post-doctoral fellowship leading a collaboration in protein structure, function and NMR dynamics between the labs of Steven Benkovic (Penn State) and Peter Wright at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla.

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Alex Mayweg, Ph.D. - Founding, Chief Scientific Officer

Alex Mayweg, Ph.D., is founding CSO at Black Diamond. Alex is an accomplished leader in pharmaceutical drug discovery and medicinal chemistry across Europe, the U.S. and Asia. Most recently, Alex served as VP and global head of chemistry at Roche. Alex brings deep operating capabilities, having managed both large research portfolios and successful therapeutic programs.  Prior to Roche, Alex earned a Ph.D. in organic chemistry at Oxford University, followed by post-doctorate training at Stanford University. His undergraduate degree was in chemistry from the Imperial College of Science and Technology in London.

Alex joined Versant in 2016 from Roche where he served as VP and global head of chemistry. He brings to Black Diamond deep operating capabilities, having led both large research portfolios and several successful therapeutics programs within Roche.

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Garry E. Menzel, Ph.D. - President and CEO of TCR2 Therapeutics

Dr. Menzel was a founding angel investor in Black Diamond and joined the board at its inception in 2014. Dr. Menzel is a Director and Chief Executive Officer of TCR2.  He has over 25 years of experience in building healthcare businesses and leading high-performing teams of professionals.  His versatile career has included operational roles covering drug development, manufacturing, financing, licensing and M&A. Prior to TCR2, he was the Chief Strategy Officer at Axcella Health, the Chief Financial Officer at DaVita Healthcare (NYSE: DVA), and the Chief Operating Officer at Regulus Therapeutics (NASDAQ:RGLS). Dr. Menzel also had global leadership roles in running the biotechnology practices at Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse where he advised on more than $100 billion in strategic transactions. In addition, he was a consultant with Bain & Company. Dr. Menzel earned his PhD from the University of Cambridge for studying the regulation of oncogenes in immune cells. He also has a MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

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Rajeev Shah

Rajeev Shah is a Portfolio Manager and Managing Director at RA Capital Management. Raj is active in both public and private investments in companies developing drugs, medical devices, diagnostics, and research tools. He is also active in the firm’s outreach efforts, speaking frequently both at industry events and in classrooms. Raj holds a BA from Cornell University, where he majored in Chemistry. Raj previously worked as a Senior Project Leader at Altus Pharmaceuticals, a spin-off company of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, where he assessed business processes and implemented system solutions across all areas of science. He is also an active member of the Big Brothers of Massachusetts Bay program.

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(Board Observer)
Thilo Schroeder, Ph.D. - Partner, Nextech Invest

Thilo Schroeder, Ph.D. is Partner at Nextech Invest Ltd., a global venture fund focused on investing in leading oncology companies. Prior to joining Nextech Invest in 2012, Dr. Schroeder worked in research specializing on the development of Designed Ankyrin Repeat Proteins (DARPins) as specific protein inhibitors (licensed to Molecular Partners / SWX:MOLN). He acquired expertise in molecular biology as an Intern at Micromet Ltd. (now Amgen) and during his studies at the University of Sydney. Dr. Schroeder currently serves as board member of Revolution Medicines, IDEAYA Bioscience, ImaginAb and board observer of Peloton Therapeutics and Black Diamond Therapeutics. He is a prior board member of Blueprint Medicines (NASDAQ:BPMC), board observer of Tracon Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:TCON). He holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Zurich in Switzerland, a M.Sc. in biotechnology from the Ecole de Supérieure de Biotechnologie de Strasbourg in France, and a B.Sc. in biology from the Technical University of Darmstadt in Germany.

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(Board Observer)
Derek DiRocco, Ph.D. - Principal, RA Capital Management

Derek DiRocco is a principal on the Investment Team at RA Capital Management, LLC, a multi-stage investment manager dedicated to evidence-based investing in healthcare and life sciences, including companies developing novel drugs, medical devices, and diagnostics. Derek works on both public and private investments and serves as a board director for 89Bio, Ltd. Previously, Derek covered solid tumor oncology landscapes. Derek holds a BA in Biology from Holy Cross College and a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Washington. He conducted his postdoctoral research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School, where he researched the role of the Wnt signaling pathway in mouse models of kidney disease and was part of a team that discovered a stem cell subtype responsible for solid organ fibrosis.

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Kapil Dhingra, Ph.D. - Former Head Roche Oncology Development

From 1999 to 2008 Dr. Kapil Dhingra served at Hoffmann-La Roche, including as Vice President, Head, Oncology Disease Biology Leadership Team, and Head, Oncology Clinical Development. Prior to joining Roche, he worked in the oncology clinical development group at Eli Lilly and Company. From 1989 to 1996, he was a faculty member at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and during his industry career maintained active faculty appointments at Indiana University School of Medicine from 1997 to 1999, and at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York from 2000 to 2008. Kapil is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology and is currently Chairman of Board of Exosome Diagnostics and member of Boards of Directors of Advanced Accelerator Applications, Five Prime, and Autolus. He is also a member of the NCI Experimental Therapeutics panel and a member of the New Drug Advisory Committee of the EORTC. He has previously served on the Boards of several successful biotech companies, including Biovex, Micromet, Algeta, YM Biosciences, and Epitherapeutics which were all acquired by major pharmaceutical companies. Kapil founded KAPital Consulting, LLC, in 2008, a company dedicated to helping biotechnology, pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies realize the clinical and commercial advances in oncology.

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George Trainor, Ph.D. - Former head of chemistry Bristol Myers Squibb

Dr. Trainor brings 30 years of experience in the Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industries. He has expertise in overall drug discovery strategy and execution, medicinal chemistry, and the application of transformative technologies. Leading teams of over 100 scientists, he has advanced over 35 drug candidates into clinical development in a diverse spectrum of therapeutic areas including antivirals, cancer, neuroscience, and inflammation. His team provided key discovery support that enabled the successful launch of SustivaTM for HIV disease.

Dr. Trainor is a partner at BioMotiv which he joined after leaving Bristol Myers Squibb Company as Vice President of Oncology and Early Discovery Chemistry. At BMS George was responsible for all aspects of medicinal chemistry for the oncology area as well as hit-to-leads activities in support of all therapeutic areas. Prior to being merged into Bristol Myers Squibb, Dr. Trainor was Executive Director for Medicinal Chemistry at Dupont/Dupont Merck Pharmaceuticals. His key contribution from that period was the discovery and commercial development of fluorescence-tagged chain terminators for use in automated DNA sequencing. This breakthrough technology was subsequently employed in the sequencing of the human genome, and In 2011, Trainor won the American Chemical Society’s Heroes of Chemistry Award for his work on DNA sequencing.  Dr. Trainor did his undergraduate work at Stevens Institute of Technology, received his PhD in Organic Chemistry at Harvard University, and was an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at Columbia University.

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Kevan Shokat, Ph.D. - Chair Cell & Mol Pharm UCSF, Berkeley

Kevan is professor and chair of the Department of Cellular and Molecular Pharmacology at the University of California, San Francisco and professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley. He is an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine.  Kevan is a pioneer in the development of chemical methods for investigating cellular signal transduction pathways—with a particular focus on protein kinases and lipid kinases. His laboratory uses a combination of chemical synthesis and protein engineering to create uniquely traceable and regulatable kinases, allowing the function of more than 100 different kinases to be uncovered across all disease areas including oncology, metabolism and infectious disease.

Kevan is a founder of Intellikine (acquired by Takeda) and Cellular Genomics (acquired by Gilead), co-founder of Araxes Pharmaceuticals, eFFECTOR Therapeutics and Mitokinin, LLC, Revolution Medicines, and a scientific advisor at Kura Oncology.  Kevan received his B.S. in chemistry from Reed College and his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley.