Business Wire

Evexta Bio appoints Shawn M. Leland as Chairman of the Board of Directors


Evexta Bio SA, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing first-in-class therapies in oncology, announces the appointment of Shawn M. Leland, PharmD, RPh as Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Shawn is an accomplished pharmaceutical and biotechnology professional with more than 15 years of experience in the industry. Throughout his career, Shawn has successfully advanced novel oncology assets and programs, raised substantial capital for various ventures, negotiated major global licensing agreements, and established strategic partnerships. His extensive experience in leading biotech startups, raising capital and executing strategic collaborations will be a major benefit to Evexta Bio in its growth and corporate development strategy.

Most recently, Shawn was the Interim CEO and Board Director of ForeBio, where he led the company through a phase 2 study with registrational intent and closed a $75M Series D financing.

In July 2019, Shawn founded Elevation Oncology, where he served as Chief Business Officer and Board Director, and later as CEO until January 2023. During his mandate, the company advanced multiple novel targeted oncology assets. Shawn raised over $200M in capital, which included a $100M IPO. Shawn grew Elevation Oncology from zero to more than 50 employees.

Shawn was Head of Business Development at Verastem Oncology from 2017 – 2019 and Argos Therapeutics from 2013 – 2017 where he played a pivotal role in each company’s corporate development strategy leading multiple partnerships and licensing transactions. Shawn started his career with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, ARIAD Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly. Shawn holds a PharmD from Albany College of Pharmacy.

Alain Chevallier, former Chairman of the board of Directors of Evexta Bio, said: “I'm pleased to be handing over the chairmanship to a great professional of the oncology and biotech field as Shawn, who brings new valuable perspectives to Evexta Bio, and I will continue, as Vice-Chairman, to be fully committed to the success of the Company.”

Scott Filosi, CEO of Evexta Bio added: “I am delighted to welcome Shawn as Chairman of the Board of Directors. His experience and expertise in oncology and strategic development of biotechnology companies are real assets for Evexta Bio. I’m looking forward to working with him to accelerate the mission of Evexta Bio.

Shawn M. Leland, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Evexta Bio,said: "I’m looking forward to joining the team of Evexta Bio in such a pivotal moment of its development. Evexta Bio has tremendous potential and I thank the members of the Board of Directors for their trust.”

About Evexta Bio (

Evexta Bio is a biopharmaceutical company exploring the new frontiers of oncology in search of daring novel therapeutic approaches with the potential to save lives. Now, in the clinic, the company is currently developing two proprietary therapeutic assets with novel mechanisms of action across several indications:

  • Rupitasertib, an optimized S6K inhibitor with efficient AKT1/AKT3 control of compensatory AKT feed-back loop. The oral anti-tumor agent is expected to enter phase 2 clinical trial in ESR1mt ER+ HER2- advanced breast cancer.
  • EVX020, a sole-in-class KIF20A kinesin inhibitor having shown potent nonclinical efficacy in hematological and solid tumor models. Two strategies are under assessment, development of EVX020 as a prodrug and as a payload for antibody-drug conjugate (ADC).

Founded by Truffle Capital, supported by Merck KGaA (Darmstadt, Germany) as shareholder, Evexta Bio has forged alliances with leaders in academia and industry, including CNRS, Paoli-Calmettes Institute (Marseille, France) and Merck KGaA. The company is supported by seasoned management team, board of directors and medical advisory board.

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