For Immediate Release

Lacie Randall
Chief Creative Officer

Rare Cancer Patient Founds Biopharma Company To Treat Fellow Rare Cancer Patients

CAMBRIDGE, MA— November 24, 2016 — David Hysong is fighting for his life and using his story to save the lives of others. After being diagnosed with Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma (ACC), a rare cancer for which there is no cure or approved therapy, David reached out to former Genzyme senior vice president Gene Williams. Together they founded the rare cancer-focused biopharma company, SHEPHERD Therapeutics, on January 1, 2016. SHEPHERD will research and develop novel therapies to treat cancers similar to ACC and will be a voice for patients previously neglected by the pharmaceutical industry.

Rare Isn’t Rare
“5.9 million people are diagnosed with a rare cancer every year. That’s forty-two percent of all cancer patients. So what the public needs to understand is that ‘rare’ really isn’t rare,” explained David. “On top of that, patients with a rare cancer are two and a half times less likely to have a therapy developed for their disease than those diagnosed with non-rare cancers. For the 250 forms of cancer listed by the American Cancer Society, only 49 have approved treatments. I wasn’t about to stand there along with 6 million others and wait to die. It was time to do something about it.”

SHEPHERD is breaking new ground, not only in its intentional and singular focus on rare cancer but also in its innovative business model which combines a diversified and platform-agnostic portfolio, strong relationships with disease-specific research foundations, and the ability to leverage top industry talent and expertise using a virtual model. As described by Gene Williams, “SHEPHERD is an early exemplar of one of the most important trends in medicine and health – patient empowerment and engagement…SHEPHERD is a pharmaceutical company by patients, for patients. It is truly a people’s biotech.”

SHEPHERD guides disease-specific therapies and innovations from research through development to save lives. Over the past six months, Mr. Hysong has assembled an impressive staff of former pharmaceutical executives who believe in the vision and share his commitment to the SHEPHERD mission. SHEPHERD now employs a full staff of scientists dedicated to rare cancer therapies, as well as a team of research, marketing and business development fellows. Together, they combine wide-ranging expertise in disease biology, cutting-edge technological advances, government regulatory processes and the pharmaceutical industry. SHEPHERD is dedicated to developing therapeutics for all patients of rare, underfunded, and otherwise neglected cancers.

About SHEPHERD Therapeutics
The mission of SHEPHERD Therapeutics is to cure rare cancers. Founded by a rare cancer patient, SHEPHERD is a life sciences company relentlessly focused on using deep disease understanding, development expertise, and unwavering commitment to save people dying of neglected rare cancers. SHEPHERD is changing the traditional economics and timeline of drug development, delivering better treatments faster for patients who previously had none. To join the mission or learn more, visit


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