Member Spotlight: Q&A with Shorla Oncology

Apr 01, 2023

Every month, MassBio spotlights a member company and the great work they’re doing to advance the life sciences industry and support the patients we serve. For April, we spoke with Sharon Cunningham, CEO and Co-founder of Shorla Oncology. Named Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur 2019 and recognized as one of the 100 most influential CEO’s in Ireland by the Business & Finance Media Group 2020, Sharon is a PwC trained Chartered Accountant (ACA) with an MBA from University College Dublin Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School and a BSc in Finance from University College Cork Ireland.

Tell us about your organization, its mission, and current initiatives

At Shorla Oncology we develop and commercialize innovative oncology drugs. We focus on indications where existing treatments are limited, in shortage or inadequate for the target population.

Our mission is to make existing oncology treatments better through formulation re-innovation. 

Our development strategy of rethinking approved pharmaceuticals in oncology represents a focused approach that can dramatically reduce clinical burden, cost and risk while maximizing speed to market. This month, we announced FDA approval for Nelarabine Injection for the Treatment of T-cell Leukemia. We plan to have at least two products on market and 4+ products at a late stage of development by the end of 2024.

How does your organization’s activities help patients now and into the future?

Drug shortages pose a significant public health concern impacting patient’s health outcomes leading to delays in treatment or substitution with less effective therapies when the preferred drug product is not available. Our growing portfolio will bring accessible, affordable and life-changing treatments to patients, delivering a major contribution to patient care.

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the life sciences industry today?

The global socio economic landscape and its impact on investment dollars. Research and development is a lengthy and capital intensive process which requires continuous financial support. However, the impact of global volatility has caused uncertainty for dealmakers and problems for life sciences companies in recent times.

What’s next for your organization / what are you focused on in the coming year?

Launch our recently FDA approved drug in the U.S., secure a product in-licencing deal for a synergistic oncology product, close our Series B funding round, grow our team in the U.S. and Ireland and continue to advance our pipeline.

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