FACIT Appoints Biotech Veteran Dr. David O’Neill as President

Entrepreneur adds US oncology management experience to Ontario commercialization.

TORONTO, ON (June 13, 2018) — The Board of Trustees announced the appointment of David O’Neill as the President of FACIT. Dr O’Neill joined FACIT in 2013 as Vice President, Business Development, bringing cancer drug development expertise as well as an extensive business network in pharma and biotech. As Acting President for the last year, he has elevated the profile of the organization and enabled FACIT to continue to deliver critical commercialization financing to innovative start-ups in the growing Ontario market.

“David has demonstrated strong leadership of FACIT through the challenges of the past year with the illness and tragic loss of Jeff Courtney, FACIT’s past President, and he has continuously sought out opportunities to enhance FACIT’s role in strengthening Ontario’s innovation economy”, said John Morrison, Chair of FACIT’s Board of Trustees. “The Trustees are confident that David will provide the leadership necessary to move FACIT forward at this pivotal point in its evolution and look forward to working with him.”

Dr. O’Neill possesses two decades of transaction, marketing and seed stage investment experience through various business management roles at AstraZeneca, Ambit Biosciences (Daiichi Sankyo), Kinomescan (Eurofins) and Fluorinov Pharma (Trillium Therapeutics). He also held operational roles including non-clinical safety, IND submission and Project Leader during clinical development of potential leukemia therapy Quizartinib. He has provided interim executive management to FACIT spin outs Turnstone Biologics, Propellon Therapeutics and Novera Therapeutics. In addition to serving on the Board of Turnstone, he is also a Board Observer for Hamilton-based Fusion Pharmaceuticals. Dr. O’Neill holds a PhD from Western University from the Faculty of Health Sciences.

“David’s extensive experience makes him the optimal choice to lead FACIT into its next phase of development, and I look forward to working closely with him and his talented team in driving a shared vision to translate research discoveries”, said Dr. Laszlo Radvanyi, President and Scientific Director of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR), FACIT’s strategic partner. “We are entering a new era in Ontario by having the tools in place to accelerate our efforts to translate research discoveries into new therapies and technologies for patients. FACIT and OICR will build on a track record of creating cutting-edge start-ups and industry partnerships right here in Ontario, and generate significant economic and social benefits.”

“As a partner to industry within the large OICR network of leading oncologists and cancer researchers, FACIT is in an ideal position to support Ontario entrepreneurs and highlight the greenfields investment opportunity emerging north of the border,” remarked Dr. O’Neill. “I am fortunate to be part of fine group of professionals at FACIT and OICR and our shared mission to transform research and make a difference in the lives of patients with cancer.”

About the Fight Against Cancer Innovation Trust (FACIT)

Established by the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research (OICR) and the Province of Ontario as a strategic partner to accelerate commercialization of oncology innovations, the Fight Against Cancer Innovation Trust (FACIT) leads these innovations from the lab to the marketplace to benefit patients, researchers, investors and the Ontario economy. For more information, please visit the website at facit.ca.

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FACIT actively manages our diverse portfolio of Ontario oncology assets (including therapeutics, imaging, diagnostics, and technology platforms) that span all stages of commercialization, from proof-of-concept to clinical development.



With critical seed funding, FACIT makes it possible for Ontario’s best cancer research discoveries to compete globally and reach patients.