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About Earli

Our Story

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...Sam’s and Cyriac’s Saturday morning breakfast in their local 4,000 people town in Silicon Valley turned into a 3-hour conversation, and not long after, Cyriac found himself at Sam’s house every other Saturday morning for the next three months, where Sam told the entrepreneur about biology and oncology insights. Sam shared with him his idea of Synthetic Biomarkers, forcing the cancer to produce a non-human substance to help reveal, then localize and ultimate destroy itself. Cyriac was immediately fascinated and could not forget about the idea (“I tried to forget it, it didn’t work,” he says). For the next nine months, they went through hundreds of people to find the right third co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer. That became David Suhy, a gene therapy and bio startup expert with experience taking a gene therapy product all the way from inception to Phase 2 clinical trials. Earli was born in June 2018 and moved into its first lab space in South San Francisco a month later. David has been leading the science ever since.

Since then, Earli has been assembling the world’s best team to bring the science to humans as soon as possible and fulfill Sam’s deep purpose. ‘As soon as possible’ at Earli means much sooner than commonly thinkable. Earli set itself a goal to go from foundation of the company to clinical stage within three years or less.

Earli feels a deep urgency to carry Sam’s torch. In July 2020, Sam himself passed away from cancer, a day after he was honored with Stanford’s Dean’s Medal, its highest recognition of scientific, humanitarian and medical contributions. The disease was brutal on Sam’s and Aruna’s lives.

Only really different and unique ideas will get us all the way to the goal of conquering cancer. At Earli, we must turn into a reality for patients what Sam already dreamed about.

Our Founders

Cyriac Portrait

Cyriac Roeding

Co-Founder & CEO

Cyriac is an entrepreneur and investor who builds companies on the intersection of the physical, engineering and digital worlds. At Earli, he is inspired by connecting the living physical world (the human body) with bioengineering software approaches.

He has previously built three companies, and is an investor in more than 20 startups and venture funds including a16z, Bond, Founders Fund, Greylock, IVP, ZhenFund. He incubated shopkick in the basement of Kleiner Perkins during the financial crisis, which is a shopping app that rewards consumers just for walking into stores without having to buy anything. With 20M users, it was acquired five years later for $250M by SK Telecom (SK Planet) from South Korea. Before that, he created CBS Television’s mobile division in LA, and co-founded 12snap in Europe, one of the first mobile marketing firms, working with Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Sony and others.

Cyriac sold his first computer program in Germany at age 15, attended high school in Texas where he proudly ran the school flag at Friday night football games, studied Japanese Management in Tokyo, and at 25, co-authored the Harvard Business School book Secrets of Software Success while at McKinsey. He was named a World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer and a Fortune 40 Under 40 Mobilizer.

Today, he has three beloved mini children who push him and his startup-loving wife Angel to the outermost frontier in multitasking.

David Shuy Portrait

Dr. David Suhy

Co-Founder & Chief Scientific Officer

David is that unique combination of gene therapy expert, experienced in bio ventures both private and public, having brought gene therapy ideas from inception all the way through to Phase 2 clinical trials, and being great leader that science teams love to work with.

Before Earli, he was the CSO at Benitec Biopharma with expertise in combining multiple therapeutic modalities (RNAi, antisense RNA, proteins) with gene therapy delivery, and oversaw development path for multiple products in or near term clinical studies including Hepatitis C Virus (HCV), Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma (HNSCC), and Oculopharyngeal Muscular Dystrophy (OPMD). He developed the first non-withdrawable, systemic RNAi compound used clinically in human subjects. He held previous scientific leadership roles at Tacere Therapeutics, Takara Bio, Anatara and PPD.  He holds a PhD in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Cell Biology  from Northwestern University and completed his post doctoral training at Stanford.

He is a great dad to three teenage children and loves making pizza in his large wood-fired oven in his backyard. His wife Joyce is a neuroscientist who knows the risks of science, and is yet fully convinced that with David’s passion, Earli will accomplish its purpose.

Dr. Sam Gambhir Portrait

In Memoriam: Dr. Sam Gambhir

Co-Founder

Sam spent his life on coming up with fundamentally new ways to detect serious diseases much earlier, when they can be treated much more successfully.

He combined this scientific creativity with a deep compassion for patients needing help. He directed a team of 800 people at Stanford, from foundational research as Director of the Canary Center for Early Cancer Detection and Molecular Imaging, to new integrative approaches as Head of the Precision Health & Integrated Diagnostics Center, all the way to the patients’ bedside as Chair of Radiology at the Stanford Hospital & Clinics. He was the author of over 600 publications and 40 patents, and served as scientific advisor to 30 companies and investment firms, including Google Verily, Grail, GE Medical, Third Rock and PureTech. His award list include the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, National Academy of Inventors, Tesla Medal, Hounsfield Medal, American Association for the Advancement of Science. With his entrepreneurial wife Aruna he loved to see any distant part of the world. And rather curiously, given his gentle and compassionate heart, Sam really loved heavy metal music.

Sam passed away in July 2020, from a cancer of unknown primary. He was that rare combination of exceptional brilliance and humanity in one. Earli is now carrying his torch to help find a way to detect and treat cancer earlier, and bring it to patients as soon as possible. We are deeply enrolled in his mission.

Our Advisors

Jim Allison

Jim Allison

Chair Immunology, MD Anderson, Nobel Laureate

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Jim Allison grew up in the tiny town Alice, Texas, and lost his mom to cancer at age 10.  Today, he is not only an “iconoclast with a lab that has the feel of a pirate ship,” but he is also the Chair of the Department of Immunology and the Executive Director of the Immunotherapy Platform at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.  On October 1, 2018, his phone rang at 4:30 am with a call from Stockholm.  He was awarded the Nobel Prize for his discovery of checkpoint inhibitors (CTLA-4) that essentially “take the brakes off” of the immune system so it can fight cancer.  After years of fighting hard to bring his discovery to patients, his discovery finally sparked and entirely new way of thinking about cancer therapies. Most importantly, many lives have been saved through Jim’s work.  Jim works on future cancer therapies when he is not playing the harmonica on stage with his personal idols Willie Nelson and Mickey Raphael.

Jim Allison grew up in the tiny town Alice, Texas, and lost his mom to cancer at age 10.  Today, he is not only an “iconoclast with a lab that has the feel of a pirate ship,” but he is also the Chair of the Department of Immunology and the Executive Director of the Immunotherapy Platform at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.  On October 1, 2018, his phone rang at 4:30 am with a call from Stockholm.  He was awarded the Nobel Prize for his discovery of checkpoint inhibitors (CTLA-4) that essentially “take the brakes off” of the immune system so it can fight cancer.  After years of fighting hard to bring his discovery to patients, his discovery finally sparked and entirely new way of thinking about cancer therapies. Most importantly, many lives have been saved through Jim’s work.  Jim works on future cancer therapies when he is not playing the harmonica on stage with his personal idols Willie Nelson and Mickey Raphael.

Bob Langer

Bob Langer

Institute Professor MIT, Co-founder Moderna

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Bob Langer has been referred to as The Edison of Medicine, with 1,400 issued and pending patents worldwide licensed or sublicensed to over 400 companies. Bob himself has played a role in the foundation of over 40 companies, including Moderna, where he is a co-founder. Bob’s 1,500 articles have been cited over 320,000 times, which gives him the highest h-index of any engineer in history; he is currently in a competition with Sigmund Freud in the top six most cited person in history.  Bob has collected 220 awards and 34 honorary doctorates, and been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Inventors.  Where does Bob get his inspiration?  He loves to attend magic shows. Or he makes his own magic shows. Literally.

Bob Langer has been referred to as The Edison of Medicine, with 1,400 issued and pending patents worldwide licensed or sublicensed to over 400 companies. Bob himself has played a role in the foundation of over 40 companies, including Moderna, where he is a co-founder. Bob’s 1,500 articles have been cited over 320,000 times, which gives him the highest h-index of any engineer in history; he is currently in a competition with Sigmund Freud in the top six most cited person in history.  Bob has collected 220 awards and 34 honorary doctorates, and been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Inventors.  Where does Bob get his inspiration?  He loves to attend magic shows. Or he makes his own magic shows. Literally.

Judy Garber

Judy Garber

Director Cancer Genetics & Prevention, Dana-Farber

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Judy Garber is the Chief of the Division for Cancer Genetics and Prevention at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.  Judy comes from a family with multiple instances of cancer, among them her mother and grandmother with breast cancer. With this personal sense of mission, Judy is leading key research into various topics, such as the characteristics and treatment of triple negative or basal-like breast cancer, the most common form in women with BRCA1 mutations.  Beyond that, Judy supports cancer research at the national and international levels, as the past president and current member of the Foundation Board of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), on the Advisory Board of the National Cancer Institute, and as Chair of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) Scientific Advisory Board.

Judy Garber is the Chief of the Division for Cancer Genetics and Prevention at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.  Judy comes from a family with multiple instances of cancer, among them her mother and grandmother with breast cancer. With this personal sense of mission, Judy is leading key research into various topics, such as the characteristics and treatment of triple negative or basal-like breast cancer, the most common form in women with BRCA1 mutations.  Beyond that, Judy supports cancer research at the national and international levels, as the past president and current member of the Foundation Board of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), on the Advisory Board of the National Cancer Institute, and as Chair of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) Scientific Advisory Board.

Phil Greenberg

Phil Greenberg

ex-Co-founder Juno, Head of Immunology, Hutch

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Phil Greenberg leads the Program in Immunology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.  He has been instrumental in the discovery of the principles of T-cell and tumor interactions and translating key insights to cancer therapies with genetically engineered T cells. Phil is also the scientific co-founder of Juno Therapeutics, which was acquired for $9B by Celgene in 2018. He served as an elected member of the Board of Directors of the American Association for Cancer Research, and currently is an Editor-In-Chief of the journal Cancer Immunology Research. As frequently as possible, Phil escapes to the slopes in Whistler or Crystal Mountain for skiing.

Phil Greenberg leads the Program in Immunology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.  He has been instrumental in the discovery of the principles of T-cell and tumor interactions and translating key insights to cancer therapies with genetically engineered T cells. Phil is also the scientific co-founder of Juno Therapeutics, which was acquired for $9B by Celgene in 2018. He served as an elected member of the Board of Directors of the American Association for Cancer Research, and currently is an Editor-In-Chief of the journal Cancer Immunology Research. As frequently as possible, Phil escapes to the slopes in Whistler or Crystal Mountain for skiing.

Padmanee Sharma

Padmanee Sharma

Scientific Director, Immunotherapy Platform, MD Anderson

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Padmanee “Pam” Sharma went from a poor childhood in Guyana to Queens/NY, to Boston, to become the Scientific Director of the Immunotherapy Research Platform at MD Anderson, working with – and married to – Jim Allison. She works with tumor samples before, during and after treatment to understand why immune oncology drugs work for some but not all patients, using a “reverse translation” process with studies on human immune responses to generate hypotheses related to mechanisms of tumor rejection. In 2018, she received the Cancer Research Institute’s highest scientific honor, the William B. Coley Award, followed by the Women in Science with Excellence (WISE) award in 2020. She tries to combine all this as much as possible with hanging out on the beach with her family, good friends and adorable dog.

Padmanee “Pam” Sharma went from a poor childhood in Guyana to Queens/NY, to Boston, to become the Scientific Director of the Immunotherapy Research Platform at MD Anderson, working with – and married to – Jim Allison. She works with tumor samples before, during and after treatment to understand why immune oncology drugs work for some but not all patients, using a “reverse translation” process with studies on human immune responses to generate hypotheses related to mechanisms of tumor rejection. In 2018, she received the Cancer Research Institute’s highest scientific honor, the William B. Coley Award, followed by the Women in Science with Excellence (WISE) award in 2020. She tries to combine all this as much as possible with hanging out on the beach with her family, good friends and adorable dog.

Lee Hartwell

Lee Hartwell

Former President Hutch Cancer RC, Nobel Laureate

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Lee Hartwell is the former President of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.  He received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2001 for his work on the genetics of cell division and checkpoint genes.  Lee describes his own biggest strength as the ability to ask good questions.  In addition to his own science work, Lee is focused on creating an environment for middle school and college students to do authentic science experiments, with the goal of helping them become life-long learners. But his most favorite laboratory is the kitchen, where he experiments with simple healthy dishes with lots of flavor. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Lee does not follow recipes.

Lee Hartwell is the former President of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.  He received the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2001 for his work on the genetics of cell division and checkpoint genes.  Lee describes his own biggest strength as the ability to ask good questions.  In addition to his own science work, Lee is focused on creating an environment for middle school and college students to do authentic science experiments, with the goal of helping them become life-long learners. But his most favorite laboratory is the kitchen, where he experiments with simple healthy dishes with lots of flavor. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Lee does not follow recipes.

Charlie Rudin

Charlie Rudin

Chief Thoracic Oncology, Memorial Sloan Kettering

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Charlie Rudin is the Chief of the Thoracic Oncology Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where he also co-directs the Druckenmiller Center for Lung Cancer Research. As a physician-scientist, he is focused on developing novel treatment options for lung cancer, including discovery of epigenetic changes that lead to therapy resistance, and development of a new strategy for in vivo genome editing of patient-derived cancer models. Charlie also chairs the NCI Small Cell Lung Cancer Research Consortium. The son of two prominent mathematicians, Charlie determined he lacked the math gene, and settled for working on curing cancer instead.

Charlie Rudin is the Chief of the Thoracic Oncology Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where he also co-directs the Druckenmiller Center for Lung Cancer Research. As a physician-scientist, he is focused on developing novel treatment options for lung cancer, including discovery of epigenetic changes that lead to therapy resistance, and development of a new strategy for in vivo genome editing of patient-derived cancer models. Charlie also chairs the NCI Small Cell Lung Cancer Research Consortium. The son of two prominent mathematicians, Charlie determined he lacked the math gene, and settled for working on curing cancer instead.

Mark Jacobstein

Mark Jacobstein

Ex-Chief User Eng. Officer, Guardant Health

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Mark Jacobstein is the former Chief User Engagement Officer at Guardant Health, where he developed and implemented successful market entry and commercialization strategies for cancer detection via liquid biopsies.  Mark is a serial entrepreneur always on the edge of seismic platform shifts, with multiple companies in the online and mobile worlds, including a stint at Qualcomm after the acquisition of his mobile VoIP company iSkoot. Next, he identified the intersection of biology and software as the next fundamental opportunity for change. Now he supports and invests in multiple companies in this field. As for his own invention of the world's first online fantasy sports business in1994, he attributes it to his long-suffering fate as a Red Sox fan.

Mark Jacobstein is the former Chief User Engagement Officer at Guardant Health, where he developed and implemented successful market entry and commercialization strategies for cancer detection via liquid biopsies.  Mark is a serial entrepreneur always on the edge of seismic platform shifts, with multiple companies in the online and mobile worlds, including a stint at Qualcomm after the acquisition of his mobile VoIP company iSkoot. Next, he identified the intersection of biology and software as the next fundamental opportunity for change. Now he supports and invests in multiple companies in this field. As for his own invention of the world's first online fantasy sports business in1994, he attributes it to his long-suffering fate as a Red Sox fan.

Aruna Gambhir

Aruna Gambhir

CEO Cellsight, Sam Gambhir Estate

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Aruna Gambhir is a Special Advisor to Earli, representing Earli’s continued strong link to Sam Gambhir’s family after his passing.  Aruna is the CEO of CellSight Technologies, which is commercializing new PET imaging tracers that can visualize the body’s immune response to immunotherapies. Originally developed in the Gambhir lab at Stanford University. Aruna built partnerships with the National Cancer Institute and Johns Hopkins, MD Anderson, Yale and UCSF to advance the tracer development.  Prior at Siebel Systems, Aruna helped build and manage a globally distributed sales consulting team, during its growth from startup phase to Fortune 500 status.  Aruna’s current side project is to build an architectural masterpiece house that she designed together with her late husband Sam.

Aruna Gambhir is a Special Advisor to Earli, representing Earli’s continued strong link to Sam Gambhir’s family after his passing.  Aruna is the CEO of CellSight Technologies, which is commercializing new PET imaging tracers that can visualize the body’s immune response to immunotherapies. Originally developed in the Gambhir lab at Stanford University. Aruna built partnerships with the National Cancer Institute and Johns Hopkins, MD Anderson, Yale and UCSF to advance the tracer development.  Prior at Siebel Systems, Aruna helped build and manage a globally distributed sales consulting team, during its growth from startup phase to Fortune 500 status.  Aruna’s current side project is to build an architectural masterpiece house that she designed together with her late husband Sam.

Alan Ashworth

Alan Ashworth

President Hellen Diller Cancer Center, UCSF

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Alan Ashworth is the President of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Sr. Vice President for Cancer Services with UCSF Health. He was on the team that identified the BRCA2 breast cancer susceptibility gene, and a decade later, discovered how to kill related tumor cells with PARP inhibitors.  Four different PARP inhibitors have now been approved by the FDA for the treatment of ovarian, breast, pancreatic and prostate cancer based on his work.  Beyond driving serious progress, Alan prefers to stay on the British-humorous side, with a cat at home named Jonesy after the cat in the film Alien.

Alan Ashworth is the President of the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the Sr. Vice President for Cancer Services with UCSF Health. He was on the team that identified the BRCA2 breast cancer susceptibility gene, and a decade later, discovered how to kill related tumor cells with PARP inhibitors.  Four different PARP inhibitors have now been approved by the FDA for the treatment of ovarian, breast, pancreatic and prostate cancer based on his work.  Beyond driving serious progress, Alan prefers to stay on the British-humorous side, with a cat at home named Jonesy after the cat in the film Alien.

Adam Bass

Adam Bass

Founding Director, Center of Precision Cancer Medicine, Columbia University

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Adam Bass is responsible for the translation of new oncology science to the clinic at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard, and works with the Broad Institute.  As leader of the Gastrointestinal Malignancies Program, he brings together expertise in modern genomics, experimental/functional biology and clinical medicine.  Adam has always liked to push the boundaries. After college, he and his friends turned a 1960’s school bus into an RV and drove as far West as they could.  The bus broke down in the middle of Utah, but the trip was great.

Adam Bass is responsible for the translation of new oncology science to the clinic at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard, and works with the Broad Institute.  As leader of the Gastrointestinal Malignancies Program, he brings together expertise in modern genomics, experimental/functional biology and clinical medicine.  Adam has always liked to push the boundaries. After college, he and his friends turned a 1960’s school bus into an RV and drove as far West as they could.  The bus broke down in the middle of Utah, but the trip was great.

Jamie McGurk

Jamie McGurk

Chief Operating Officer, Coatue

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Jamie McGurk is the Managing Partner of Private Investments at Coatue with early and late stage AUM over $9 billion.  Jamie loves working with entrepreneurs. As a former Operating Partner at Andreessen Horowitz(a16z), he helped entrepreneurs with 13 IPOs or Direct Listings, raise $22 billion in private funding and complete 56 M&A transactions worth over $23 billion.  He has authored many well-known pieces on startup financing, going public and partnerships.  In his free time, Jamie enjoys losing on the golf course to his wife, and, eventually, his kids.

Jamie McGurk is the Managing Partner of Private Investments at Coatue with early and late stage AUM over $9 billion.  Jamie loves working with entrepreneurs. As a former Operating Partner at Andreessen Horowitz(a16z), he helped entrepreneurs with 13 IPOs or Direct Listings, raise $22 billion in private funding and complete 56 M&A transactions worth over $23 billion.  He has authored many well-known pieces on startup financing, going public and partnerships.  In his free time, Jamie enjoys losing on the golf course to his wife, and, eventually, his kids.

Investors

Andreessen horowitz logoKhosla Ventures LogoPerceptive Advisors LogoCasdin Capital logo
Sands Capital LogoMenlo Ventures LogoBreyer Capital LogoZhen Fund Logo