Cutting-Edge Cancer Research in the Heart of Scarsdale

One of Westchester’s newest businesses is making a big impact — with a small team

With just three staff members, Sapience Therapeutics in Scarsdale may appear small at first. But the trio behind one of Westchester’s newest businesses is doing some of the most important work in medicine today, unlocking treatments for the deadliest forms of cancer.

“We’re focused on unmet-need oncology,” says Pelham’s Barry Kappel (left), founder, president, and CEO of Sapience. The company’s current goal? Creating an effective course of treatment for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most severe form of brain cancer. Sapience is currently developing ST-36, a drug that battles GBM tumors. 

Sapience may be new to the biotechnology scene (they incorporated in 2015), but it has already generated buzz, espcially with shareholders like Columbia University and Celgene Corporation. 

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Kappel has an imposing résumé: He has an MBA from Cornell and a PhD in Biomedical Sciences, plus a background in entrepreneurship and venture-capital work, in addition to six years heading up business development at ContraFect Corporation.

Even with all that talent, Kappel and his team aren’t entirely alone: They are supported by a powerful network of advisors. Among them are oncology experts from Columbia University, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Weill Cornell Medical College.

Assembling this team wasn’t as difficult as it might seem, Kappel notes. “There’s extraordinary need for the types of programs we’re bringing forward, which [provide] completely new approaches to treatment.” 

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