About us


Oncostellae is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering the discovery and development of proprietary drug candidates that address high unmet medical needs in immunology and oncology.

Founded in 2013 by a team of medicinal chemists and pharmacologists with a collective track record in drug discovery, the company brings together the experience and network of collaborators to develop clinical candidates from conception through to Phase I/II. Further development and commercialization rights are licensed to consolidated pharmaceutical companies.

Our lead program is a novel, GI-targeted JAK inhibitor, OST-122, which is currently in clinical development for the treatment of IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease). OST-122 has been designed as a local treatment that is taken orally and acts exclusively in the gastrointestinal tract avoiding severe systemic toxicities inherent in other JAK inhibitors. Its excellent safety profile has been demonstrated in preclinical models, healthy volunteers during a successful phase 1 clinical trial, and currently in a phase 2a proof-of-concept study in patients with Ulcerative colitis.

During POC, 36 patients with moderate-to-severe UC were treated with 400 mg of OST-122 (po, qd) for 28 days. Recruitment is now completed and sample analysis ongoing, topline results are expected to be available in May 2023.

A second clinical program focuses on the development of OST-499, a non-steroidal full antagonist of the glucocorticoid receptor, which is currently in a phase 1 clinical trial in patients with colorectal cancer or other solid tumors.

Management Team

In 2014 Guido Kurz, a seasoned research manager with international trajectory in various pharmaceutical and biotech companies (including Pharmacia Corp. and Oryzon Genomics), joined Oncostellae as CEO of the company.

In 2020 Ascensión Heredia joined Oncostellae as Chief Operating Officer. Ascension has an extensive experience in pharmaceutical industry (Big Pharma and Biotech Companies) leading projects in idea generation, drug discovery and drug development from preclinical phases till Phase IV including small molecules and biologics and advanced therapies. Since 1992, she has worked in national and international companies such as Almirall, Advancell, Bionure, Mosaic Biomedicals and Northern Biologics, where she has held roles from project manager to C-level positions.

In 2022, Cristina Balagué joined Oncostellae as Chief Scientific Officer. Cristina has more than 20 years of experience as a biologist and pharmacologist in advanced therapies and small molecule drugs, at national and international academic and corporate settings (MD Anderson Cancer Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Baxter Healthcare, Almirall, Multiomic Health). She has led multidisciplinary drug discovery and drug repurposing programs, from target selection to candidate nomination in different therapeutic areas, some successfully completing FIH and PoC clinical studies, and Orphan Drug Designations.

In 2022, Horacio Moreno joined Oncostellae as Head of Business Development. Horacio holds a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and an MBA. He has more than 20 years of experience in Business Development and Licensing, first serving at several pharmaceutical companies at positions of increasing responsibility (Almirall, Gebro Pharma and Menarini), and for the last five years at various biotechnology companies and research centres, including AVX Pharma, which was sold to Aerie Pharmaceuticals in 2019. Horacio combines his professional activity in BD with training and educational tasks at IQS (Institut Químic de Sarriá, University Ramon Llull), where he teaches and coordinates the Master in Biopharmaceutical Business.