A Letter From the Founder
HeritX was founded by Thomas A. Bock, an oncologist, researcher and former senior executive at major global pharmaceutical companies. The formation of HeritX was triggered by his own experience with inherited cancer.
To our Friends, Supporters and Peers:
Many of us still remember a pivotal moment in our lives when everything changed. For me, it was when I learned that Irina—my wife—had breast cancer. It triggered for Irina a cascade of surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation and anti-hormonal treatments. Painful consequences—still today. Irina was going through all of this with an amazing spirit, even on days when it was hard to imagine it could get any worse.
But it did.
On a Wednesday morning, everything changed again. Suddenly, it was not only about Irina, but our children now facing the threat of cancer. That day, we learned that Irina had inherited a defective BRCA gene from her father. There were no breast or ovarian cancers in her family; inheriting this gene defect came as a complete surprise to us. It suddenly explained not only her breast cancer but also her melanoma a few years earlier, her grandfather’s melanoma and her father’s and uncle’s pancreatic cancers.
I decided then and there that my children would not live through what my wife did. That’s how HeritX came to be: a simple story of a man trying to protect his family.
Since then, I—and others in similar situations at HeritX—have dedicated our lives to developing therapies that protect people from developing inherited cancer, and ultimately other cancers. Our goal is to turn a tragedy for our families into an opportunity for all and free the world from a disease that doesn’t have to be inevitable.
Thomas A. Bock