Kariya Pharmaceuticals is developing first-in-class disease modifying agents to treat neurodegenerative diseases
Kariya Pharmaceuticals is developing KP405, a first-in-class, best-in-class, dual incretin receptor co-agonist to slow the progression of Parkinson’s disease
Clinical proof-of-concept demonstrating the neuroprotective effects of incretins has been well established in multiple studies of exendin-4 on patients diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease
Efficacy of KP405 has been extensively characterized in animal models of neurodegeneration and demonstrated clear superiority over exendin-4 and liraglutide in animal models of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
KP405 is advancing towards human testing
THE UNMET NEED IN PARKINSON’S DISEASE
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disease and most common movement disorder in the world. A neurodegenerative disease characterized by a loss of dopamine-producing cells, PD leads to the deterioration of motor and cognitive function. To date, there are no approved drugs that exist to modify the course of PD. The current standard of care comprises symptomatic treatments aimed at replacing lost dopamine, and while initially effective, neuronal loss continues, and patient decline is imminent. An urgent and significant unmet need exists to develop effective neuroprotective treatments to modify the progression of this debilitating disease as this epidemic will continue to grow given the global aging population.
A NOVEL MECHANISM TO SLOW DISEASE PROGRESSION
Altered neuronal metabolism, impaired insulin and growth factor signaling, inflammation, and abnormal mitochondrial function are key hallmarks of PD progression. These pathological features are commonly shared by people suffering from Type-2 Diabetes (T2D), a disease identified as a major risk factor for PD, whereby insulin appears to lose function in PD patient brains, subsequently impairing neuronal repair and survival. Agents that can re-sensitize insulin signaling, promote growth factor signaling, reduce neuro-inflammation, and work to enhance cellular energetics (mitochondrial efficiency) have demonstrated neuroprotective efficacy and are deemed to have therapeutic potential in CNS disorders.
CO-FOUNDER & CEO
Mr. Laquian is an active life science entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience in building companies, franchises, portfolios, and products. He has extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry assuming senior roles within R&D, BD, and Marketing while at Takeda Pharmaceuticals. His main area of focus is CNS disorders and was critical in developing Takeda’s CNS therapeutic area strategy and portfolio; overseeing the development of key assets in dementia, schizophrenia and Parkinson’s, and directing R&D and commercial efforts for Takeda/Lundbeck’s marketed antidepressant Brintellix. Mr. Laquian holds a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of Waterloo, and a M.Sc. in Biochemistry and MBA from the University of Ottawa.
DR. CHRISTIAN HÖLSCHER
CO-FOUNDER & CSO
Dr. Holscher is a professor of neuroscience at Henan University in China where is group is pioneering the development of novel drug treatments for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, with specific focus on investigating the interaction between diabetes and neurodegeneration, leading to the discovery of the neuroprotective properties of incretin analogues. A key opinion leader in the area of incretins in the CNS, his research has been funded by the Alzheimer’s Society, Alzheimer’s Research UK, Cure Parkinson’s Trust, Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation, and The Wellcome Trust. Dr. Holscher is a recent recipient of a Lundbeckfonden visiting professorship to Copenhagen University and is also a visiting professor at Shanxi Medical University in Taiyuan, China.
DR. MIKAEL THOMSEN
CO-FOUNDER & CDO
Dr. Thomsen is an expert drug developer with extensive experience garnered from a successful career in big pharma and startup biotech. Dr. Thomsen has held multiple senior industry roles including Global Head of Clinical Pharmacology at Novo Nordisk and Senior Scientist at Novartis. He has since co-founded and directed a number of successful biotech companies, including Parkinson’s focused Contera Pharma, which was acquired in 2014. Dr. Thomsen holds a PhD in Pharmacology & Toxicology from the University of Copenhagen and the USFDA, and a degree in Pharmaceutical Medicine (ECPM) from the University of Basel.