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About the company

Kariya Pharmaceuticals is a biotechnology company developing innovative disease modifying agents to treat neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease. Kariya is supported by funding from the Novo Nordisk Foundation’s Biolnnovation Institute and Innovation Fund Denmark.

About Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease and most common movement disorder in the world affecting 3.4 million people in the eight major markets. A neurodegenerative disease characterized by a loss of dopamine-producing cells, Parkinson’s Disease leads to the deterioration of motor and cognitive function. To date, there are no approved drugs that exist to modify the course and/or slow the progression of this debilitating disease.

A Novel Class of Disease Modifying Drugs

Incretin hormones such as Glucagon-Like Peptide 1 (GLP-1) and Glucose-dependent Insulinotropic Polypeptide (GIP) have demonstrated convincing protective effects in the CNS by improving synaptic plasticity and reducing the rate of neuronal degeneration via multiple mechanisms shown to include: inducing neurogenesis, normalizing growth factor signaling, reducing neuroinflammation, and promoting mitochondrial biogenesis. Clinical data on the GLP-1 analogue Exenatide provides encouraging evidence that incretins protect neurons and effectively slow the course of Parkinson’s Disease progression.

Lead Compound KP405

KP405 is a first-in-class, dual incretin receptor co-agonist being developed to slow the progression of Parkinson’s Disease. Efficacy of KP405 has been extensively characterized in multiple animal models of neurodegeneration and has demonstrated clear superiority over existing incretin therapies where clinical proof-of-concept in delaying Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease has been established.

 

KP405 is now Phase I ready, having successfully completed toxicology studies performed under full Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) compliance, which is an FDA/EMA prerequisite to initiation of human clinical studies.

Team

Ian Laquian M.Sc. MBA – CEO

Mr. Laquian is an active life science entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in building companies, franchises, portfolios and products. He has extensive experience in the pharmaceutical industry assuming senior roles within R&D, Business Development, and Marketing while at Nycomed/Takeda. His main area of focus is CNS disorders and was critical in developing Takeda Pharmaceuticals’ CNS therapeutic area strategy and portfolio, overseeing the development of key assets in dementia, schizophrenia, and Parkinson’s Disease, and directing R&D and commercial efforts for Takeda/Lundbeck’s marquee antidepressant Brintellix. Currently Mr. Laquian works as an Executive-in-Residence at Novo Holdings, Scandinavia’s largest venture fund, providing operational, strategic, and board support for a number of CNS focused biotech companies.

Dr. Christian Hölscher PhD – CSO

Dr. Holscher is a professor of neuroscience at the Henan University of Chinese Medicine, China. His group is pioneering the development of novel drug treatments for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease, with specific focus on researching the interaction between diabetes and neurodegeneration, leading to the discovery of the neuroprotective properties of incretin analogues. A key opinion leader authoring over 180 scientific publications and two books, 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, where extensive research in animal models of neurodegeneration is ongoing.

Dr. Mikael Thomsen

Dr. Thomsen is an expert drug developer with extensive experience garnered from a successful career in large pharmaceutical companies and startup biotechs. Dr. Thomsen has held senior clinical pharmacology roles with Novo Nordisk and Novartis and his teams were some of the first ever to test GLP-1 analogues in humans. He has co-founded and directed a multitude of successful biotech companies, including Parkinson’s Disease focused Contera Pharma, acquired by Bukwang Pharma in 2014. Dr. Thomsen holds a PhD in Pharmacology & Toxicology from the University of Copenhagen, and a degree in Pharmaceutical Medicine (ECPM) from the University of Basel.