CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and SUZHOU, China, Feb. 23, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Kira Pharmaceuticals, a global biotechnology company pioneering a new generation of complement-targeted therapies to treat immune-mediated diseases, today announced the addition of three seasoned pharmaceutical leaders, Kathy He, Richard Lee, MD, and Dana Zhang, MD, to its expanding team. Ms. He joins Kira as Chief Business Officer; Dr. Lee joins as Chief Medical Officer; and Dr. Zhang as Chief Commercial Officer, China, strengthening the executive team at a key time of growth for the company.
"We are thrilled to welcome such a high caliber of individuals to our executive team. This is an exciting time for the company – with our first program now in the clinic and two additional complement-targeted therapies moving to clinical trials over the next 18 months," said Frederick Beddingfield, MD, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of Kira Pharmaceuticals. "Kathy's keen business acumen, wide-ranging business leadership, and global capital market experiences are invaluable to Kira in developing corporate strategy, optimizing the financing of the company, and establishing strategic partnerships. Richard brings extensive experience in the development of complement therapies, adding clinical and medical affairs expertise to the leadership team as we drive our lead clinical-stage asset, P014, and the rest of the pipeline forward. Dana brings her passion and extensive breadth and depth of leadership in developing and commercializing complement therapies in Asia and adds significant expertise to our growing team."
Ms. He joins Kira after serving as CBO and Head of Corporate Development at Abbisko Therapeutics, where she led the company's B and C financing rounds, raising over $100M from internationally renowned venture investors as well as sourcing and executing cross-border and domestic strategic partnerships. Prior to Abbisko, Ms. He served as a partner at several investment firms, was founder and CEO of Vivregen, and led commercial launches of several blockbuster drugs in the US at multi-national companies including Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Merck and Abbott.
"It's a privilege to be joining Kira at such an exciting time for the company and the field of complement medicine," said Ms. He. "Targeting the innate immune system is increasingly recognized as crucial for treating immune-mediated diseases. I'm looking forward to working with the leadership team to expand Kira's pipeline of complement-targeting therapies and help chart a path to bring important new therapeutics to patients."
Dr. Lee comes to the Kira team after serving as Head of Hematology at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, a global company specializing in the development of complement therapies. Dr. Lee has also served in clinical and medical affairs leadership roles at several well-known pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies including Roche, Genentech, Millennium/Takeda, Bayer Pharmaceuticals and Bristol-Myers-Squibb, leading global teams developing products ranging from large biologics to small molecules. Dr. Lee has been instrumental in the development and launch of a number of first-in-class medicines throughout his career.
"I'm very excited to draw on my wide-ranging biopharma experience to advance Kira's clinical strategy and direction," said Lee. "Growing with an early-stage company at the cutting edge of immune-mediated disease therapies with an innovative pipeline like Kira's is a dream. I am inspired and proud to contribute to Kira's mission to serve patients by developing best-in-class therapies for those who need them most."
Dr. Zhang joins the Kira executive team with 20 years of biopharmaceutical experience, including 16 years of experience in the rare disease and orphan drug market. Most recently, Dr. Zhang served as General Manager of Greater China for Alexion Pharmaceuticals, where she led the successful approval of Soliris in China as well as approvals and commercialization in Taiwan and Hong Kong. In her role at Alexion, she guided all aspects of commercial operations strategy and P&L management in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. Prior to her nine years at Alexion, Dr. Zhang was Head of Business Development for Celgene China, Country Manager for Actelion China, led the successful launch of Tracleer, and held consulting roles at Genzyme and Keller Pharma Consulting.
"I'm incredibly excited to be joining the Kira team at such a pivotal moment for the company," said Dr. Zhang. "I look forward to utilizing my diverse medical and business knowledge to bring Kira's ground-breaking complement-targeting therapies to patients in dire need of therapies wherever they live, including in China and many other Asian countries where complement-specific therapies are simply unavailable."
About Kira Pharmaceuticals
Kira Pharmaceuticals is a biotechnology company developing complement-targeted therapies to treat immune-mediated diseases. Enabled by its LOGIC drug discovery platform, the company is committed to advancing first-in-class and best-in-class therapies to transform the lives of patients with complement-driven diseases. With offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts and an R&D center in Suzhou, China, Kira Pharmaceuticals is committed to establishing a global footprint and advancing life-changing therapies to patients around the world.
For more information, please visit www.kirapharma.com.
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SOURCE Kira Pharmaceuticals