CAMBRIDGE, England & BOSTON & SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--NodThera, a biotechnology company developing a new class of medicines that inhibit the NLRP3 inflammasome to treat chronic inflammation, today announced that it has advanced its lead development candidate, NT-0167, into pre-IND testing as it prepares to advance to the clinic.
The company also announced that it has strengthened its Board of Directors with the addition of two industry leaders with deep experience developing novel treatments targeting compelling new areas of biology. Don Nicholson, Ph.D., former Chief Executive Officer of Nimbus Therapeutics, has joined the Board as Chairman, and Kevin Lee, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Bicycle Therapeutics, has joined as an Independent Director.
“The field of NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors is expanding rapidly, with new insights highlighting the role of innate immunity in driving the chronic inflammation that is at the root of a wide range of serious diseases,” said Adam Keeney, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of NodThera. “The progression of our first development candidate represents an important milestone as we advance rapidly toward the clinic. We are thrilled to welcome Don and Kevin to the Board and believe their strategic insights and deep experience in pioneering novel treatments across multiple disease areas will help us to build a truly transformational therapeutics company.”
NodThera is enhancing current understanding of innate immunity and the NLRP3 inflammasome’s role in chronic inflammation to develop a leading platform of small molecule therapeutics. The company has made significant progress over the past two years in shaping the second-generation chemistry platform that builds on the innovation of NT-0167.
Don Nicholson, Ph.D., joins the NodThera Board as Chairman after most recently serving as Chief Executive Officer of Nimbus Therapeutics. He previously spent 25 years at Merck, where he held strategic, leadership and operational roles across diverse therapeutic areas including inflammation, immunology and neuroscience. Dr. Nicholson began his career at Merck Frosst in Montreal as a Senior Research Biologist and held positions of increasing responsibility, including Vice President and Site Head of the Merck Neurosciences Research site in San Diego, Vice President of Immunology and Infectious Diseases and Vice President and Worldwide Discovery Head for the Bone, Respiratory, Immunology and Endocrine franchise in New Jersey. Dr. Nicholson is also a member of the Board of Directors of Kymera Therapeutics and Generation Bio and serves as Chair of the Board of Jnana Therapeutics.
“I am excited to join the Board of NodThera at a time of growing awareness about the therapeutic potential of NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors and am impressed by the company’s tremendous progress in developing an approach capable of fully exploiting this opportunity,” said Dr. Nicholson. “NodThera’s differentiated knowledge and expertise position the company to push the field into new frontiers.”
Kevin Lee, Ph.D., MBA, has served as Chief Executive Officer of Bicycle Therapeutics since 2015. He previously served as Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of the Rare Disease Research Unit at Pfizer, where he led more than 20 novel research and development programs and oversaw strategy for rare diseases and gene therapy. Prior to joining Pfizer, Dr. Lee worked at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), where he led epigenetics research and formed multiple strategic commercial and academic partnerships. Earlier in his career, he lectured at Warwick University Medical School and founded Cambridge Biotechnology (acquired by Biovitrum) and Neurosolutions.
NodThera is a biotechnology company developing a new class of potent and highly selective NLRP3 inflammasome inhibitors for the treatment of diseases driven by chronic inflammation. Led by an experienced management team, NodThera is leveraging new insights into NLRP3 biochemistry to build a platform of highly differentiated small molecule NLRP3 inhibitors. The company’s investors include Sofinnova Partners, 5AM Ventures, Epidarex Capital and F-Prime Capital Partners. NodThera was founded in 2016 and maintains offices in Cambridge, UK, Seattle, WA and Boston, MA. For more information please visit www.nodthera.com.
About NLRP3 inhibitors
The NLRP3 inflammasome regulates the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines in response to “danger signals,” including the presence of foreign or endogenous molecules that signal infection, tissue damage or metabolic imbalances. Chronic inflammation driven by improper activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome has been implicated in a wide array of diseases, including fibrotic, autoinflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases, as well as certain cancers. Small molecules that selectively inhibit NLRP3 have well-understood potential to address improper activation and treat chronic inflammation at the source, without broadly suppressing the immune system.