CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ribon Therapeutics, a clinical stage biotechnology company developing therapeutics targeting stress support pathways, today announced the promotions of Heike Keilhack, Ph.D., to Chief Scientific Officer and Kevin Kuntz, Ph.D., to Chief Drug Development Officer. Dr. Keilhack previously served as Ribon’s Senior Vice President of Biological Sciences and Dr. Kuntz previously served as Ribon’s Senior Vice President of Molecular Discovery.
“Heike and Kevin’s leadership have been integral to building and progressing Ribon’s understanding of cellular stress and NAD+-utilizing enzymes and to advancing our pipeline of novel therapeutics across multiple therapeutic areas, including oncology and inflammatory diseases,” said Victoria Richon, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, Ribon Therapeutics. “I am thrilled to announce these extremely well-deserved promotions and look forward to continuing to work with Heike and Kevin in their new, expanded roles, as we continue to develop new therapies for patients using our BEACON+ platform.”
“We have made significant progress advancing our clinical trial program for RBN-2397, developing RBN-3143 through IND-enabling studies and identifying additional NAD+-utilizing enzyme targets,” said Heike Keilhack, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Ribon Therapeutics. “I am excited to take on the new role of CSO as we leverage our proprietary platform to discover first-in-mechanism therapeutics.”
“In this new role, I will remain focused on advancing our proprietary small molecule inhibitors on behalf of patients and families in need,” said Kevin Kuntz, Ph.D., Chief Drug Development Officer, Ribon Therapeutics. “I am delighted to expand my role and look forward to driving platform strategy and execution alongside the rest of our team.”
Dr. Keilhack is an accomplished cancer biologist with rich experience in cell biology, animal models of cancer, pharmacology and translational medicine with over 15 years of experience in oncology drug discovery in both small biotechnology companies and large pharmaceutical companies. Prior to joining Ribon in 2016, Dr. Keilhack was Senior Director of Biology at Epizyme where, among other responsibilities, she was the project leader for the company’s EZH2 inhibitor program, tazemetostat, which was approved by the US FDA in 2020. Before that, she was a research fellow at Merck and the biology project lead for the company’s clinical stage AKT inhibitor, MK-2206. Dr. Keilhack received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Friedrich Schiller University of Jena (Germany) and completed postdoctoral training at the Harvard Medical School. She earned a B.S. in Biochemistry at Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg (Germany).
Dr. Kuntz is an experienced and successful drug discovery scientist with over 20 years of experience, including extensive research in kinase inhibitors and protein methyltransferase inhibitors. Prior to joining Ribon in 2015, he was Head of Chemistry at Epizyme. While at Epizyme, Dr. Kuntz invented tazemetostat (Tazverik®), a small molecule approved by the US FDA in 2020 to treat epithelioid sarcoma and follicular lymphoma. Earlier in his career, he was a researcher at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Avila Therapeutics. While at GSK, Dr. Kuntz was a co-inventor of dabrafenib, a BRAF inhibitor approved to treat melanoma. Dr. Kuntz received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at Boston College and B.S. in Chemistry at Trinity University.
About Ribon Therapeutics
Ribon Therapeutics is a clinical stage biotechnology company developing therapeutics targeting novel enzyme families activated under cellular stress conditions that contribute to disease. We are exploring novel areas of biology to develop effective treatments for patients with limited therapeutic options. Leveraging our proprietary BEACON+ (Blocking the Enzyme Activity Component of NAD+) platform, we are building a pipeline of selective, small molecule inhibitors to numerous NAD+-utilizing enzymes, beginning with monoPARPs, which have applications across multiple therapeutic areas. Our first clinical program is RBN-2397, a PARP7 inhibitor in clinical development for the treatment of cancer. Ribon is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. For more information visit www.RibonTx.com.