SAN MATEO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--EpiBiologics, a biotechnology company advancing a next-generation antibody-based protein degradation platform and pipeline for membrane and extracellular drug targets, announced today that Ann Lee-Karlon, Ph.D., will join as Chief Executive Officer, President, and member of the Board of Directors. Dr. Lee-Karlon will focus on expanding EpiBiologics’ proprietary EpiTAC platform, establishing value-driven collaborations, and building the company’s pipeline of bispecific antibody protein degrader therapeutics.
“I had the pleasure of working with Ann at Genentech and am confident her deep experience building therapeutic pipelines and leading strategic collaborations will be invaluable as EpiBiologics progresses novel protein degrader therapeutics toward the clinic,” said David Schenkein, MD, general partner at GV. “We would like to thank Rami Hannoush for his leadership as co-founder and interim CEO and look forward to an exciting next stage of growth for EpiBiologics under Ann’s leadership.”
Prior to EpiBiologics, Dr. Lee-Karlon served as Chief Operating Officer of Altos Labs. She joined Altos at its initiation in 2021 and was instrumental in building the foundation for rapid growth to 500 employees across three global sites. Before Altos, Dr. Lee-Karlon spent over 18 years at Genentech, most recently as Senior Vice President. During her tenure at Genentech, she led portfolio strategy and operations and had project leadership oversight for over 80 drug development teams from research and development through FDA approval and global launch. She led major corporate partnerships and programs, including Ocrevus for multiple sclerosis and Rituxan in immunology. Dr. Lee-Karlon holds a B.S. in bioengineering from UC Berkeley, an MBA from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in bioengineering from UC San Diego, where she was a National Science Foundation Fellow.
“EpiBiologics has developed a groundbreaking platform to target membrane and extracellular proteins, leveraging a novel atlas of tissue-specific degrader antibodies,” said Dr. Lee-Karlon, CEO of EpiBiologics. “Targeted extracellular protein degradation represents a new therapeutic modality with a wide range of applications including cancer, immunology, and neurological diseases. I’m excited to work with the outstanding scientific team, advisors, and leaders to deliver new and important treatment options for patients in need.”
EpiBiologics also announced that the company brought the total series A round to $73 million with the addition of $23 million from new investors Digitalis Ventures, Taiho Ventures, and existing investor Codon Capital. In March, EpiBiologics launched with its $50 million series A financing with participation from Mubadala Capital, Polaris Partners, Vivo Capital, and GV.
EpiBiologics welcomes new members to its board of directors, including Samuel Bjork, partner at Digitalis Ventures, and Seiji Miyahara, Ph.D., senior investment director at Taiho Ventures. Board member Mitchell Mutz, Ph.D., of Vivo Capital, who led the company's efforts to close the series A extension, will continue in his role as the CFO of EpiBiologics.
“EpiBiologics has made tremendous progress with its leading-edge EpiTAC platform, which will unravel the underlying intricacies of disease biology to build precision therapeutics,” said Mr. Bjork. “We are excited to work closely with Ann as the new CEO and the entire EpiBiologics team to bring the next generation of medicines to patients.”
“With Ann’s strong track record in the biopharma industry, we are thrilled to join EpiBiologics’ syndicate of investors,” said Dr. Miyahara. “We look forward to helping EpiBiologics continue to develop its novel bispecific antibody platform towards important treatments for a broad range of diseases.”
EpiBiologics is building a next-generation protein degradation platform that targets membrane and extracellular proteins. EpiBiologics was founded in 2022 based on the pioneering work from academic founder Dr. Jim Wells of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). The Company’s proprietary EpiTAC platform is a modular antibody-based system that enables the precise degradation of disease-driving membrane and extracellular proteins in a tissue-specific manner. Headquartered in San Mateo, EpiBiologics is backed by leading healthcare investors and aims to develop first-in-class and best-in-class targeted therapies across multiple therapeutic areas, including cancer, immunology, and neurological diseases. For more information, please visit epibiologics.com and follow us on LinkedIn.