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Saturday, July 2, 2022

9 Leen Kawas Secrets You Never Knew

Co-founder and handling basic partner of Propel Bio Partner, a life science investment firm focused on supporting the very best talent and most ingenious technologies. formerly Co-founder of Athira Pharma and co-inventor of its lead drug candidate ATH-1017. Creator of several of the ingenious drug candidates in Athira’s pipeline. Led the technological and financial growth of Athira, raising around $400M and taking the company through it public offering.

Kawas co-founded Athira (initially M3 Biotechnology) in 2011. Called Startup CEO of the Year at the 2019 GeekWire Awards, she took Athira public in 2020, as the first lady to lead a company to an IPO in Washington state in more than two decades. Shares of Athira fell by more than 50% in June 2021 after Kawas was at first placed on leave from Athira as questions emerged about her research at Washington State University. Athira stock continues to trade at half its previous peak.

Leen Kawas , the Seattle biotech officer who resigned as CEO of Athira Pharma after an investigation discovered she had actually changed doctoral research study images that assisted to form the initial basis for the company, re-emerged Friday as co-founder and handling general partner of a brand-new investment firm called Propel Bio Partners LP.

The board is fielding its own slate of candidates, that includes Joseph Edelman, the creator, CEO and portfolio supervisor of Perceptive Advisors; John M. Fluke, Jr., the head of the investment firm Fluke Capital Management; and Grant Pickering, CEO of Vaxcyte, Inc. “The company’s director candidates have the best abilities and experience needed to support Athira at this critical time,” the board said. “Our highest priority is advancing our lead drug prospect, fosgonimeton, through scientific trials and securing regulatory approval for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (ADVERTISEMENT), which affects as lots of as 35 million individuals worldwide. Under the current leadership team, Athira is performing well and providing versus our target turning points.

Athira Pharma is circling around the wagons and prompting shareholders to decline calls for management change. This comes one week after investor Richard Kayne required a leadership change in order to drive the advancement and commercialization of the company’s lead Alzheimer’s illness property, ATH-1017 (fosgonimeton). Mark Litton was tapped to act as CEO of Athira last fall following the ouster of Leen Kawas after an examination exposed that she altered images in her 2011 doctoral argumentation and in a minimum of four research papers that she co-authored while a college student at Washington State University. In the letter, Kayne stated Litton is not fit for the task.

Co-founded with Richard Kayne, a prominent Los Angeles-based possession supervisor who was an early Athira financier, Propel Bio Partners also has support from numerous other Athira financiers. Among them: John Fluke Jr., who stays on Athira’s board as the publicly traded company pursues treatments for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

The CEO of Athira, previously referred to as M3 Biotechnology, is Leen Kawas, as soon as a PhD trainee at Washington State whose 2011 doctoral argumentation offered figures for this filled 2011 short article in JPET, which made a correction in 2014. Previously this year, as STAT reported, Kawas was forced to take a leave of absence from the company over concerns that she modified images in several documents. And there has been other scrutiny of the company.

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