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ZielFind: Reimagining Drug Discovery

With its focus on genetic mutations and expression levels, drug discovery today is limited by an incomplete understanding of disease biology and the difficulty of identifying druggable disease targets. ZielBio recognizes that the key to truly transformational therapies is the ability to discover actionable, new targets and this realization inspired our approach to drug discovery. Our proprietary platform, ZielFind, is designed with the end in mind. We reverse engineer the ideal therapy, leveraging ZielFind to reveal new insights into disease biology to design safer, better therapies for unserved patients. We are reimagining drug discovery by removing the inherent biases of standard target identification methods to unlock novel targets that have the potential to radically change how we treat disease.

ZielFind uses a combination of wet lab screening, proprietary databases and sophisticated algorithms to screen cells for specific attributes to identify targets that could be associated with diseases. No learning is lost: the results of every screen go back into and enhance the power of the ZielFind database. Through this continuous input of targets, the ZielBio team creates robust efficiency beyond traditional drug discovery methods.

Groundbreaking

Eliminates inherent biases by exploring proteins in their native context without requiring any prior knowledge about the protein

Engineered

Allows highly complex screens that deliver searchable, quantitative outputs and expand the proprietary database

Powerful

Machine learning enables high content data analytics

Envisioning New Possibilities

With new targets come new possibilities to transform the future of medicine and patient care. Our first focus is oncology, beginning with some of the most difficult to treat cancers. Leveraging our ZielFind platform, we have identified and validated our first target – cancer specific plectin (CSP). While the protein plectin normally exists inside the cytoplasm of healthy cells, ZielFind revealed that in cancer cells, plectin presents on the cell surface where it functions as a driver of cancer growth and metastasis. With a capacity beyond established drug discovery methods, ZielFind upended the image of plectin as a pedestrian cytoskeletal protein and revealed it as an actionable disease target.

Our first candidate is ZB131, an antibody designed to target cancer specific plectin found on numerous cancers including those with high unmet such as pancreatic, ovarian, cholangiocarcinoma, and colorectal cancer cells. Our extensive research suggests that ZB131 is able to bind to CSP resulting in the complete destruction of the tumor. Additional targets have been identified, and a second antibody candidate, ZB520, is in development to treat cancer.

We believe the possibilities are endless: the power of the ZielFind platform can be harnessed to identify targets beyond cancer to discover therapies that change the future for patients.

Our Team

Led by our founder Kimberly Kelly, PhD, one of the foremost experts in developing engineered approaches for diagnostic imaging, drug target identification and drug delivery, ZielBio is comprised of skilled scientists and drug development veterans in addition to our outstanding board of directors.

Kimberly A. Kelly, PhD CEO & Founder
Dieter Weinand, MS Executive Chair
Brian Schwartz, MD CMO
Greg Beloff, JD, MBA CFO
Denise Krawitz, PhD Head of CMC
Michelle Higgin, PhD Head of Operations
Dieter Weinand, MS Executive Chair
Jason R. Dinges, PhD, JD Director
Kimberly A. Kelly, PhD Director
Meredith C. Fisher, PhD, MBA Director

News & Media

WHEN A GRANT MEANS “MORE THAN MONEY”

CEO Kimberly Kelly, PhD shares her thoughts on the value of AACR-PanCAN’s Career Development Award for Pancreatic Cancer Research:When a Grant Means “More than Money” – American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Read More >

ZielBio Appoints Dieter Weinand Executive Chair as Company Heads Toward the Clinic with Lead Oncology Therapeutic

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ZielBio, Inc., an early-stage biotechnology company discovering new treatments for cancer and other serious diseases through its innovative drug discovery platform, has appointed industry veteran Dieter Weinand as the company’s new Executive Chair. Read More >
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WHEN A GRANT MEANS “MORE THAN MONEY”

CEO Kimberly Kelly, PhD shares her thoughts on the value of AACR-PanCAN’s Career Development Award for Pancreatic Cancer Research:
When a Grant Means “More than Money” – American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)

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ZielBio Appoints Dieter Weinand Executive Chair as Company Heads Toward the Clinic with Lead Oncology Therapeutic

December 09, 2020 07:06 AM Eastern Standard Time

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ZielBio, Inc., an early-stage biotechnology company discovering new treatments for cancer and other serious diseases through its innovative drug discovery platform, has appointed industry veteran Dieter Weinand as the company’s new Executive Chair.

“We are excited to welcome Dieter Weinand to our board in this vital stage where we are expanding our development programs and our outstanding scientific and corporate teams,” said Kimberly Kelly, PhD, Founder and President at ZielBio. “Dieter is a proven executive in life sciences and has embraced our mission to discover actionable, new disease targets and to use that knowledge to develop truly transformational therapies.” ZielBio’s lead candidate ZB131 is a proprietary humanized monoclonal antibody against cancer specific plectin (CSP), a target that is highly expressed on the plasma membrane of multiple types of cancer cells, including several with high unmet need. ZielBio plans to launch its first clinical trial of ZB131 in late 2021.

“I was attracted to ZielBio’s groundbreaking ZielFind target discovery platform,” said Mr. Weinand. “I look forward to working with the board and this impressive team to develop transformational therapies for patients suffering from serious diseases.”

Jason Dinges, JD, PhD, investment advisor to Morningside Ventures and ZielBio director, noted, “It is especially validating to have an executive of Dieter’s caliber join us in advancing ZielBio’s compelling technology. His wealth of experience will help guide our business efforts as we move our lead oncology asset ZB131 into the clinic in 2021 and accelerate our pipeline.”

Mr. Weinand joins ZielBio with deep expertise in the pharmaceutical industry, currently also serving as chairman of the board of directors of Replimune Group Inc., which completed an initial public offering in 2018 (NASDAQ: REPL). Previously, Mr. Weinand served as the Executive Vice President of Primary Care and was a member of the Executive Committee at Sanofi. Before moving to Sanofi, Mr. Weinand was CEO and Chairman of the Board of Management of Bayer Pharma AG and member of the Management Board at Bayer AG. Prior to his work at Sanofi, Mr. Weinand held positions of increasing responsibility at Pfizer, Bristol Myers Squibb, and Otsuka. He has raised several hundred million dollars for biotech companies and cultivated strategic alliances between Bayer and Loxo Oncology and between Pfizer and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

About ZielBio, Inc.

ZielBio is an early-stage biotechnology company that identifies novel disease targets and develops therapeutic interventions to improve patient outcomes. Its proprietary drug discovery platform ZielFind combines the power of functional, high throughput screening with large content data analytics to identify high value targets. ZielBio has a promising pipeline of therapies and targets, including lead asset ZB131, a proprietary humanized monoclonal antibody against cancer specific plectin, a target identified through ZielFind.

Contacts

Susan Klees
Newberry Consulting for ZielBio
susanofcville@gmail.com

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ZielBio Closes $25.1 Million Series A Financing.

Funding to Enable Development of Monoclonal Antibody ZB131

September 26, 2019 08:05 AM Eastern Daylight Time

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ZielBio, Inc., an early-stage biotechnology company that identifies novel high value disease targets and develops therapeutic interventions to improve patient outcomes, has closed a $25.1 million Series A financing round. The round is led by Morningside Venture Investments and Partners Innovation Fund (PIF). ZielBio’s lead candidate ZB131 is a proprietary humanized monoclonal antibody against cell surface plectin (CSP), a target that is highly expressed on the plasma membrane of multiple types of cancer cells, including ovarian, pancreatic, lung and colorectal. The funding will enable the company to conduct further research to prioritize potential cancer applications, validate additional targets and initiate a planned phase 1 clinical trial with ZB131. “We are excited to partner with Morningside and PIF whose resources and drug development experience will greatly accelerate ZB131 development,” noted Kimberly Kelly, PhD, President and Chief Science Officer at ZielBio.

“Since its first discovery by ZielBio founder Dr. Kimberly Kelly at Massachusetts General Hospital, we have been encouraged by the unique role that cell surface plectin plays in proliferation, migration and cell survival and its potential as a drug target for a range of difficult to treat cancers,” said PIF Partner Meredith Fisher, PhD. “Extensive pre-clinical laboratory and animal research has demonstrated that ZB131 has a high affinity to bind to CSP, inducing growth arrest and necrosis of targeted tumor cells.”

“Despite the incredible progress being made in immuno-oncology, current therapies have limits and there remains a profound need for new targets and options for many deadly cancers,” said Jason Dinges, JD, PhD, Investment Advisor at Morningside Technology Advisory. “ZB131 has shown potentially superior immune activation to current checkpoint inhibitors and greater direct tumor cell killing than EGFR inhibitors.”

In connection with the financing, Drs. Dinges and Fisher have joined Dr. Kelly on the ZielBio Board of Directors.

About ZielBio

ZielBio is an early-stage biotechnology company that identifies novel disease targets and develops therapeutic interventions to improve patient outcomes. Its proprietary drug discovery platform Zielfind™ combines the power of functional, high throughput screening with large content data analytics to identify high value targets. ZielBio has a promising pipeline of therapies and targets, including lead compound ZB131, a proprietary humanized monoclonal antibody against cell surface plectin (CSP), a cancer target identified through Zielfind™.

Contacts

Susan Klees
Newberry Consulting
susanofcville@gmail.com
(434) 466-8930

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Join Us

Are you looking for an exciting career opportunity with the potential to transform drug discovery? Check for career opportunities below.

LABORATORY RESEARCH ASSOCIATE

ZielBio’s mission is to identify novel, high value disease targets and develop therapeutic interventions in order to increase long term patient survival. The company is developing cutting edge cancer drugs to improve patient survival rates. We utilize a multidisciplinary approach with expertise in chemical biology, physiology, proteomics and molecular imaging to make fundamental discoveries that are linked to the diagnosis and treatment of disease. We are searching for two enthusiastic research associates that are interested in learning new techniques and applying them to cancer drug development in our Charlottesville, VA laboratory.

 

Job Description:

Research associates will be trained in and perform tissue culture, cell-based assays, phage display methodologies, CRISPR techniques, and/or functional validation assays to help identify novel drug targets and develop currently established targets. Duties will include culture of established cell lines, carrying out assigned experiments, as well as assisting with ordering supplies and general lab duties.

 

Requirements:

· BS/MS in life science or related field (associates degree + equivalent experience also considered)

· Ability to keep good records and work independently

· Enthusiasm to learn new techniques

 

Preferred skills:

· Cell culture

· Microscopy

· Flow cytometry (FACS)

· In vitro assays

 

Please submit CV, cover letter and list of three references to:

Lindsey Brinton, PhD

Senior Scientist, ZielBio

 

ZielBio’s mission is to identify novel, high value disease targets and develop therapeutic interventions in order to increase long term patient survival. The company is developing cutting edge cancer drugs to improve patient survival rates. We utilize a multidisciplinary approach with expertise in chemical biology, physiology, proteomics and molecular imaging to make fundamental discoveries that are linked to the diagnosis and treatment of disease. We are searching for two enthusiastic research associates that are interested in learning new techniques and applying them to cancer drug development in our Charlottesville, VA laboratory.

 

Job Description:

Research associates will be trained in and perform tissue culture, cell-based assays, phage display methodologies, CRISPR techniques, and/or functional validation assays to help identify novel drug targets and develop currently established targets. Duties will include culture of established cell lines, carrying out assigned experiments, as well as assisting with ordering supplies and general lab duties.

 

Requirements:

· BS/MS in life science or related field (associates degree + equivalent experience also considered)

· Ability to keep good records and work independently

· Enthusiasm to learn new techniques

 

Preferred skills:

· Cell culture

· Microscopy

· Flow cytometry (FACS)

· In vitro assays

 

Please submit CV, cover letter and list of three references to:

Lindsey Brinton, PhD

Senior Scientist, ZielBio

 

Contact Us

Want to learn more about ZielBio or have a question about our approach? Use the contact form and let’s start a conversation.