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)
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.
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.
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™.