Leen Kawas, President & CEO
While pursuing her doctorate in molecular pharmacology at Washington State University, Leen Kawas closely observed the perilous impact of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s on the human brain. Leen recognized that available therapies only focused on providing symptomatic relief to patients rather than finding an effective cure for these diseases. Driven by the desire to alleviate the progression of neurodegenerative diseases and address the unmet medical needs of patients, Leen founded Athira Pharma. A truly patient-centric therapeutic company, Seattle-based Athira Pharma is focused on developing compounds that would restore lost connections between brain cells, turning degeneration into regeneration.
“In an industry replete with archaic and redundant practices for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, Athira Pharma is striving to position cutting-edge technology at the nexus of biotechnology and innovation,”says Leen, President and CEO.
Athira Pharma fosters an open work culture to allow its talented scientific team to collectively advance innovative brain cell science.
In an industry replete with archaic and redundant practices for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, M3 is striving to position cutting-edge technology at the nexus of biotechnology and innovation
The company leverages proprietary technologies to develop small molecule therapeutics designed to impact disease symptoms and offer the potential to permanently alter the course of disease for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s patients.
Athira Pharma’s active engagement with patients, physicians, and caregivers differentiates the company. Unlike traditional clinical trials conducted by other clinical stage companies, Athira Pharma’s clinical trials include a detailed follow-up of the experience of patients and their caregivers. Based on this direct, personal feedback, Athira Pharma customizes and adapts its trials to make it easier for patients to participate. This active involvement of physicians and caregivers has helped Athira Pharma better engage with patients and design trials and endpoints that should help successfully advance its compounds through later stage development.
Thus far, the company has made significant progress. Its lead therapeutic candidate for Alzheimer’s disease is currently advancing through Phase 1 trials, with Phase 2 trials targeted to begin in 2019.
Backed by investors such as the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), Dolby Family Ventures, WRF Capital, WFund and other private investors, Athira Pharma is looking forward to continuing the advancement of their lead therapy for Alzheimer’s, while launching a second indication for Parkinson’s.The company is planning to raise additional funds to support clinical development, discovery pipeline expansion, and growing its team. Moreover, Athira Pharma is also open to external relations and licensing arrangements for accommodating later stages of therapeutic development. “We are excited to advancea much-needed brain regenerative therapy that could alleviate the suffering of millions afflicted by neurodegenerative diseases around the world,” concludes Leen.