Kither Biotech Announces Appointment of Dr. Dimitrios Goundis to Board of Directors
– Dr. Dimitrios Goundis, an esteemed and dynamic biotech leader, strengthens Kither Biotech’s board as the company advances its innovative treatments for rare respiratory diseases.
Turin, Italy, 13 November 2023 – Kither Biotech (“Kither” or “the Company”), a pioneering biopharmaceutical firm committed to developing novel therapies for rare respiratory diseases, is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Dimitrios Goundis to its Board of Directors. In his new role, Dr. Goundis will take on direct oversight of the Kither’s drug development programmes. Dr. Goundis comes with a rich background and an exemplary track record in both established pharmaceutical companies and biotech startups. His expertise will be crucial in advancing the Company’s ground-breaking research in cystic fibrosis and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Dr. Goundis, graduated with a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Oxford, U.K., and has held significant positions at Roche and in a number of biotech companies including Exacis, MaxiVAX, The Medicines Company (Nasdaq:MDCO), and Speedel (SWX:SPPN).
Kither has positioned itself as a frontrunner in the development of signal transduction modulators, concentrating on addressing cystic fibrosis (CF), a debilitating genetic disorder characterized by persistent lung infections and progressive respiratory decline. The company’s flagship therapy, KIT2014, a small peptide that functions as a cAMP modulator, has earned orphan drug designation from the European Medicines Agency. Kither’s portfolio also includes KITCL27, an innovative small molecule PI3K inhibitor prodrug, currently in development for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).
His strategic insight and operational excellence will be a driving force propelling Kither forward as the company advances KIT2014 to a First-in-Human clinical trial.
“We are delighted to have Dimitri join our Board, it marks a significant milestone for our company,” expressed Dr. Laura Ferro, Chairperson at Kither. “His unparalleled experience and demonstrated leadership in the biopharmaceutical sector will be invaluable as we continue our mission to deliver transformative treatments to patients suffering from rare respiratory diseases.”
Dr. Goundis remarked, “I am delighted to join Kither at this pivotal time. The company’s steadfast commitment to addressing the complexities of rare respiratory conditions is closely aligned with my professional journey. I eagerly look forward to participating actively in the development and success of KIT2014 as it advances to the First-in-Human clinical trial and help bring this innovative medicine to patients.”
About Kither Biotech
Kither Biotech a biopharma company was founded by Prof. Alessandra Ghigo, Prof. Emilio Hirsch, Prof. Alberto Bardelli and Marco Kevin Malisani as a spin-off from the University of Turin, Italy. The company aims to identify and develop new drug candidates for the treatment of rare pulmonary diseases, with specific focus on cystic fibrosis (CF) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Kither Biotech actively collaborates with the Molecular Biotechnology Center (University of Turin, Italy) and other research centres across the world. Its lead program is KIT2014, which is being developed for the treatment of CF, followed by KITCL27 that targets IPF and other respiratory diseases.
KIT2014 is a cell-permeable cAMP modulating peptide that disrupts the interaction of PI3Kgamma with its partner, protein kinase A (PKA), leading to type 3 and 4 phosphodiesterases (PDE3/4) inhibition and, in turn, to enhanced cAMP responses within the cell. KIT2014 is currently being investigated for the treatment of CF as an add-on inhalation therapy to the current standard of care, enabling improved efficacy by directly impacting mucus hypersecretion, airway inflammation and bronchoconstriction, the most significant ailments of CF patients. When inhaled, KIT2014 increases cAMP locally in bronchial epithelial cells to promote the opening of CFTR chloride channels, which are key to mucus hydration, while in lung smooth muscle and immune cells cAMP elevation limits bronchoconstriction and neutrophil infiltration. In CF patients, treatment with KIT2014 is believed to restore the function of CFTR mutants by potentiating the effects of CFTR modulators (Ghigo et al. 2022, Science Translational Medicine).