Company

About Edgewise

Edgewise Therapeutics is a new company harnessing proven expertise and understanding of skeletal muscle physiology to develop novel, transformative therapies for serious muscle diseases.  Based in Boulder, Colorado, we have built a state-of-the-art muscle research facility to capitalize on new insights into the nature and consequences of muscle adaptation and injury with disease.

Management Team

Kevin Koch, Ph.D.

President and CEO

Kevin Koch, Ph.D., has served as our President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of our board of directors since 2017.  Since 2016, he has also served as a Venture Partner with OrbiMed. Dr. Koch has been active in the life science industry for 20+ years with a focus on drug discovery, translational medicine and clinical development. Most recently, Dr. Koch was the Senior Vice President of Drug Discovery: Chemical and Molecular Therapeutics at Biogen where he managed global drug discovery and biomarker development as well as the immunology and hematology teams. From 1998 to 2013, Dr. Koch served as the President, Chief Scientific Officer, Board member and Co-Founder of Array BioPharma Inc. While there, he built a fully integrated R&D team that oversaw the invention of over 20 clinical development candidates in the multiple therapeutic areas. Prior to Array, Dr. Koch held senior positions at Amgen Inc. and Pfizer Central Research. Dr. Koch received a B.S. in Chemistry and Biochemistry from State University of New York, Stony Brook, and his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from University of Rochester.

Alan Russell, Ph.D.

Co-Founder and CSO

Alan Russell, Ph.D., serves as our Co-Founder, Chief Scientific Officer and a member of our board of directors. Previously, Dr. Russell served at GlaxoSmithKline as VP and Head of the Muscle Metabolism Discovery Performance Unit, leading a broad discovery and development effort focused on patients for whom muscle function is compromised. Prior to this, he worked at Cytokinetics Inc, and is the co-inventor of Tirasemtiv and Reldesemtiv, direct muscle sensitizers in clinical trials for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Dr. Russell received a BPharm and Ph.D. from the University of Bath in the UK and Postdoctoral training at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Kevin Hunt, Ph.D.

Executive Director of Drug Discovery

Kevin W. Hunt, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of Drug Discovery for Edgewise Therapeutics. Prior to Edgewise, Dr. Hunt led target validation and preclinical development activities as a faculty member in the Center for Alzheimer’s and Neurodegenerative Diseases at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Before UTSW, Dr. Hunt was Site Head of the Calico Life Science outpost in Dallas where he focused on novel treatments for Parkinson’s disease and evaluated potential new targets. Dr. Hunt began his career at Array BioPharma in Boulder leading teams that discovered multiple clinical and pre-clinical candidates for allergic diseases, oncology, and neurogenerative disorders. Dr. Hunt was a Presidential Honors Scholar at Tarleton State University where he received his B.S. in Chemistry. Dr. Hunt earned a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from Indiana University and was a George E. Hewitt Foundation for Medical Research Postdoctoral Fellow at The Scripps Research Center.

Nicole Kilburn, M.S., M.B.A.

Executive Director, Regulatory and Program Management

Nicole (Rempel) Kilburn is the Executive Director of Regulatory and Program Management at Edgewise Therapeutics. Ms. Kilburn has 18 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry focused on project management, drug development strategy and execution, and regulatory affairs. Most recently, Nicole served as Sr. Director of Regulatory & Strategic Development with Clinipace and supported companies from Asia Pacific, EU, Latin America, and North America with drug and biologic life cycle management, from pre-IND through marketing application and approval. She has been responsible for the assembly and submission of applications to competent authorities, including US and EU marketing applications for a recombinant osteoporosis combination product, a dental analgesic combination product and an ophthalmology gene therapy product. Ms. Kilburn received a M.S. in Microbiology & Immunology from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and a M.B.A. from the University of Utah.

Board of Directors

Peter Thompson, M.D.

Chairman and Co-Founder

Peter Thompson, M.D., serves as a member of our board of directors and is a Partner on the private equity team at OrbiMed, with over 25 years of industry experience. He held executive positions at Becton-Dickinson and Chiron, co-founded and was CEO of Trubion Pharmaceuticals, co-founded Corvus Pharmaceuticals, Cleave Biosciences, Silverback Therapeutics and serves as a Director on several company boards. Dr. Thompson is an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year awardee, an Affiliate Professor of Neurosurgery at the University of Washington, an inventor on numerous patents and a board-certified internist and oncologist. He was on staff at the National Cancer Institute following his internal medicine training at Yale University.

Kevin Koch, Ph.D.

Director

Kevin Koch, Ph.D., has served as our President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of our board of directors since 2017.  Since 2016, he has also served as a Venture Partner with OrbiMed. Dr. Koch has been active in the life science industry for 20+ years with a focus on drug discovery, translational medicine and clinical development. Most recently, Dr. Koch was the Senior Vice President of Drug Discovery: Chemical and Molecular Therapeutics at Biogen where he managed global drug discovery and biomarker development as well as the immunology and hematology teams. From 1998 to 2013, Dr. Koch served as the President, Chief Scientific Officer, Board member and Co-Founder of Array BioPharma Inc. While there, he built a fully integrated R&D team that oversaw the invention of over 20 clinical development candidates in the multiple therapeutic areas. Prior to Array, Dr. Koch held senior positions at Amgen Inc. and Pfizer Central Research. Dr. Koch received a B.S. in Chemistry and Biochemistry from State University of New York, Stony Brook, and his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from University of Rochester.

Alan Russell, Ph.D.

Director and Co-Founder

Alan Russell, Ph.D., serves as our Co-Founder, Chief Scientific Officer and a member of our board of directors. Previously, Dr. Russell served at GlaxoSmithKline as VP and Head of the Muscle Metabolism Discovery Performance Unit, leading a broad discovery and development effort focused on patients for whom muscle function is compromised. Prior to this, he worked at Cytokinetics Inc, and is the co-inventor of Tirasemtiv and Reldesemtiv, direct muscle sensitizers in clinical trials for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Dr. Russell received a BPharm and Ph.D. from the University of Bath in the UK and Postdoctoral training at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Jon Root, M.D.

Director

Jon Root, M.D., serves as a member of our board of directors and is a General Partner at U.S. Venture Partners, having joined the firm in 1995 as a Ewing Marion Kauffman Fellow in venture capital. Before USVP, Dr. Root was Assistant Professor of Neurology and Director of the Neurology-Neurosurgery Special Care Unit at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center in New York City. He is board certified in neurology.

In addition to Edgewise, Dr. Root is currently on the boards of USVP portfolio companies Cleave Biosciences, eFFECTOR Therapeutics, HealthJoy, Inari Medical, Nuvaira, Okami Medical, Omada Health, Ribon Therapeutics, Route 92 Medical and Swoop. Dr. Root is a former board member for the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA).

Dr. Root holds an A.B. in Economics from Dartmouth College, an M.D. from the University of Florida College of Medicine, and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.

Kenneth Harrison, Ph.D.

Director

Kenneth Harrison, Ph.D., serves as a member of our board of directors and joined Novo Ventures (US) Inc. in San Francisco, California in 2015. Dr. Harrison currently serves on the boards of Glycomine and Aristea Therapeutics, and while at Novo has been involved with investments in Bolt Biotherapeutics, Mirum Pharma (NASDAQ: MIRM) and ViewPoint Therapeutics.

Prior to joining Novo Ventures, Dr. Harrison worked in strategic planning at Genentech, as a life sciences management consultant at L.E.K. Consulting and as a seed-stage investor at QB3/Mission Bay Capital, where he also helped create programs to launch and build life sciences companies in the Bay Area.

Dr. Harrison studied cellular lipid storage and metabolism as an A.P. Giannini Foundation Fellow at the J. David Gladstone Institutes and earned a Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Yale University.

Badreddin Edris

Badreddin Edris, Ph.D.

Observer and Co-Founder

Badreddin Edris, Ph.D., is a co-founder of Edgewise Therapeutics and continues to serve as a board observer and strategic advisor after having been the company’s founding Chief Operating Officer. Dr. Edris is currently the Chief Business Officer of SpringWorks Therapeutics (NASDAQ: SWTX), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on rare diseases and cancer. At SpringWorks, Dr. Edris leads the company’s strategic planning, business development, capital formation, investor relations, and competitive intelligence efforts. Prior to joining SpringWorks, Dr. Edris was an investment and operating professional on the private equity team at OrbiMed, where he was involved in deal sourcing, evaluation and execution, as well as post-investment strategic and operational support for biotechnology companies across a range of therapeutic areas and stages of development. In addition to Edgewise, Dr. Edris also co-founded Silverback Therapeutics while at OrbiMed and served as the company’s chief business officer. Before OrbiMed, Dr. Edris was a management consultant at Bain & Company, where he collaborated with global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies on a range of strategic and operational projects. Dr. Edris received his Ph.D. in genetics from Stanford University, where he was an NSF research fellow.

Scientific Advisory Board

Leslie Leinwand

Leslie Leinwand

Chief Scientific Officer, BioFrontiers Institute • Professor CU Boulder

Leslie Leinwand, Ph.D. is a Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB) Distinguished Professor and the Chief Scientific Officer of the BioFrontiers Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder. She was recruited to be Chair of MCDB in 1995. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University, her Ph.D. from Yale University and did post-doctoral training at Rockefeller University. She joined the faculty at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York in 1981 and remained there until moving to Colorado in 1995. She co-founded Myogen, Inc. which was sold to Gilead Pharmaceuticals. She was also a co-founder of Hiberna, Inc, and more recently of MyoKardia, Inc, a publicly traded company founded to develop therapeutics for inherited cardiomyopathies. She is a Fellow of the AAAS, former MERIT Awardee of the NIH, Established Investigator of the American Heart Association and was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Inventors. The interests of Dr. Leinwand’s laboratory are the genetics and molecular physiology of inherited diseases of the heart and how gender and diet modify the heart. The study of these diseases has required multidisciplinary approaches, involving molecular biology, mouse genetics, mouse cardiac physiology, and the analysis of human tissues. Her teaching was recognized by funding from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Professor Program.

Lee Sweeney

Lee Sweeney

Professor at University of Florida, and Director of the Myology Institute

Much of Dr. Sweeney’s research program is translational in focus and has produced highly cited research on inherited forms of cardiovascular disease and on the skeletal and cardiac aspects of muscular dystrophy. Dr. Sweeney was elected as a Fellow of the American Heart Association in 2001. He has been the director of a Paul Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Center since 2005, which is now competing for renewal as a University of Florida (UF) Wellstone Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Center. Dr. Sweeney is actively developing therapeutics for rare diseases that include both small molecule and gene therapy approaches. He serves as a consultant to a number of industry therapeutic development efforts for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and spinal muscular atrophy.

Dr. Sweeney is well-known in the popular press for his gene-therapy approaches to permanently block the loss of age-related muscle size and strength in mice. The technique suggests that therapies for humans could reverse the feebleness associated with old age or slow the muscle-wasting effects of muscular dystrophies. Based on the enhancement this creates in healthy young animals, Dr. Sweeney has been widely sought as an expert commentator on the potential for gene “doping” in sports, as well as on the bioethical issues surrounding genetic enhancement. In 2004, this work led to Dr. Sweeney being among those chosen by Esquire Magazine as the “Best and Brightest” in America.

Dr. Sweeney is also heavily involved in small molecule therapy development for muscle disease. In 2007, he and his collaborators at PTC Therapeutics (a small NJ biotech company) published the development of a compound (PTC 124 or ataluren) that allows read-through of nonsense mutations (premature stop codons) in a variety of genetic disease models. The drug is in clinical trials for Duchenne muscular dystrophy and Cystic Fibrosis. For this work, Dr. Sweeney was awarded a Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence from Sheikh Hamdan of Dubai in 2008. On May 23, 2014, ataluren was granted conditional European approval for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), making it the first approved drug for this disease.

Barry Byrne

Barry Byrne

Director of the Powell Gene Therapy Center at the University of Florida, and Associate Chair of Pediatrics

Dr. Barry J. Byrne is a clinician scientist interested in a variety of rare diseases, with specific attention to developing therapies for inherited muscle disease. As a pediatric cardiologist, his focus is on conditions that lead to skeletal muscle weakness, cardiac dysfunction and respiratory dysfunction. His research team has made significant contributions to the understanding and treatment of Pompe disease, a type of muscular dystrophy resulting from abnormal glycogen accumulation in the muscle. His current research has focused on developing new therapies using the missing cellular protein or the corrective gene to restore muscle function in Pompe and other inherited myopathies.

Dr. Barry Byrne is the Associate Chair of Pediatrics and Director of the Powell Gene Therapy Center at the University of Florida. After obtaining a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Denison University, he pursued his medical education, as well as a Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology, at the University of Illinois. He completed his pediatric residency, cardiology fellowship training and post-doctoral training in Biological Chemistry at Johns Hopkins University. Joining the University of Florida in 1997, he has served in a variety of clinical, research and educational roles, and is now the Earl and Christy Powell University Chair in Genetics.