Company

About Edgewise

At Edgewise, patients are at the core of everything we do. We recognize that for patients with rare and debilitating diseases, every day without an effective treatment is a day too late and we are driven by this urgency to evolve disease knowledge with an aim to develop novel precision medicines for severe and debilitating rare muscle disorders. Our intimate knowledge of muscle biology and biophysics along with our ability to identify and design muscle specific precision small molecules have enabled us to rapidly advance our lead product candidate into clinical development while advancing our preclinical pipeline. From this foundation, we are continuing to build a leading, global biopharmaceutical company focused on rare diseases involving muscle in order to develop transformative precision medicines to treat and possibly cure these disorders.

We are a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative treatments for severe, rare muscle disorders for which there is significant unmet medical need. Guided by our holistic drug discovery approach to targeting the muscle as an organ, we have combined our foundational expertise in muscle biology and small molecule engineering to build our proprietary, muscle focused drug discovery platform. Our platform utilizes custom-built high throughput and translatable systems that measure integrated muscle function in whole organ extracts to identify small molecule precision medicines regulating key proteins in muscle tissue, initially focused on addressing rare neuromuscular and cardiac diseases.

Our Vision

Our vision is to improve the lives of patients and families suffering from rare muscle disorders by building the world’s leading muscle-focused, precision medicine company. Key components of our strategy to achieve this vision include:

  • Engaging comprehensively with patients and their families and physicians to develop trusted relationships, transparent communications, and become a leader in the muscular dystrophy stakeholder community;
  • Leveraging clinical and regulatory precedents and our extensive experience in rare diseases to rapidly advance EDG-5506 through clinical development in DMD, BMD and other muscle diseases;
  • Investing in our precision medicine drug discovery platform to fuel the development of novel targeted therapies to expand our pipeline into other related muscle disorders;
  • Integrating our scientific expertise, development capabilities and growing network of patient advocacy groups and collaborators to develop novel therapies addressing muscle diseases with the highest unmet need; and
  • Opportunistically evaluating strategic collaborations and asset acquisition opportunities to accelerate development and commercialization timelines as well as potentially expand our pipeline within our core therapeutic areas.

Management Team

Kevin Koch, Ph.D.

President and Chief Executive Officer

Kevin Koch, Ph.D., has served as our President, Chief Executive Officer and a member of our board of directors since 2017 and has been in the life science industry for over 30 years with a focus on drug discovery, translational medicine and clinical development.  Since 2016, he has also served as a Venture Partner with OrbiMed. Dr. Koch previously served as the Senior Vice President of Drug Discovery, Chemical and Molecular Therapeutics at Biogen where he managed global drug discovery and biomarker development. Dr. Koch was a co-founder of Array BioPharma, serving as President, Chief Scientific Officer and board member from the company’s inception in 1998 to 2013. While there, he built a fully integrated research and development team that oversaw the invention of over 20 clinical development candidates across multiple therapeutic areas, several of which are now marketed medicines. Prior to Array, Dr. Koch held senior positions at Amgen 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 Synthetic Organic Chemistry from University of Rochester.

Alan Russell, Ph.D.

Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer

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 B.Pharm. in Pharmacy and Pharmacology and Ph.D. in Cell Biology and Gene Therapy from the University of Bath in the UK and Postdoctoral training at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

R. Michael Carruthers

Chief Financial Officer

Michael Carruthers has served as our Chief Financial Officer since September 2020. Mr. Carruthers has over 20 years of experience serving as Chief Financial Officer for publicly-traded biopharmaceutical companies, with extensive experience across corporate finance and strategic planning including IPO’s, secondary offerings and M&A transactions. Most recently, Mr. Carruthers consulted as Chief Financial Officer for several private and public companies. Previously, Mr. Carruthers served as Interim President of Nivalis Therapeutics, a publicly traded company acquired by Alpine Immune Sciences, in 2017 and Chief Financial Officer and Secretary from 2015 to 2017. From 1998 to 2015, he served as Chief Financial Officer for Array BioPharma Inc., a publicly traded company acquired by Pfizer Inc. Prior to this, he served as Chief Financial Officer of Sievers Instruments, Treasurer and Controller for the Waukesha division of Dover Corporation and Accountant with Coopers & Lybrand. Mr. Carruthers received a B.S. in accounting from the University of Colorado and a M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.

Behrad Derakhshan, Ph.D.

Behrad Derakhshan, Ph.D.

Chief Business Officer

Dr. Behrad Derakhshan has served as Chief Business Officer since September 2020 and is responsible for our corporate strategy and business development. Dr. Derakhshan brings more than 10 years of experience in the rare/ultra-rare disease space. Most recently, Dr. Derakhshan served as Chief Business Officer at VectivBio, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on developing novel therapeutics across a variety of rare conditions where he was responsible for the company’s capital formation and business development strategy. Dr. Derakhshan previously served as the Head of Business Development at Therachon, a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of therapeutics for rare pediatric conditions, until its acquisition by Pfizer Inc. in 2019. Prior to Therachon, he was a Director at Alexion Pharmaceuticals responsible for Business Development and Strategic Evaluation after initially leading the New Products Global Commercial Insights and Analytics team. Earlier in his career, Dr. Derakhshan worked in management consulting, first as a Senior Consultant at Easton Associates and then as an Associate Director at Navigant Consulting. During that time, he advised a number of global pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies across a range of strategic projects. Dr. Derakhshan conducted his postdoctoral training at the Yale School of Medicine and received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from a joint program between Weill Cornell Medicine, New York and the University of Surrey, UK. He received a First-Class Honors BSc. with distinction in Biochemistry from the University of Surrey.

John Moore

General Counsel

John Moore has served as our General Counsel since September 2020. He has many years’ experience as General Counsel for small molecule biopharmaceutical companies working in a range of therapeutic areas. Mr. Moore was most recently General Counsel and Secretary at Peloton Therapeutics, where he led the legal aspects of the company’s initial public offering efforts and advised on its acquisition by Merck on the eve of its planned IPO. Prior to Peloton, Mr. Moore served for 15 years as General Counsel and Secretary at Array BioPharma, Inc., and for 5 years on the board of directors of Nivalis Therapeutics. Prior to Array, he was an attorney in private practice with Wilson Sonsini. Mr. Moore holds a B.S. in chemistry from the University of North Carolina, an M.S. in biochemistry from the University of Illinois and a J.D. from the University of North Carolina.

Abby Bronson

Abby Bronson, M.B.A.

Vice President, Patient Advocacy and External Innovation

Abby Bronson, MBA, has served as our Vice President of Patient Advocacy and External Innovation since April 2020. Abby has recent experience as the Senior Vice President of Research Strategy at Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) where she managed the research portfolio and developed novel trial strategies to accelerate the clinical trial process in Duchenne. Prior to PPMD, she was the Director of Operations at the Division of Clinical Innovation at NCATS, NIH. She has also had senior positions at MedImmune and Children’s National Medical Center. She holds an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. from the University of Vermont.

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.

Laura Brege

Director

Laura A. Brege serves as a member of our board of directors and is a Senior Advisor at BridgeBio Pharma (NASDAQ: BBIO), a clinical stage biotechnology company developing novel, genetically targeted therapies. Prior to joining BridgeBio Pharma, Ms. Brege served as Managing Director of Cervantes Life Science Partners, LLC., a health care advisory and consulting company. From 2012 to 2015, Ms. Brege served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Nodality, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company focused in oncology and immunology. Previously, Ms. Brege held several senior-level positions at Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (acquired by Amgen) from 2006 to 2011, including Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Before joining Onyx, Ms. Brege was a general partner at Red Rock Capital Management, a venture capital firm specializing in early-stage financing for technology companies. Prior to Red Rock, she was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at COR Therapeutics. Earlier in her career, Ms. Brege served as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Flextronics and Vice President and Treasurer of The Cooper Companies. Ms. Brege serves on the boards of Acadia Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Mirum Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Pacira Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and HLS Therapeutics, Inc. Ms. Brege earned her undergraduate degree from Ohio University and has an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.

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 and has been in the life science industry for over 30 years with a focus on drug discovery, translational medicine and clinical development.  Since 2016, he has also served as a Venture Partner with OrbiMed. Dr. Koch previously served as the Senior Vice President of Drug Discovery, Chemical and Molecular Therapeutics at Biogen where he managed global drug discovery and biomarker development. Dr. Koch was a co-founder of Array BioPharma, serving as President, Chief Scientific Officer and board member from the company’s inception in 1998 to 2013. While there, he built a fully integrated research and development team that oversaw the invention of over 20 clinical development candidates across multiple therapeutic areas, several of which are now marketed medicines. Prior to Array, Dr. Koch held senior positions at Amgen 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 Synthetic Organic Chemistry from University of Rochester.

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.

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.

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 in Pharmacy and Pharmacology and Ph.D. in Cell Biology and Gene Therapy from the University of Bath in the UK and Postdoctoral training at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

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

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

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.

Craig McDonald

Professor of Pediatrics and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at UC Davis

Craig McDonald, M.D. is a an internationally recognized expert in the clinical management, rehabilitation, and precision therapeutics for children and adults with muscle diseases. He has been a pioneer in the development of novel outcome measures for clinical trials in disabled populations. He is widely known for his expertise in the treatment and evaluation of children and young adults with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). He leads the international Cooperative International Neuromuscular Research Group (CINRG) Duchenne Natural History Study, a collaborative effort which has made seminal contributions to the elucidation of the natural history of DMD and validation of the clinical endpoints now used in clinical trials of DMD throughout the world.