Edgewise Therapeutics Appoints Kirsten L. Gruis, M.D., M.S. as Chief Medical Officer
June 17, 2020
– Neuromuscular Expert Joins as Company Prepares Lead Muscular Dystrophy Product Candidate for Clinical Development –
Boulder, Colo., (June 17, 2020) – Edgewise Therapeutics, a biopharmaceutical company developing small molecule therapies for musculoskeletal diseases, today announced the appointment of Kirsten L. Gruis, M.D., M.S. to the newly created position of Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Gruis will be responsible for leading clinical, medical and regulatory strategy and operations for the drug pipeline, including EDG-5506, the company’s lead product candidate that is being prepared for clinical development for Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy (DMD and BMD). Dr. Gruis brings a wealth of experience in neuromuscular drug development, following a successful track record of leadership positions at innovative biopharmaceutical and pharmaceutical companies, including Roche, Agilis Biotherapeutics (acquired by PTC Therapeutics), WAVE Life Sciences, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer. Most recently at Roche, Dr. Gruis was the Global Head of the neuromuscular franchise, leading the development of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and DMD therapeutics, including risdiplam, an investigational SMN-2 splicing modifier for SMA, which is currently under Priority Review with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
“We are thrilled that Dr. Gruis has joined our management team, bringing a wealth of industry and medical leadership as we prepare EDG-5506 for clinical development,” said Kevin Koch, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, Edgewise Therapeutics. “Dr. Gruis has deep experience in neuromuscular drug development, which will be valuable as we execute our clinical, medical and regulatory strategies.”
“I am excited to join Edgewise at this time of important growth and evolution for the company,” said Dr. Gruis. “Edgewise’s novel scientific approach has the potential to benefit a broad population of muscular dystrophy patients and represents a new strategy for this devastating disease. I’m eager to lead the development of EDG-5506, which provides new hope for patients with DMD and BMD who are in desperate need for alternative therapies.”
Dr. Gruis is an accomplished physician scientist, board certified neuromuscular neurologist and rare disease specialist, with a broad background in the development of innovative therapeutics. She has worked in DMD, SMA, Friedreich’s ataxia and Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), among others, across a range of development stages, including preclinical, Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3. Prior to joining Edgewise, Dr. Gruis was Global Head of the neuromuscular franchise at Roche leading the development of SMA and DMD therapeutics. Prior to Roche, Dr. Gruis was Chief Medical Officer at Agilis Biotherapeutics, a gene therapy start-up, and was responsible for the strategy, direction and execution of the company’s clinical development pipeline for rare genetic Central Nervous System disorders.
Dr. Gruis received her M.D. from the University of Iowa and her M.S. from the University of Michigan, School of Public Health, in Clinical Research Design and Statistical Analysis.
About Muscular Dystrophy
Muscular dystrophies are a group of genetic disorders associated with defects in the critical muscle-associated structural protein dystrophin or the sarcomere complex and are characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness. In individuals with neuromuscular conditions such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy, muscle contractions lead to continued rounds of muscle breakdown that the body struggles to repair. Eventually, as patients age, fibrosis and fatty tissue accumulate in the muscle portending a steep decline in physical function that ends with mortality. There remains an unmet need for treatments that reduce muscle breakdown in patients with neuromuscular conditions. Arresting this amplified muscle response will have a dramatic effect on disease progression.
About Edgewise Therapeutics
Edgewise Therapeutics, founded in 2017 by Alan Russell, Ph.D., Peter Thompson, M.D. (Orbimed Advisors) and Badreddin Edris, Ph.D., (Springworks Inc.), is pioneering the development of first-in-class medicines for the treatment of high morbidity musculoskeletal diseases. Skeletal muscle is the largest organ system in the human body, regulating both force production to enable muscle contraction, locomotion, and postural maintenance and the metabolism of glucose, fatty and amino acids. By modulating these processes in skeletal muscle, we create therapeutic agents that will reduce muscle damage, normalize muscle function, decrease mortality and profoundly benefit our patient’s quality of life. To learn more, go to: www.edgewisetx.com
Kevin Koch, Ph.D.
President and CEO