Kynexis Appoints Esteemed Scientific Advisory Board Members to Advance Precision Therapeutics for Brain Diseases

Naarden, The Netherlands – May 29, 2024 – Kynexis, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on precision therapeutics by leveraging biomarkers and human genetics for brain diseases, announced today the formation of its distinguished Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). Committed to accelerating groundbreaking research and development initiatives, the SAB comprises globally renowned experts in neuroscience, genetics, as well as drug discovery and development. The SAB will work with the Kynexis leadership team to advance KYN-5356, a first-in-class small molecule KAT-II inhibitor in development for the treatment of cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia (CIAS).

"At Kynexis, we are committed to restoring brain function to enable a better life for people with schizophrenia,” said Kees Been, Chief Executive Officer at Kynexis. "This is an important year for us as we recently initiated our phase 1 clinical trial for KYN-5356 in healthy volunteers. We’re thrilled to welcome our SAB members, each with significant contributions in their respective fields, and we look forward to leveraging their insights and guidance as we advance KYN-5356 as a potential treatment for CIAS."

“Kynexis has a strong scientific rationale for modulating the kynurenine pathway, and the emerging human genetics in schizophrenia form the basis for its unique precision medicine approach,” said Carol Tamminga, M.D., Scientific Co-founder and Chair of the SAB at Kynexis. “I am honored to be part of the company's journey from its inception and eager to collaborate with the rest of the SABand the leadership team to implement a novel precision approach targeting the KAT-II enzyme.” 

Scientific Advisory Board Members

Carol Tamminga, M.D., is a Scientific Co-founder and Chair of the SAB at Kynexis and the Department of Psychiatry Chair and Chief ofTranslational Research in Psychosis at UT Southwestern. She is a leading psychiatrist and neuroscientist known for her groundbreaking translational research in the field of psychosis, which has led to major insights into the mechanisms underlying schizophrenia and its associated genetics and biomarkers.

Robert Schwarcz, Ph.D., is a Scientific Co-founder of Kynexis and Professor of Psychiatry, Pharmacology and Pediatrics at the University of Maryland Baltimore. Continuously funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health for more than 40 years, his laboratory pioneered the study of the kynurenine pathway in the brain, leading to the realization that it plays a substantive role in cognition and in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Based on these insights, he co-founded Kynexis to develop fundamentally new interventions for the prevention and treatment of brain dysfunctions in humans.

Brett Clementz, Ph.D., is a Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of Georgia and the Director of UGA’s BioImaging Research Center. He has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH) since 1991, and his research programs translate clinical neuroscience knowledge into treatment targets for people with serious psychiatric conditions.

John Harrison, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the Alzheimer Center Amsterdam, Visiting Professor at King’s College London, Chief Scientific Officer at Scottish Brain Sciences, and an acknowledged cognition expert whose principal professional interest is in helping people understand, maintain, and enhance their cognitive skills. In the past 25 years, John has assisted more than 80 CNS drug development organizations with the selection and successful integration of cognitive testing into therapeutic development programs.

Philip D. Harvey, Ph.D., is a Leonard M. Miller Professor of Psychiatry, Vice Chair for Research, and Director of the Division of Psychology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. He is also a Senior Health Research Scientist at the Bruce W. Carter VA Medical Center in Miami, FL. Dr. Harvey has authored over 1,000 scientific papers and abstracts and written over70 book chapters. His research has focused on cognition and everyday functioning, in healthy aging, schizophrenia, and other serious mental illnesses.

Dana C. Hilt, M.D., is the Chief Medical Officer at Actinogen Therapeutics and has more than 25 years of drug development experience, primarily in CNS drugs. He has been involved in the development of drugs for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis (MS), schizophrenia, and other non-CNS conditions.

Richard Keefe, Ph.D., is a Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neurosciences at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. Dr. Keefe’s research is primarily devoted to understanding cognitive dysfunction and its treatment in patients with schizophrenia and other psychiatric and neurological conditions. He has had a leadership role for cognitive methods in several large National Institute of Mental Health studies and over 100 industry trials and has published more than 300 scientific papers.

Thomas Laughren, M.D., is the Director of Regulatory Affairs for Massachusetts General Hospital Clinical Trials Network and Institute (CTNI). He retired as Director of the Division of Psychiatry Products, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at FDA in December of 2012, where he oversaw the review of all psychiatric drug development activities conducted under INDs, the review of all NDAs, and supplements for new psychiatric drug claims. He has authored and co-authored many papers and book chapters on regulatory and methodological issues pertaining to the development of psychiatric drugs.

About Kynexis

Kynexis is advancing precision therapeutics for brain diseases by taking a biomarker-based approach to advance a potential treatment for cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia (CIAS). By harnessing large data to identify and stratify patients based on the underlying causal human biology of the disease, Kynexis is targeting KAT-II, a key enzyme in the kynurenine pathway. The company’s lead candidate, KYN-5356, is a first-in-class small molecule that is potent and highly selective for KAT-II. The candidate is currently in a phase 1 study to evaluate the safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of single and multiple ascending oral doses of KYN-5356 in adult, healthy subjects. The company has a subsidiary in the United States, which is based in Cambridge, Mass. (Kynexis Therapeutics Inc.). Learn more at and follow us on LinkedIn and X/Twitter.  

Media Contact:
Adam Silverstein
Scient PR

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