AskBio Appoints Michael Kranda as SVP Therapeutic Practice Leader for Its Growing CNS Portfolio
In this newly created role, Kranda will lead strategic direction and operations for AskBio’s CNS pipeline therapies
Research Triangle Park, N.C. – Aug 6, 2020 – Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc. (AskBio), a leading, clinical-stage adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy company, today announced that Michael Kranda has joined the company to lead its central nervous system (CNS) therapeutic sector and programs. In this newly created role, he will be the senior vice president and key executive responsible for the strategy and operations of the therapeutic area.
“We are delighted to welcome Michael to AskBio. His valuable insight and extensive experience in biotechnology and brain science will complement our team of experts in the CNS space,” said Sheila Mikhail, JD, MBA, AskBio CEO and co-founder. “His vast knowledge of CNS disease and many years of involvement in the development of gene therapies and other innovative treatments for rare diseases support our goal to progress our growing pipeline toward regulatory approvals and commercialization.”
Kranda comes to AskBio from the Allen Institute, where, since 2016, he served as senior director of business development. While at the Institute, he was responsible for developing new translational research initiatives with a focus on CNS disease and gene therapy. His association with the Institute dates back to 2003 when he served on the initial Allen Institute for Brain Science board of directors and as managing director of Paul Allen’s life sciences venture capital group, Vulcan Capital.
Prior to joining the Allen Institute, Kranda held senior-level roles and served as a director for multiple public and privately held biotechnology companies, including Immunex (now Amgen), Oxford GlycoSciences, BEAT BioTherapeutics and PTC Therapeutics.
“I have been involved in rare disease drug development and gene and cell programs my entire career, and the momentum today is truly inspiring. I am honored to join AskBio,” said Kranda. “AskBio has developed and deployed a remarkable combination of scientific insights, technology development and clinical expertise and has an active and diverse AAV gene therapy clinical pipeline. I am excited to be a part of AskBio’s vision of delivering the potential of gene therapy to patients and their families.”
Recently, AskBio acquired BrainVectis, a spinoff from the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM), and a global leader in neurodegenerative disorders. AskBio also has research investments with Brain Neurotherapy Bio, through which AskBio is collaborating with Dr. Krystof Bankiewicz, a world-renowned expert for localized delivery of therapeutics to the brain. Together, AskBio and BrainVectis bring to the forefront an impressive combination of technology and scientific leadership in neuroscience and AAV gene therapy.
Founded in 2001, Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc. (AskBio) is a privately held, fully integrated AAV gene therapy company dedicated to developing life-saving medicines that cure genetic diseases. Its pipeline includes clinical-stage programs in Pompe disease and congestive heart failure and a diverse preclinical portfolio of therapeutics targeting neuromuscular, CNS and other diseases, as well as out-licensed clinical indications for hemophilia (Chatham Therapeutics, acquired by Takeda) and Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Bamboo Therapeutics, acquired by Pfizer). AskBio’s gene therapy platform includes Pro10™, an industry-leading proprietary cell line manufacturing process, and an extensive AAV capsid and promoter library. With global headquarters in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and European headquarters in Edinburgh, UK, the company has generated hundreds of proprietary third-generation AAV capsids and promoters, several of which have entered clinical testing. An early innovator in the space, the company holds more than 500 patents in areas such as AAV production and chimeric and self-complementary capsids.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements.” Any statements contained in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Words such as “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects,” “will,” “intends,” “potential,” “possible” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include statements regarding AskBio’s pipeline of development candidates, including potential regulatory approvals and commercial potential; AskBio’s goal of developing life-saving medicines aimed at curing genetic diseases; the potential benefits of AskBio’s development candidates to patients; and Mr. Kranda being well-positioned to help advance AskBio’s CNS therapeutics sector and clinical programs.
These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond AskBio’s control. Known risks include, among others: AskBio may not be able to execute on its business plans and goals, including meeting its expected or planned regulatory milestones and timelines, clinical development plans and bringing its product candidates to market due to a variety of reasons, including the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, possible limitations of company financial and other resources, manufacturing limitations that may not be anticipated or resolved in a timely manner, potential disagreements or other issues with our third-party collaborators and partners, and regulatory, court or agency feedback or decisions, such as feedback and decisions from the United States Food and Drug Administration or the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
Any of the foregoing risks could materially and adversely affect AskBio’s business and results of operations. You should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. AskBio does not undertake any obligation to publicly update its forward-looking statements based on events or circumstances after the date hereof.
Vice President, Communications