Kira Biotech

An Australian biotech company targeting treatment of immune system disorders with novel immunomodulatory drugs.

Mission

Kira Biotech is an emerging Australian biotechnology company developing novel immunomodulatory compounds for the treatment of immune system disorders.  Its lead candidate, KB312, is a first-in-class, selective, immune-cell depleting monoclonal antibody which targets activated immune cells and aims to restore homeostasis through induction of immune tolerance.  Kira Biotech has attracted venture capital funding and is progressing KB312 through preclinical development and phase 1 clinical trials with a team of drug development experts led by well-known US-based rheumatologist and immunologist, Dr Dan Baker.

Investors

Board and Management Team

Dan Baker

CEO and Director

Dan Baker received his B.A. in Biology from Gettysburg College and his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his medical residency at Hershey Medical Center and fellowship in Rheumatology at the University of Pennsylvania, followed by a research fellowship in Rheumatology at Mass General Hospital. He continued on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania for 18 years before joining Janssen/Centocor in 2000.

As Vice President Immunology R&D at Janssen, his responsibilities included the clinical development of Remicade, SIMPONI and STELARA as well as other programs in rheumatology, and dermatology. As Disease Area Stronghold Leader he was responsible for Phase II & III clinical development plans for rheumatology products and was responsible for the overall strategy on portfolio in rheumatology/immunology.

He has authored multiple publications in the field of immunology and has served a co-Lead of RTCure which is an academic/industry collaboration that is sponsored by IMI2 and is searching for tolerogenic therapies for rheumatoid arthritis.

After his retirement from Janssen in 2019 he has been active in continuing to be involved in bringing therapies to patients by providing scientific advice to drug development organizations. He has taken on the role of CEO of Kira Biotech which is an emerging Australian biotech company targeting treatment of immune system disorders with novel immunomodulatory drugs.

Helen Roberts

COO

Helen Roberts was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Kira Biotech Pty Ltd in May 2019. Helen has extensive experience spanning 30 years of commercial, operational and program leadership roles in the Australasian pharmaceutical and biotech sectors. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Science from Queensland University of Technology and MBA from University of Technology Sydney.

Helen joined Kira Biotech from Dendright where she served as Chief Executive Officer and Janssen Program Manager for a period of 6 years. In this role she managed a diverse range of corporate responsibilities including development program leadership, alliance management, procurement and vendor management, business development and partnering outreach.

Prior to Dendright, Helen was VP, Antibody Therapeutics at Implicit Bioscience where she was responsible for leading product development of an in-licensed biotech asset focused on innate immune modulation. Helen also spent nineteen years in global pharmaceutical companies where she held roles of increasing responsibility managing multiple marketing teams for new and emerging portfolio products in support of clinical programming, market access strategy and market development.

At Kira Biotech, Helen is responsible for managing all key business operations enabling the company to meet its milestones efficiently and supporting the creation of significant shareholder value.

Georgina Clark

Director & Scientist

Associate Professor Clark is head of the ANZAC Research Institute’s Dendritic Cell Research group. Associate Professor Clark obtained her PhD at the Research Centre for Cancer and Transplantation, University of Melbourne, before moving to the Nuffield Department of Surgery, University of Oxford, for a postdoctoral position. In 1993 she established the Transfusion Medicine Research Group at Canterbury Health Laboratories, New Zealand beginning her long association with the late Professor Hart. This group joined the Haematology/Immunology Research Group at the University of Otago in 1997. Associate Professor Clark subsequently joined the MMRI in August 1998 as a team leader in the Dendritic Cell Laboratory and moved to Sydney in 2010 where she now leads the DCR group’s laboratory work.

Associate Professor Clark’s research focus is on the development of therapeutic antibodies to treat haematological malignancies and other cancers. She is a Founder and Director of DendroCyte BioTech and Kira Biotech.

Sarah Meibusch

Director

Sarah brings over 18 years of global life science business development and management experience, 13 of those years in the human healthcare industry. She is currently a Principal in the OneVentures healthcare team. Her previous roles included 5 years scouting for Shire Pharmaceuticals, a global specialty pharmaceutical company (LON: SHP). Sarah sought technologies for Shire in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea and Japan including playing a key role in sourcing the $300M Fibrotech deal announced in 2015. Sarah has a strong operational understanding of the pharmaceutical and life science industries gained through senior management roles at the Progen Pharmaceuticals, The University of Queensland’s QAAFI institute, Beef CRC and Pyxis Genomics.

Sarah is a graduate of Cornell University (Masters of Professional Studies), University of Queensland (Bachelor of Agricultural Science, Biochemistry and Animal Science) and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD). She has also completed postgraduate courses at Harvard Business School focusing on negotiation and decision making.

Siro Perez

Director

Siro leads the Life Sciences team of investment company IP Group plc (LSE:IPO) in Australia, investing in spin-out companies out of the top universities in Australia and New Zealand.

He has over nineteen years of scientific and international management experience across the whole research, development, commercialisation, and investment process in new technologies.

Prior to joining IP Group, he was the Co-Founder and CEO of University of Queensland’s spin out company Molecular Warehouse, a medical diagnostics platform. He was also a Venture Partner at Hadean Ventures, a life sciences venture capital fund, and founder of Roundcape, a boutique advisory firm advising and co-founding startups.

Previously, he served as CEO of ToxiMet, leading the company from a development stage start-up to a fully commercial enterprise (acquired by Bio-Check UK). Before joining ToxiMet, he worked investing in pharmaceutical and biotech stocks for one of the world’s leading hedge funds ($14B under management), and as Investment Manager for Nestle’s Corporate Venture Fund ($1.5B under management).

Prior to his CEO and investment career, he worked as Project Leader in the Zurich office of The Boston Consulting Group, managing strategy projects for global Pharma and Biotech companies. Before that, he led a group in drug development and conducted research in neurodegenerative diseases at Novartis in Basel, Switzerland, and started his scientific career at the Cajal Institute of Neurobiology in Madrid, Spain. He has multiple publications in international peer-reviewed journals.

Siro hold a Masters in Finance from the London Business School, and a PhD summa cum laude in Molecular Biology and a MSc in Chemistry with honours from the Autonoma University of Madrid. He also studied Computer Science Engineering at UNED, and speak English, German, and Spanish fluently.

Board and Management Team

Dan Baker

CEO and Director

Dan Baker received his B.A. in Biology from Gettysburg College and his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his medical residency at Hershey Medical Center and fellowship in Rheumatology at the University of Pennsylvania, followed by a research fellowship in Rheumatology at Mass General Hospital. He continued on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania for 18 years before joining Janssen/Centocor in 2000.

As Vice President Immunology R&D at Janssen, his responsibilities included the clinical development of Remicade, SIMPONI and STELARA as well as other programs in rheumatology, and dermatology. As Disease Area Stronghold Leader he was responsible for Phase II & III clinical development plans for rheumatology products and was responsible for the overall strategy on portfolio in rheumatology/immunology.

He has authored multiple publications in the field of immunology and has served a co-Lead of RTCure which is an academic/industry collaboration that is sponsored by IMI2 and is searching for tolerogenic therapies for rheumatoid arthritis.

After his retirement from Janssen in 2019 he has been active in continuing to be involved in bringing therapies to patients by providing scientific advice to drug development organizations. He has taken on the role of CEO of Kira Biotech which is an emerging Australian biotech company targeting treatment of immune system disorders with novel immunomodulatory drugs.

Helen Roberts

COO

Helen Roberts was appointed Chief Operating Officer of Kira Biotech Pty Ltd in May 2019. Helen has extensive experience spanning 30 years of commercial, operational and program leadership roles in the Australasian pharmaceutical and biotech sectors. She holds a Bachelor of Applied Science from Queensland University of Technology and MBA from University of Technology Sydney.

Helen joined Kira Biotech from Dendright where she served as Chief Executive Officer and Janssen Program Manager for a period of 6 years. In this role she managed a diverse range of corporate responsibilities including development program leadership, alliance management, procurement and vendor management, business development and partnering outreach.

Prior to Dendright, Helen was VP, Antibody Therapeutics at Implicit Bioscience where she was responsible for leading product development of an in-licensed biotech asset focused on innate immune modulation. Helen also spent nineteen years in global pharmaceutical companies where she held roles of increasing responsibility managing multiple marketing teams for new and emerging portfolio products in support of clinical programming, market access strategy and market development.

At Kira Biotech, Helen is responsible for managing all key business operations enabling the company to meet its milestones efficiently and supporting the creation of significant shareholder value.

Georgina Clark

Director & Scientist

Associate Professor Clark is head of the ANZAC Research Institute’s Dendritic Cell Research group. Associate Professor Clark obtained her PhD at the Research Centre for Cancer and Transplantation, University of Melbourne, before moving to the Nuffield Department of Surgery, University of Oxford, for a postdoctoral position. In 1993 she established the Transfusion Medicine Research Group at Canterbury Health Laboratories, New Zealand beginning her long association with the late Professor Hart. This group joined the Haematology/Immunology Research Group at the University of Otago in 1997. Associate Professor Clark subsequently joined the MMRI in August 1998 as a team leader in the Dendritic Cell Laboratory and moved to Sydney in 2010 where she now leads the DCR group’s laboratory work.

Associate Professor Clark’s research focus is on the development of therapeutic antibodies to treat haematological malignancies and other cancers. She is a Founder and Director of DendroCyte BioTech and Kira Biotech.

Sarah Meibusch

Director

Sarah brings over 18 years of global life science business development and management experience, 13 of those years in the human healthcare industry. She is currently a Principal in the OneVentures healthcare team. Her previous roles included 5 years scouting for Shire Pharmaceuticals, a global specialty pharmaceutical company (LON: SHP). Sarah sought technologies for Shire in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, Korea and Japan including playing a key role in sourcing the $300M Fibrotech deal announced in 2015. Sarah has a strong operational understanding of the pharmaceutical and life science industries gained through senior management roles at the Progen Pharmaceuticals, The University of Queensland’s QAAFI institute, Beef CRC and Pyxis Genomics.

Sarah is a graduate of Cornell University (Masters of Professional Studies), University of Queensland (Bachelor of Agricultural Science, Biochemistry and Animal Science) and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD). She has also completed postgraduate courses at Harvard Business School focusing on negotiation and decision making.

Siro Perez

Director

Siro leads the Life Sciences team of investment company IP Group plc (LSE:IPO) in Australia, investing in spin-out companies out of the top universities in Australia and New Zealand.

He has over nineteen years of scientific and international management experience across the whole research, development, commercialisation, and investment process in new technologies.

Prior to joining IP Group, he was the Co-Founder and CEO of University of Queensland’s spin out company Molecular Warehouse, a medical diagnostics platform. He was also a Venture Partner at Hadean Ventures, a life sciences venture capital fund, and founder of Roundcape, a boutique advisory firm advising and co-founding startups.

Previously, he served as CEO of ToxiMet, leading the company from a development stage start-up to a fully commercial enterprise (acquired by Bio-Check UK). Before joining ToxiMet, he worked investing in pharmaceutical and biotech stocks for one of the world’s leading hedge funds ($14B under management), and as Investment Manager for Nestle’s Corporate Venture Fund ($1.5B under management).

Prior to his CEO and investment career, he worked as Project Leader in the Zurich office of The Boston Consulting Group, managing strategy projects for global Pharma and Biotech companies. Before that, he led a group in drug development and conducted research in neurodegenerative diseases at Novartis in Basel, Switzerland, and started his scientific career at the Cajal Institute of Neurobiology in Madrid, Spain. He has multiple publications in international peer-reviewed journals.

Siro hold a Masters in Finance from the London Business School, and a PhD summa cum laude in Molecular Biology and a MSc in Chemistry with honours from the Autonoma University of Madrid. He also studied Computer Science Engineering at UNED, and speak English, German, and Spanish fluently.

Contact

enquiries@kirabiotech.com