Company Overview

KeifeRx is an emerging clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel and optimized, low dose, orally delivered tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) for the treatment of multiple, high-need neurodegenerative and immune diseases.

 

KeifeRx’s clinical pipeline is led by KFRX01 (Nilotinib BE), an optimized re-formulation of nilotinib with improved bioavailability and solubility, being developed for the treatment of early Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, KeifeRx is advancing its TKI formulations in neurodegenerative diseases, including Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), and movement disorders, including Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). KeifeRx is also developing novel TKIs targeting inflammatory diseases, including mast cell activated syndromes (MCAS), Lyme disease, and Urticaria, as well as neuro-inflammatory conditions that are features of neurodegeneration.

 

On each front, KeifeRx’s mission is the same – to significantly improve upon current neurodegenerative and immune disease treatments, which are primarily palliative and offer minimal and temporary benefits due to their inability to adequately eliminate toxic proteins and mitigate inflammation.

KeifeRx is dedicated to improving the treatment of neurodegenerative and immune diseases and bringing relief to the millions of people worldwide who are impacted by these debilitating, life-diminishing conditions.

Leadership Team

 

Chris is an entrepreneurial executive with experience starting, funding and operating venture-backed companies across a number of industries including software, health care and technology services. Most recently, Chris was the Co-Founder and CFO of Upskill, Inc., an enterprise software platform for enterprise use of wearable technology. Upskill raised over $65 million in venture capital and recently sold to TeamViewer AG. Chris has raised over $400 million in debt and equity and has completed over two dozen acquisitions and divestitures totaling more than $2 billion. Chris has been active in the early-stage start-up ecosystem as a co-founder and board member at organizations including Yet Analytics, Digital Harbor Foundation, and BTS Software Solutions. Chris is a venture partner at Moonshoots Capital and has been an advisor for a number of other high-growth companies.

 

 

Dr. Moussa is the Director of the GUMC Translational Neurotherapeutics Program and the Laboratory for Dementia and Parkinsonism. He is the Principal Investigator of the Lewy Body Disease Association Research Center of Excellence. His expertise is in geriatric neurology with special focus on movement and memory disorders, and he is a neuroscientist focused on autophagy. Dr. Moussa is a clinical trialist and a translational neuroscience investigator who has designed and completed a number of Phase 1-3 trials in AD, PD, LBD and HD and generated several compounds known as tyrosine kinase inhibitors that can potentially be used as a therapy for neurodegenerative diseases. He discovered the potential use of cancer drugs, including nilotinib and bosutinib as a treatment for neurodegenerative diseases and identified a novel drug target known as discoidin domain receptor (DDR)-1 that can induce autophagic clearance of misfolded proteins in preclinical and clinical settings. Dr. Moussa is an expert on tyrosine kinase inhibitors and their promising effects on neurodegenerative pathologies. Dr. Moussa is published widely in peer reviewed scientific and medical journals on the mechanisms, diagnostics, and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

 

 

Dr. Fernando L. Pagan is the Vice Chairman and Professor in the Department of Neurology at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital. He received his medical degree from Georgetown University, completed an internal medicine internship and a Neurology residency at Georgetown University Hospital. Dr. Pagan completed a fellowship in Movement Disorders and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy at the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke. He is a board-certified Neurologist. He is the director of the Movement Disorders Program and the Medical Director of the Medstar Georgetown University Hospital. National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence. Dr. Pagan serves as the fellowship director for the clinical research fellowship in movement disorders at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital, he has trained over 24 fellows in movement disorders. His special interests include Parkinson’s disease, parkinsonism and other related disorders, ataxia, essential tremor, dystonia and tics. He is a member of the functional neurosurgery team for movement disorders, performing preoperative evaluations and programming for deep brain stimulators in Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor and dystonia.

Dr. Pagan is the Medical director of the Georgetown University Medical Center Translational Neurotherapeutics Program (TNP) and has been the primary investigator of a number of clinical trials that are initiated by the TNP. Dr. Pagan has published widely in peer reviewed scientific and medical journals on the topic of Parkinson’s Disease and movement disorders.

 

 

Dr. Yasar Yaghi is the Principal Investigator for the Lewy Body Dementia Clinic and the Director of the Parkinsonism and Dementia Clinic at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital. He spearheads an initiative to care for a growing population of aging patients with neurodegenerative conditions. Dr. Yaghi obtained his medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine and subsequently completed his residency and fellowship training at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. He specializes in movement disorders and dementia, where he is an investigator in research, with specific training and expertise in Lewy body dementia and atypical Parkinsonism. Dr. Yaghi’s research focus is in neurodegeneration, and movement disorders such as Lewy body dementia, and Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, he evaluates patients with Alzheimer’s disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and Huntington’s disease. Dr. Yaghi is published widely in peer reviewed scientific and medical journals on the topics of diagnosing and treating neurodegenerative diseases.

 

Board of Directors

 

Prior to joining KeifeRx’s Board, Ms. Buchanan spent the last decade funding Parkinson’s Disease research and co-founded the Fund a Fellow program at Georgetown University. Ms. Buchanan earned a BS in Chemical Engineering from Virginia Tech and an MBA from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.

 

Matthew Petzold is the Chief Financial Officer at Sprout Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where he was instrumental in the company being acquired by Valeant for $1 billion. Prior to Sprout, Mr. Petzold served as CFO at Smart Sky Networks and Bandwidth.com. He received his Bachelor of Arts from Gettysburg College.

 

 

Garrett Vygantas is a founding Managing Partner of Riverine Ventures, a life science and healthcare dedicated venture capital firm. Trained as a physician and an experienced entrepreneur, Garrett provides strategic direction and valuable clinical and commercial networks as a Board Member or Advisor to AEye Health, ArtiSight, Circularis, Corsair Pharma, Eliksa Therapeutics, Endotronix, Exo Imaging, HealthBridge, Inflammatix, KeifeRx and Pieces Technologies. His previous investments include Aptinyx (NASDAQ:APTX), Doctor on Demand (acq. by Grand Rounds), Health Scholars, Gauss Surgical (acq. by Stryker, NYSE: SYK) Level Ex (acq. by Brainlab), MediBeacon, Mediphage, Paradigm Cancer Diagnostics (acq. by Exact Sciences, NASDAQ:EXAS), SilverCloud (acq. by AmWell, NYSE:AMWL), Spect, Stem Inc (NYSE: STEM) and Visibly.

With over 20 years, Garrett's expertise spans healthcare, medtech, digital health and biopharma investing and operations. He has invested on behalf of OSF Ventures, Jump Capital and Burrill & Co. He was the founding CEO of TherOptix, NewBridge Pharmaceuticals and Mitre Medical. At NewBridge, he and his team raised over $60M in financing and created $470M in nominal value. Earlier in his career Garrett helped launch Lucentis at Genentech and worked on the healthcare investment banking team at Cowen & Company. He earned his MD /MBA degree from Georgetown University and completed his residency at the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Kauffman Fellow and Mentor at the Center for Venture Education and has served on numerous not-for-profit Boards.

 

Scientific Advisory Board

 

Dr. Moussa is the Director of the GUMC Translational Neurotherapeutics Program and the Laboratory for Dementia and Parkinsonism. He is the Principal Investigator of the Lewy Body Disease Association Research Center of Excellence. His expertise is in geriatric neurology with special focus on movement and memory disorders, and he is a neuroscientist focused on autophagy. Dr. Moussa is a clinical trialist and a translational neuroscience investigator who has designed and completed a number of Phase 1-3 trials in AD, PD, LBD and HD and generated several compounds known as tyrosine kinase inhibitors that can potentially be used as a therapy for neurodegenerative diseases. He discovered the potential use of cancer drugs, including nilotinib and bosutinib as a treatment for neurodegenerative diseases and identified a novel drug target known as discoidin domain receptor (DDR)-1 that can induce autophagic clearance of misfolded proteins in preclinical and clinical settings. Dr. Moussa is an expert on tyrosine kinase inhibitors and their promising effects on neurodegenerative pathologies. Dr. Moussa is published widely in peer reviewed scientific and medical journals on the mechanisms, diagnostics, and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

 

 

Dr. Fernando L. Pagan is the Vice Chairman and Professor in the Department of Neurology at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital. He received his medical degree from Georgetown University, completed an internal medicine internship and a Neurology residency at Georgetown University Hospital. Dr. Pagan completed a fellowship in Movement Disorders and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy at the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke. He is a board-certified Neurologist. He is the director of the Movement Disorders Program and the Medical Director of the Medstar Georgetown University Hospital. National Parkinson Foundation Center of Excellence. Dr. Pagan serves as the fellowship director for the clinical research fellowship in movement disorders at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital, he has trained over 24 fellows in movement disorders. His special interests include Parkinson’s disease, parkinsonism and other related disorders, ataxia, essential tremor, dystonia and tics. He is a member of the functional neurosurgery team for movement disorders, performing preoperative evaluations and programming for deep brain stimulators in Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor and dystonia.

Dr. Pagan is the Medical director of the Georgetown University Medical Center Translational Neurotherapeutics Program (TNP) and has been the primary investigator of a number of clinical trials that are initiated by the TNP. Dr. Pagan has published widely in peer reviewed scientific and medical journals on the topic of Parkinson’s Disease and movement disorders.

 

 

Dr. Yasar Yaghi is the Principal Investigator for the Lewy Body Dementia Clinic and the Director of the Parkinsonism and Dementia Clinic at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital. He spearheads an initiative to care for a growing population of aging patients with neurodegenerative conditions. Dr. Yaghi obtained his medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine and subsequently completed his residency and fellowship training at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. He specializes in movement disorders and dementia, where he is an investigator in research, with specific training and expertise in Lewy body dementia and atypical Parkinsonism. Dr. Yaghi’s research focus is in neurodegeneration, and movement disorders such as Lewy body dementia, and Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, he evaluates patients with Alzheimer’s disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and Huntington’s disease. Dr. Yaghi is published widely in peer reviewed scientific and medical journals on the topics of diagnosing and treating neurodegenerative diseases.