CULVER CITY, Calif., Aug. 22, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Indi Molecular, an emerging life sciences company, announced today that it has appointed Michael T. Klimas Ph.D. as senior vice president of strategy and technical business development. Dr. Klimas is a well-known life sciences executive who most recently served at Merck Research Laboratories’ executive director translational biomarker immuno-oncology and cardiometabolic lead. Indi Molecular is developing a novel, synthetic class of binders with antibody-like properties called protein catalyzed capture agents. PCCs are a small molecule replacement for antibodies in in vivo imaging, therapeutics, and in vitro diagnostics. Last year the company raised an $11.5 million Series-A financing to establish a high throughput PCC discovery platform to advance existing leads in PET immuno-oncology imaging to clinical stage.
“PCCs bring together the benefits of antibody-like binding with the flexibility and chemical properties of small molecules,” said Albert A. Luderer, Ph.D., chief executive and co-founder, Indi Molecular. “As Indi Molecular’s PCC technology platform has advanced, we are now able to create highly specific PCCs in as little as 15 days realizing our long term goal of real time protein chemistry. Mike’s technical expertise and experience at creating life sciences partnerships will be essential to taking PCCs from the lab to commercial opportunities.”
Dr. Klimas’ pharmaceutical career began with what is now AstraZeneca in neuroscience drug discovery including contributions to Seroquel and ZD3638 for the treatment of schizophrenia. He led the Neuroscience project development for Zeneca Pharmaceuticals concurrent with a medicinal chemistry function management role. Dr. Klimas joined GE Medical Systems in 2001 as a founding member of their Molecular Imaging strategy and business development effort. His role at GE included imaging collaboration project development with the pharmaceutical industry and merger and acquisition work that culminated in the acquisition of Amersham. Dr. Klimas led the technological integration of Amersham and GE Medical Systems to form what is today GE Healthcare. He joined Merck’s Imaging group in 2006.
“Indi Molecular’s PCC platform – which has recently demonstrated dramatically accelerated discovery time – holds the promise to eclipse the market for monoclonal antibodies and become a novel category of binding agents,” said Dr. Klimas. “PCCs’ small molecule properties – and the speed with which they can now be produced – give PCCs significant advantages over antibodies. I am very excited to work with Al and the technical team to bring Indi Molecular’s PCC platform out of the lab."
Indi Molecular was founded in 2013 by Leroy Hood (Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle), James Heath (Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle) and Al Luderer to commercialize a unique discovery platform, which leverages the PCC technology developed at James Heath’s lab during his tenure at Caltech. PCCs are highly specific, low molecular-weight binders with unprecedented specificity and affinity. The fully synthetic process allows for the creation of binders against difficult targets in a short time.
Since its inception, Indi Molecular has shown the utility of PCC binders across a wide range of applications, ranging from research tools and diagnostic agents to PET imaging. The company has collaborated with partners including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the US Department of Defense and leading healthcare companies.
About Indi Molecular
Indi Molecular is an emerging life sciences company that is developing a synthetic class of diagnostic and therapeutic agents with antibody-like properties: protein-catalyzed capture agents. The molecule’s small size (< 4 kD) makes PCCs a synthetic equivalent of a monoclonal antibody but with biophysical properties similar to a small molecule drug. PCCs offer the promise of superior performance, stability, lower cost and faster creation compared to monoclonal antibodies, the current standard for many therapeutic and molecular imaging applications.
The company launched as a spinout from its parent company Integrated Diagnostics (Indi) in 2013 with a $1.8 million seed round, followed by an $11.5 million Series A in 2017. For more information visit www.IndiMolecular.com
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