Redpin Therapeutics, Inc., a pioneering chemogenetics company developing uniquely controllable gene therapies to address intractable diseases of the nervous system, today announced the appointment of Abhinav A. Shukla, PhD, as its Chief Technical Operations Officer (CTOO). Redpin recently announced the first close of its Series A financing raising $15.5. million with investments from 4Bio Capital, Arkin Bio Ventures, Takeda Ventures and others.
Dr. Shukla joins Redpin with a strong reputation as a leader and innovator in the biopharmaceutical process development and manufacturing space. In his most recent roles, he was responsible for the manufacturing of gene modified cell therapy products at CRISPR Therapeutics and biologics process development for a vast pipeline of diverse biologics at Shire Inc (now Takeda).
Prior to these roles, Dr. Shukla spent a number of years setting up a highly successful process development and manufacturing business line at KBI Biopharma, a leading CDMO. He also built a late-stage Manufacturing Sciences & Technology team at Bristol-Myers Squibb to commercialize the Company’s first biologics molecules and at Amgen Inc. formulated their platform approach to mAb and Fc fusion protein process development.
Throughout his career Dr. Shukla has been involved in >75 INDs and in the commercialization of Orencia®, Yervoy®, Nulojix® and Xgeva® amongst other therapeutics. Dr. Shukla received his doctorate in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his undergraduate degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. He has over 40 published papers in the process development and manufacturing areas and is well known as a thought leader and innovator in the industry.
“Attracting someone of Abhinav’s caliber to Redpin is a testament to the strength and excitement around our chemogenetics platform. We are thrilled to welcome Abhinav to our team and look forward to leveraging his vast expertise to guide the advancement of our technology and pipeline towards the clinic,” said Dr. Hawkins, President and CEO of Redpin Therapeutics. “Redpin intends to advance its groundbreaking ultra-potent ion channel based chemogenetics platform to address disorders associated with neural circuit dysfunction including epilepsy, neuropathic pain and Parkinson’s disease.”
“I am delighted to join Redpin at this critical inflection point for the company,” said Dr. Abhinav Shukla, Chief Technical Operations Officer of Redpin. “I am particularly excited to be working alongside Redpin’s founders, who are some of the world’s most celebrated scientists, to bring the potential of the Redpin’s chemogenetics platform to patients across a variety of disease states.”
Based in New York City, Redpin Therapeutics is a privately held, preclinical stage gene therapy company developing a proprietary chemogenetics platform for targeted cell therapies to address currently intractable diseases of the central nervous system. Using a powerful and innovative technology that inverts traditional drug development by using gene therapy to target an engineered receptor to any cell type responsible for disease and modulating its function with an already-approved drug. This has the potential to deliver effective treatments for a wide range of currently intractable neurological and psychiatric diseases and disorders. Redpin has a worldwide exclusive license from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute for the therapeutic use of this technology, and the company is working with urgency to apply it to advance important medicines for patients in desperate need of effective therapies.
Chemogenetics is a ground-breaking approach to selectively control cell function by installing an engineered receptor that renders any targeted cell population sensitive to modulation by an agonist designed to target that receptor. Redpin is building an innovative ion channel-based chemogenetics platform that introduces a new paradigm for tunable, targeted cell therapies. Ion channels are proteins that are responsible for electrical activity in cells. We are leveraging ion channels as neuromodulation tools to either stimulate under-active neurons or inhibit over-active ones.
Using our synthetic biology platform, we have designed proprietary chimeric ligand-gated ion channels as targeted cell therapies to selectively stimulate or inhibit dysfunctional neuronal circuits implicated in a given disease. Our ion channel receptors are designed to only modulate neuron activity in the presence of the orally delivered small molecule drug varenicline. Varencline is approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as an anti-smoking agent. We believe varenicline is particularly attractive for chemogenetic applications in the central nervous system because it is well tolerated by patients at low doses and has excellent brain penetration.