Company Announces Core Leadership Team, Led by CEO, Kerry L. Blanchard, MD, PhD
SHANGHAI & BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Perpetual Medicines today announced it has closed an $8 million seed financing to advance its integrated computational design and synthesis platform for peptide drug discovery. The financing round was led by Chengwei Capital.
The company also announced key appointments to its leadership team, including Kerry L. Blanchard, MD, PhD, Co-founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; Ved Srivastava, PhD, Chief Technology Officer; and Xiang Ye, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer.
“Perpetual Medicines is capitalizing on recent advances in computational modeling based on artificial intelligence, deep learning and machine learning that enable access for the first time to the enormous, untapped peptide chemical space for drug discovery,” said Dr. Blanchard. “We have built an integrated platform that allows us to virtually iterate through millions of peptide sequences using physics-based computations to predict binding and drug-like properties followed by integration with experimental data to discover and optimize product candidates. This approach has the potential to accelerate peptide drug discovery, reduce cost, and increase the quality of drug candidates. With the financing the company will advance our most advanced program to the clinical stage and continue to build our preclinical portfolio of projects in oncology, autoimmunity, and metabolic diseases.”
Dr. Blanchard noted that peptide therapeutics have become the most rapidly growing sector of the pharmaceutical industry with predicted sales exceeding $140 billion1/year by 2030. “Peptides fill the gap between small molecule drugs and therapeutic antibodies,” he said. “They are large enough and selective enough to block interactions between proteins inside and outside cells. These attributes, along with access to vastly expanded chemical space, will open new target classes and allow us to attack previously undruggable pathobiology.”
Senior Management Team Named
Perpetual has assembled a highly experienced senior management team, who have collectively accrued more than 120 years of drug hunting experience and have helped lead the development of more than ten marketed peptide-based therapeutics.
The senior management team includes:
Kerry L. Blanchard, MD, PhD – Co-Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Blanchard is an experienced entrepreneur who has built deep R&D leadership and management experience over a 40+ year career. He was instrumental in the discovery of four marketed products, oversaw the clinical development and approval of more than 25 new medicines in China, and led two successful IPOs on the Hong Kong stock exchange. He has deep experience in developing peptide therapeutics from vancomycin and colistins to incretins. Prior to co-founding Perpetual Medicines, he was CEO of Everest Medicines. Previously, he was Chief Scientific Officer at Innovent, and he held several senior R&D leadership positions at Eli Lilly and Company over a nearly 18-year career, most recently as Senior Vice President China Drug Development. Prior to his industry career, he spent nearly 20 years in academic roles at LSU Health Science Center and Harvard Medical School.
Ved Srivastava, PhD, Chief Technology Officer – Dr. Srivastava brings to Perpetual Medicines more than 25 years of experience in the discovery and development of peptide therapeutics. He joined Perpetual from Aktis Oncology. He was instrumental in the development of several peptide-based drugs, including Byetta™, Symlin™ and Bydureon™. He has served as Head of Peptide Chemistry at both GlaxoSmithKline and Amylin Pharmaceuticals. He was also a co-founder at Phoundry Pharma and Vice President of Chemistry at both Intarcia and Aktis. Ved is a former president of the American Peptide Society (APS).
Xiang Ye, PhD – Chief Scientific Officer. Dr. Ye’s experience includes a more than 22-year career at Eli Lilly, where he focused on drug research and translational medicine. During his career, he led the discovery and development of eight clinical candidates, including a globally approved cancer drug, Verzenio® (abemaciclib). He joined Perpetual Medicines from Risen Pharmaceuticals, where he served as Chief Scientific Officer. Prior to Risen, he also served as Chief Scientific Officer at Ionova Life Sciences.
About Chengwei Capital
Chengwei Capital is a Shanghai-headquartered venture capital firm specialized in investing in high-end technology and innovative startups. It is one of the earliest venture capital firms in China and launched China’s first evergreen fund in 2004. Chengwei Capital currently has over USD $3 billion in NAV under management.
About Perpetual Medicines
Perpetual Medicines is a fully integrated computational peptide therapeutics company that aims to build a next-generation peptide drug discovery engine. The company’s platform combines the predictive power of leading-edge computational physics methods and next-generation AI technologies with advanced synthetic chemistry to access vast, unexplored peptide chemical space. The platform is designed to address previously undruggable targets, accelerate discovery and enhance the quality of peptide drug candidates. The company has operations in Shanghai, China and Boston, MA. Learn more at: perpetualmeds.com
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