As the co-founder of Athira Pharma, as well as the inventor of its leading drug candidate, ATH-1017, Dr. Leen Kawas has garnered herself as much acclaim and respect in the field. When she brought Athira Pharma to its IPO to move on to her work with Propel Bio Partners, Dr. Kawas knew that she wanted to make something special happen.
In the year since taking on the mantle of Managing Partner at Propel Bio Partners, Dr. Kawas has turned her attention toward potentially life-changing and industry-disrupting solutions. Most recently, Dr. Leen Kawas announced the partnership Propel Bio Partners had put in place with the San Diego-based outfit Persephone Biosciences.
Meet Propel Bio Partners
Dr. Kawas moved into the realm of angel investing so that she could bring more solutions to the table, offering money and support to businesses primed to find success in critical areas. With that being said, Dr. Kawas wanted the world to know that this was an entirely new venture.
Kawas stated in a podcast interview on Angel Invest Boston, “Just to clarify, we are a new fund. We’ve invested in a few private companies, some of them that are already public, a few that will be announced soon.”
Propel Bio Partners hopes to encourage and improve potential outcomes for businesses looking to create real solutions to real issues. Recently, Persephone Biosciences has been making the news for its efforts in crafting a probiotic infant formula that helps support a baby’s microbiome.
Kawas said of the work being done by the team at Persephone Biosciences, “They are laser-focused on creating and advancing their lead program in the consumer space: infant probiotics.”
Persephone Biosciences is based out of San Diego, where the firm conducts extensive research into potentially life-changing products. Kawas said, “The thing that attracted us about Persephone is their scientific approach, thoughtful development plan, and an opportunity to invest in a therapeutic platform, but at the same time, a consumer platform.”
At Persephone, the focus is being put on “The Microbiome of Babies.” Looking to the marketplace, Dr. Kawas understands that nothing built off science and data can address the architecture and changes within our biome. Kawas added, “What I love about Persephone is before they even start going into designing their product, they conducted clinical trials to understand the baseline of the human gut microbiome.”
Kawas suggested that there was significant interest from mothers when it came to probiotic infant formula that helps to optimize the child and the mother’s health. Kawas said, “Again, this highlights how much interest there is in scientifically based infant probiotics. Here, Persephone understands the impact of C-section, vaginal birth, breastfeeding, and formula.”
About Dr. Leen Kawas
Dr. Leen Kawas has been a mover and shaker within the realm of bioscience ever since graduating from the University of Jordan with her Pharmacy Degree. Dr. Kawas ended up earning her Doctorate in Molecular Pharmacology at the University of Washington in 2011. After leaving school behind, Dr. Kawas would end up securing her Foster School of Business Executive Training Program so that she could best be prepared for her role in the rapidly growing biotechnology world.