CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Third Harmonic Bio, a clinical-stage company developing a first-in-class, highly selective, oral KIT inhibitor for the treatment of severe allergy and inflammation, announced today the appointment of Adrian S. Ray, Ph.D., as Chief Scientific Officer.
“We’re very excited to welcome Adrian to Third Harmonic Bio,” said Natalie Holles, Chief Executive Officer of Third Harmonic Bio. “Adrian is a highly skilled and experienced drug developer, with an outstanding track record and a highly relevant skill set in the development of small molecules for inflammatory diseases. He will oversee all aspects of nonclinical development for our lead program, THB001, as well as our ongoing discovery and optimization work in the oral KIT inhibitor space.”
Adrian joins Third Harmonic Bio with more than 25 years of scientific and biotech industry experience, with a focus on the discovery and clinical translation of transformative medications from target selection to registrational filing. Before joining Third Harmonic Bio, he served as Senior Vice President Biology and Translation at Morphic Therapeutic, where he built the translation function and shaped the discovery pipeline in fibrosis, immunology, and oncology. Earlier, Adrian spent 15 years at Gilead Sciences, where he held positions of increasing responsibility in research and development. He has directly contributed to regulatory filings including over a dozen IND and NDA filings across therapeutic areas. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers and is an inventor on over 30 U.S.-granted patents. Adrian graduated with highest honors from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a B.A. in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology and received his Ph.D. for his work in the pharmacology department at Yale University.
“I’m excited to join the team at Third Harmonic Bio as we work to advance THB001 for the treatment of chronic urticaria and other mast-cell driven inflammatory and allergic diseases,” said Dr. Ray. “Contributing to the advancement of a novel therapeutic approach in KIT inhibition for a range of diseases with high unmet needs is a unique opportunity. I’m inspired by the passion of the team and the magnitude of our potential impact on the field.”
Third Harmonic Bio’s lead program, THB001, is a first-in-class, oral small-molecule inhibitor of wild-type KIT, a cell surface receptor that serves as the master regulator of mast cell function and survival. When activated by a range of stimuli, mast cells trigger the inflammatory responses associated with the symptoms of severe allergic diseases. THB001 is currently in a Phase 1 healthy volunteer study. The company anticipates initiating a Phase 1b proof-of-concept study in cold-inducible urticaria in the second half of 2022. Beyond chronic urticaria, the company plans to develop THB001 in other skin, airway, and gastrointestinal tract diseases in which mast cells play a central pathophysiologic role.
About Third Harmonic Bio
Third Harmonic Bio is a clinical-stage company developing a first-in-class, highly selective, oral KIT inhibitor for the treatment of severe allergy and inflammation. KIT is a cell surface receptor that acts as the master survival and functional regulator of mast cells, which are immune cells concentrated at the body’s interfaces with the external environment and act as the key mediator of the inflammation associated with allergic diseases. Our lead product candidate, THB001, is the first highly selective, oral small-molecule KIT inhibitor to enter clinical development. With promising drug-like properties and an encouraging early clinical profile, THB001 has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of a broad range of dermatologic, respiratory, and gastrointestinal allergic and mast-cell mediated inflammatory diseases. Visit ThirdHarmonicBio.com or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn to learn more about our work, team, and culture.