Jump to main content

Knopp Biosciences

Knopp Biosciences

News Archive

Knopp Biosciences Announces Election of Biotech Executive Shane Kovacs to Board of Managers

March 21, 2017

PITTSBURGH, PA, MARCH 21, 2017—Knopp Biosciences LLC today announced the appointment of Shane Kovacs to its Board of Managers, effective immediately. Kovacs, a former life sciences investment banker, has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of PTC Therapeutics (NASDAQ: PTCT) since May 2013.

He joins the board of privately held Knopp as the company initiates advanced clinical development of dexpramipexole in hypereosinophilic syndromes (HES) and eosinophilic asthma. A pivotal trial in HES and a Phase 2 trial in eosinophilic asthma are planned to begin in the second half of 2017.

"Shane Kovacs brings outstanding corporate finance and general management experience to Knopp at a strategically important time for the company," said Michael Bozik, M.D., president and CEO of Knopp. "We expect he will play an instrumental governance role in helping Knopp navigate our capital strategy, development planning, and potential commercialization activities."

"I'm extremely excited to be joining Knopp at this critical point in the company's evolution," Mr. Kovacs said. "I have followed Knopp's progress for several years and am enthusiastic about helping to guide the company through its next stage of corporate and clinical development."

Prior to joining PTC in 2013, Mr. Kovacs served as Managing Director, Health Care Investment Banking at Credit Suisse, advising biotech companies on both financial and merger-and-acquisition transactions. He joined Credit Suisse in 2004 from an investment banking position at National Bank Financial in Toronto. He received an MBA from Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario and a Bachelors of Engineering in Chemical Engineering as well as a Bachelors of Sciences in Life Sciences from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. He is a CFA Charterholder.

Knopp's Board of Managers is the LLC equivalent of a corporate board of directors.

Knopp's lead product candidate, dexpramipexole, is an orally available investigational drug that has demonstrated significant eosinophil lowering potential across multiple clinical studies, including in a Phase 2 study in HES. Eosinophils are white blood cells associated with inflammation in numerous diseases.

Knopp Biosciences, based in Pittsburgh, PA, USA, is a privately held drug discovery and development company focused on delivering breakthrough treatments for inflammatory and neurological diseases of high unmet need in clearly defined patient populations. Our clinical-stage small molecule, dexpramipexole, will be entering late-stage clinical studies in hypereosinophilic syndromes and Phase 2 clinical studies in eosinophilic asthma. Our preclinical platform is directed to small molecule treatments for neonatal epileptic encephalopathy, a devastating brain disorder of infants caused by a rare mutation in the KCNQ2 gene. 

This press release contains "forward-looking statements," including statements relating to planned regulatory filings and clinical development programs for dexpramipexole. All forward-looking statements are based on management's current assumptions and expectations and involve risks, uncertainties and other important factors, specifically including the uncertainties inherent in clinical trials and product development programs, the availability of funding to support continued research and studies, the availability or potential availability of alternative therapies or treatments, the availability of patent protection for the discoveries and strategic alliances, as well as additional factors that may cause Knopp's actual results to differ from our expectations. There can be no assurance that dexpramipexole will be successfully developed or manufactured or that final results of clinical studies will be supportive of regulatory approvals required to market the product. Knopp undertakes no obligation to update or revise any such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Knopp's pipeline consists of investigational drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These investigational drug products are still undergoing clinical study to verify their safety and effectiveness.

Media Contact:
Thomas Petzinger Jr.