Kizoo portfolio company Elastrin Therapeutics Announces Newly Formed Scientific Advisory Board

elastrin adboardGreenville, South Carolina, USA – Kizoo portfolio company Elastrin Therapeutics Inc., a privately held biotechnology company leveraging a platform technology to develop therapeutics that render calcified tissue and organs supple again, announced the formation of its Scientific Advisory Board. The Board will help the company support its technology development by bringing unique perspectives and is comprised of leading industry and university experts in cardiovascular research and clinical development.

Former CMO of Elastrin Therapeutics, Dr. Pedro M. Quintana Diez, will act as chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board. He will work closely with Elastrin Therapeutics’ leadership to advance the planned development of its lead product, ELT-001, along with additional programs in its pipeline. Elastrin Therapeutics’ lead asset ELT-001 is an EDTA-loaded nanoparticle conjugated with a proprietary monoclonal antibody for the treatment of vascular calcification.

“We are fortunate to work with such an amazing group of medical scientists, cardiovascular experts and pharma executives on our Scientific Advisory Board,” said Dr. Matthias Breugelmans, CEO of Elastrin Therapeutics. “The members bring a remarkable understanding of cardiovascular research, as well as deep expertise in the development of clinical drugs. We are excited to enjoy their contributions and each member’s distinct experience as we continue to grow Elastrin Therapeutics.”

“Elastrin is a prime example of what Kizoo is looking for in its investments: Not delaying an age-related but reversing it,” said Patrick Burgermeister, Partner at Kizoo Technology Capital and member of Elastrin Therapeutics’ Board of Directors.

Elastrin Therapeutics’ Scientific Advisory Board is comprised of the following members:

Prof. Charles O’Neill, MD: Dr. O’Neill has had an active basic and clinical research program in vascular calcification for the past 20 years and has published over 45 articles on this subject. As a practicing nephrologist, he has a particular interest in vascular calcification in patients with chronic kidney disease. His research has focused on the role of endogenous inhibitors, particularly pyrophosphate and matrix gla-protein, as well as novel methods to measure progression of medial calcification in humans and to examine early events in its pathophysiology. Current research is aimed at approaches to assess reversibility of calcification in animal models and to slow progression of calcification by altering hemodialysis prescription in clinical trials.

Prof. Elena Aikawa, MD, PhD: Dr. Elena Aikawa is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and the Naoki Miwa Distinguished Chair in Cardiovascular Medicine and the Director of Heart Valve Translational Research Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Her Research Program focuses on the development of new therapies to prevent and treat calcific aortic valve stenosis, a disease that currently has no treatment options other than valve replacement. She was at the forefront in the discovery of inflammation-dependent mechanisms of cardiovascular calcification. Her studies contributed to the discovery of calcifying extracellular vesicles as a precursor of microcalcification. Dr. Aikawa holds editorial positions at the Cardiovascular Research, Circulation Research, Journal of Extracellular Vesicles and Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology (ATVB). Dr. Aikawa has authored more than 250 articles on cardiovascular pathobiology.

Prof. Frank Rutsch, MD: Frank Rutsch is an Associate Professor in Pediatrics at Münster University Children’s Hospital, Münster, Germany. Dr. Rutsch graduated from Münster University Medical School in 1992 and took part in the pediatric residency program in Dresden University and Dortmund Municipal Hospital, Germany. After spending a postdoctoral research fellowship in the Department of Rheumatology and Immunology at the University of California, San Diego, he became the leader of an independent research group at Münster University Children’s Hospital in 2004. Dr. Rutsch’s main research interests are focused on the discovery of the underlying genetic defects and translational aspects in rare pediatric metabolic and autoimmune disorders.

Dr. Klaus-Dieter Langner: Klaus-Dieter Langner is a life science expert with more than 32 years of experience in pharmaceutical industry. He has a strong interest in supporting innovative start-ups and he now work as a business angel, consultant, and mentor. Klaus started his career as research scientist at Behringwerke/Hoechst AG focusing on the expression of recombinant human plasma proteins and immunomodulators. After 12 years, he moved to Grünenthal GmbH where he was appointed as Head of Research with the focus on small molecules for pain, immunomodulation, and rare diseases. In his last position, Klaus acted as Chief Scientific Officer and Member of the Corporate Executive Board of Grünenthal GmbH.

Prof. Linda Hands, MD: Linda Hands was appointed Clinical Reader in the University of Oxford and Honorary Consultant Vascular surgeon in 1992 after training in London, Oxford and Chicago. Her research was on cytokine production by atherosclerotic arteries, venous disease and telemedicine. She was Clinical Director of Vascular and cardiothoracic surgery for three years and also served on the Health Authority and a NICE committee. Linda retired in late 2017 as Associate Professor and remain an Hon. Emeritus Professor at the John Radcliffe Hospital Oxford and Emeritus Fellow of Green College, Oxford. She continues to teach students and maintains an interest in research and medicolegal issues.

Dr. Pedro M. Quintana Diez, M.D.: Pedro is an internal medicine doctor with over 20 years of clinical development experience in the international biotech and pharmaceutical industry. Prior to joining Elastrin Therapeutics, Pedro served as Chief Medical Officer of Sensory Sciences LLC and held VP and leadership positions at Grunenthal, Abbvie and ParinGenix, where he developed clinical strategies and plans across all phases of clinical development, through life-cycle management key decisions. Before serving in these positions, Pedro managed Phase II and III developments in cardiovascular and lung diseases. His experience submitting INDs and CTAs, as well as his solid experience in respiratory and inflammation research will add further value to the company’s pipeline.

Dr. Yuri Martina, MD, MBA: Yuri has more than 20 years of experience and a strong track record in the strategic and operational leadership of all phases of clinical research and development at companies across Europe and the US. Currently, Yuri is SVP and Head of Development at Grünenthal Pharma in Germany. Prior to Grünenthal, Yuri was VP Clinical Operations and Development at Shionogi Europe, Managing Project Director at Parexel, Senior Manager Clinical Operations at Baxter and Director Clinical Development at Adaltis (Merck-Serono). During his career, Yuri has worked actively in different therapeutic areas and he has led teams bringing multiple compounds from pre-clinical phase into clinical studies in both Europe and US, and achieved multiple successful NDA and MAA submissions and approvals.

About Elastrin Therapeutics Inc.

Elastrin Therapeutics is a South Carolina-based biotech developing novel therapies to reverse cardiovascular disease. Its underlying technology was developed by Dr. Naren Vyavahare during the last 20 years at Clemson University. Our team built a proprietary platform that targets and restores degraded elastin by removing the harmful calcification that stiffens arteries. The platform significantly improves the efficacy of drugs and eliminates side effects by combining particle design with elastin targeting.

Further information can be found at


Kizoo provides seed and follow-on financing with a focus on rejuvenation biotech. Having been entrepreneurs, VC, and mentors in both high-growth tech and biotech companies ourselves for many years with multiple exits and massive value created for the founders, Kizoo now brings this experience to the emerging field of rejuvenation biotech. We see it as a young industry that will eventually outgrow today’s largest technology markets.

As part of Michael Greve’s Forever Healthy Group, Kizoo directly supports the creation of startups turning research on the root causes of aging into therapies and services for human application. Investments include Cellvie, Underdog, Revel Pharmaceuticals, Elastrin Therapeutics, and others.

Forever Healthy’s other initiatives include the evaluation of new rejuvenation therapies, evidenced-based curation of the world’s cutting-edge medical knowledge, funding research projects on the root causes of aging, and hosting the annual Undoing Aging Conference.

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