Nimbus Therapeutics has promoted finance chief Jeb Keiper to president and CEO, effective immediately, as the former Fierce 15 winner looks to move its programs into clinical development for cancer, autoimmune and metabolic diseases.
Keiper first joined the in silico drug developer in 2014 as chief business officer and helped oversee the company’s haul of over $775 million from venture capital funding rounds and partnerships, including the sale of its clinical program in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis to Gilead in 2016 for $400 million upfront under a $1.2 billion deal. A few months later, Gilead delivered a $200 million milestone payment following positive phase 1 results.
He takes over for CEO Donald Nicholson, Ph.D., who will move on to entrepreneurial opportunities in what the company described as a “planned transition.”
“Jeb’s deep business expertise and leadership experience made him an ideal partner to me and a logical successor,” Nicholson said in a statement.
Before joining Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Nimbus, Keiper served as VP of business development at GSK Oncology, following a decade at GlaxoSmithKline in BD roles. Keiper was named chief financial officer of Nimbus last year.
This past summer, Nimbus raised $65 million to fund its virtual drug discovery and development pipeline in new indications, from investors including Atlas Venture, SR One, Lilly Ventures, Pfizer Venture Investments, Lightstone Ventures and Schrödinger, as well as Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
Alongside its discovery partnerships with companies including Celgene, Genentech, Charles River Laboratories and Proteros, Nimbus is working to advance its preclinical programs in tyrosine kinase 2 and the stimulation of interferon genes, or STING, and hopes to develop several other undisclosed target programs over the next few years.
Tyk2 signals pro-inflammatory receptors including IL-23, IL-12 and interferons α and β, and is a target for autoimmune disorders, while STING agonists play a role in antitumor immunity. STING antagonists may also have therapeutic potential in diseases driven by an exaggerated interferon response.