A commitment
to provide
hope to patients
in times of need

We are a clinical stage
biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of therapeutics
applying novel platform chemistry to
time-regulated neurobiology
XW

Our aPPROACH

XWPharma employs the following strategies across all of our programs to increase the odds that our internally discovered medicines will succeed in clinical testing and commercialization.

  • We focus our propriety drug discovery methodology on mechanisms of action that are validated as highly effective in clinical studies and medical practice.
  • Our investigational drug therapies aim to leverage time-regulated neurobiology to achieve efficacy without the limitations associated with currently available treatments.
  • We pursue efficient development pathways that are designed to de-risk each program at an early stage of clinical development.
  • Each therapy targets high value commercial markets with favorable reimbursement and market access.
  • All our therapies in clinical development are new chemical entities with distinctive features and composition of matter intellectual property.
XW

Pipeline

XW10172

GABAB agonist NCE

SLEEP DISORDERS IN PARKINSON’S DISEASE
AND NARCOLEPSY
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XW10172

Sleep disorders in Parkinson’s disease afflict the majority of Parkinson’s disease patients.1 Consequences of sleep dysfunction are underappreciated compared to motor symptoms but often manifest at earlier stages of disease resulting in loss of productivity and greater quality of life impact. There are currently no FDA approved treatments for sleep disorders resulting from Parkinson’s disease.

Narcolepsy
 is a life-long disease characterized by fragmented sleep which manifests primarily as excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) and cataplexy, a sudden and uncontrollable muscle weakness or paralysis. Narcolepsy is considered an orphan disease in the US affecting between an estimated 165,000 and 185,000 people.2,3 GABAB agonists indicated for treatment of narcolepsy currently represent over $1.6 billion in US annual sales.

XW10172 is an internally discovered, investigational GABAB agonist in development for the intended treatment of sleep disorders in Parkinson’s disease and narcolepsy.

1. Tandberg E, Larsen J, Karlsen K. Excessive daytime sleepiness and sleep benefit in Parkinson’s disease: A community-based study. Mov Disord. 1999;14:922–7.

2. Hess G, Mehra R, Carls G, et al. US Prevalence of Narcolepsy and Other Sleep Disorders From 2013–2016: A Retrospective, Epidemiological Study Utilizing Nationwide Claims. Sleep. 2018;41(suppl 1):A232.

3. Scheer D, Schwartz S, Parr M, Zgibor J, Rajaram L. Incidence and Prevalence of Narcolepsy in a U.S. Healthcare Claims Database, 2008-2010. Sleep. 2018;41(suppl 1):A227.

XW10508

Glutamatergic NMDA antagonist
and AMPA activator NCE

MAJOR DEPRESSIVE DISORDER
AND CHRONIC PAIN
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XW10508

Major depressive disorder (MDD) and chronic pain are both highly prevalent and debilitating conditions. Over 264 million people worldwide suffer from MDD and one-third of these patients are considered treatment-resistant, failing 2 or more antidepressants.1 One in 5 (1.5 billion) people around the world experience chronic pain while over 20 million people in the US alone suffer from chronic pain that frequently limits life and work activities.2,3 Despite therapies available, significant unmet needs remain in treating both disorders and a large number of patients are unable to find relief from existing options.

NMDA antagonists such as IV ketamine and intranasal esketamine represent a new class of pharmacologic agents proven to be effective in MDD and chronic pain patients who are unresponsive to other forms of therapy.

XW10508 is an internally discovered, investigational, orally bioavailable, once-daily glutamatergic providing NMDA receptor inhibition and AMPA receptor activation in development for the intended treatment of MDD and chronic pain.

1. World Health Organization. Depression. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/ . Accessed June 2020.

2. Gureje O, von Korff M, Simon GE, Gater R. Persistent pain and well-being: A World Health Organization study in primary care. JAMA. 1998;280:147–151.

3. Dahlhamer J, Lucas J, Zelaya C, et al. Prevalence of chronic pain and high-impact chronic pain among adults – United States, 2016. MMWR Morb and Mortal Wkly Rep. 2018;67:1001-1006.

XW

Team

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Leonard Blum

President & CEO
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Leonard Blum

President & CEO

Mr. Blum joined XWPharma in April 2020 as President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Blum had previously founded, built, and led the commercial organizations at a series of emerging growth biopharmas, including from 2000 until 2007 at ICOS Corp. (acquired by Eli Lilly), Theravance from 2007 to 2016, Omeros Corp. 2016 to 2018 and Madrigal Pharmaceuticals 2018 to 2020. From 1987 to 2000 he progressed through marketing, sales, and business leadership roles at Merck and Co. with increasing US and international responsibilities. Over the past 33 years, he was responsible for national and global launches, turn-arounds, and rapid sales acceleration for over 20 medicines in a wide variety of therapeutic categories, including specialty products and blockbusters. His work has earned multiple industry accolades and is the subject of 2 Harvard Business School case studies.

Prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry, Mr. Blum served as an officer in the US Army Special Forces (Honor Graduate of Special Operations Detachment Officer Course 6-86), studied International Finance as a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Zurich, earned his undergraduate degree in Economics from Princeton University magna cum laude and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is active in community service and from 2009-2019 he and his wife owned and operated a medical clinic in Minneapolis, Minnesota that has treated thousands of individuals battling chemical and alcohol dependency.

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Jia-Ning Xiang, PhD

Founder & CSO
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Jia-Ning Xiang, PhD

Founder & CSO

Jia-Ning Xiang, PhD founded XWPharma and has served as its Chief Scientific Officer since April 2020 and Chairman of the Board of Directors since December 2019.

Previously, he was Chief Executive Officer and a Member of the Board since February 2014. From 2007 to 2013 Dr. Xiang was Senior Director and Head of Integrated Platform & Sciences and Head of Medicinal Chemistry, respectively, at the GlaxoSmithKline Neuroscience Center in Shanghai. Dr. Xiang was Director of Medicinal Chemistry at XenoPort from 2001 to 2007.

Prior to that he spent 9 years at SmithKline Beecham from 1992 to 2001, holding various positions, most recently as Assistant Director of Medicinal Chemistry. Dr. Xiang holds 46 issued U.S. patents and contributed to 9 compounds that were studied in clinical trials of central nervous system disorders, including the marketed drug Horizant for the treatment of Restless Legs Syndrome and Neuropathic Pain.

Dr. Xiang holds a BS in Chemistry from Wuhan University in China, and a PhD in Organic Chemistry from University of Virginia, and conducted postdoctoral research in Chemistry at California Institute of Technology.

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Daniel Canafax, PharmD

Chief Medical Officer
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Daniel Canafax, PharmD

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Canafax has been our CMO since 2018 and has over 22 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry leading clinical drug development from concept, pre-clinical studies, clinical studies through marketing approval and post-marketing research. He has significant experience and expertise in designing and medical monitoring studies for developing new drug therapies for central nervous system disorders, immunosuppression, renal diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, infectious diseases, and other indications. He was Vice President of Medical Affairs and Clinical Research at Omeros working on drugs for addiction, renal disease, and ophthalmology.

Prior, he was Vice President of Clinical Development at Theravance, Inc., for almost 6 years leading the clinical development of a µ-opioid antagonist, 5-HT4 agonists, and other drugs. He was the Chief Development Officer at ARYx Therapeutics for 3 years developing naronapride, tecarfarin, and budiodarone. As Vice President of Clinical Development at XenoPort, he led the clinical development of the prodrug gabapentin enacarbil to marketing approval as Horizant for the treatment of neuropathic pain and Willis-Ekbom disease. He also held senior clinical development positions at MedImmune and Elan Pharmaceuticals.

In his early career, Dr. Canafax was a Professor of Pharmacy, Surgery, and Otolaryngology at the University of Minnesota, and was an important part of cyclosporine development with Novartis. He has been Principal Investigator on multiple clinical studies and has authored or co-authored over 160 publications. He received his Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree and clinical residency from the University of Kentucky and Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm) from Washington State University.

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Jim Tien, PhD

Chemistry, Manufacturing,
AND Controls
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Jim Tien, PhD

Chemistry, Manufacturing,
AND Controls

Dr. Tien has over 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, leading CMC teams from IND to NDA filing. He has extensive knowledge in API and drug products from R&D to commercial production. He is an expert in technology transfer, CMC manufacturing, and process validation for NDA regulatory filing strategies.

Dr. Tien was a co-founder of and the Chief Scientific Officer at Sunny Pharmtech, a company focused on ANDA filing for generic drugs. Prior to that, he was a Senior Director at ARYx Therapeutics, responsible for API process development and production, managing clinical trial supplies for phase 1, 2, 3 studies for naronapride, tecarfarin, and budiodarone. He also led the CMC team and IND filing activities. Dr. Tien began his career with Abbott Laboratories, leading a team of chemists in the NDA filings for the HIV protease inhibitors, Norvir and Kaletra. Norvir obtained NDA approval from drug discovery to the commercial product rapidly as a result of Dr. Tien’s leadership. He was named a distinguished scientist of Abbott Laboratories’ Volwier Society for his outstanding contributions. Dr. Tien is also an author and co-inventor of 28 patents and numerous publications.

Dr. Tien received a PhD in Synthetic Organic Chemistry from University of Massachusetts and was a postdoctoral fellow there. He received a MS in Applied Chemistry from Chung-Yuan University.

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Hanna Ng, PhD, DABT

Nonclinical Development
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Hanna Ng, PhD, DABT

Nonclinical Development

Dr. Ng has more than 19 years of experience in nonclinical development of small molecule drugs, biologics, and cell- and gene-based therapeutics for a wide range of indications. She has been involved in the development of more than 30 therapeutics that have entered clinical trials. Before joining XWPharma, Dr. Ng was the Director of Nonclinical Safety at SRI International, where she strategically planned and executed toxicology, pharmacokinetics and pharmacology studies and served as the principal investigator for several large multi-year toxicology and pharmacology contracts with the NIH and other government agencies, as well as for commercial industry.

Dr. Ng received her B.S. in biology from Beijing Normal University, her M.A. in molecular biology from Clark University, her Ph.D. in toxicology/environmental health sciences from Johns Hopkins University and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Dr. Ng has been certified as a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology since 2004.

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William Xiang

Strategy & Operations
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William Xiang

Strategy & Operations

Mr. Xiang is responsible for pipeline strategy and development, alliance management, and business development. He has held positions of increasing responsibilities to lead the growth and effectiveness across the organization. At XWPharma, Mr. Xiang helped the company successfully fundraise 2 equity rounds. He also took XWPharma’s flagship program from preclinical to successfully completing phase 1 clinical studies. Mr. Xiang is responsible for expanding XWPharma’s global operations to the US, Taiwan, and Australia.

Prior to joining XWPharma, Mr. Xiang worked at The Vanguard Group, the world’s largest mutual fund company. During his tenure there, he spent extensive time in various roles responsible for data analytics and strategy as a Senior Analyst in the Business Channel Strategy Group focusing on Vanguard’s largest broker-dealer clients (Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, UBS, and Wells Fargo). He was also one of the first members of an entrepreneurial consultant team responsible for small business 401(k) retirement plans across the northeast and southeast territories in the US. Mr. Xiang started his career in Vanguard’s Accelerated Development Program designed for future leaders where he spent time as an Investment Analyst in the Portfolio Review Department working with Vanguard’s active fund managers and sales in its advisory business. He has also worked in research analysis for principal investing and advisory for a boutique merchant bank and accounting for an American multinational conglomerate.

Mr. Xiang received his BS in Neural and Behavioral Psychology from Haverford College.

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Peter Wipf, PhD

Professor of Chemistry
University of Pittsburgh
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Peter Wipf, PhD

Professor of Chemistry
University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Wipf is the Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. He directs the Center for Chemical Methodologies and Library Development at the University, and he is a member of the editorial board of several synthetic organic and medicinal chemistry journals and periodicals.

Dr. Wipf is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Royal Society of Chemistry. His research contributions include the total synthesis of natural products, organometallic and heterocyclic chemistry, and medicinal and computational chemistry. He has coauthored over 600 journal articles and patents.

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Wendye Robbins, MD

President & CEO
Blade Therapeutics
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Wendye Robbins, MD

President & CEO
Blade Therapeutics

Dr. Robbins is a biopharmaceutical entrepreneur with extensive operational and team building experience. She has made a career of building companies from the ground up. She co-founded early biopharmaceutical companies NeurogesX, Inc. (NASD: NGSX, sold to Acorda Therapeutics), Limerick BioPharma, Labrys Biologics (sold to TEVA 2014), and Blade Therapeutics.

She has functioned as an outside advisor to investors and in this capacity served as development advisor to Rinat Neurosciences, supporting the 2006 Pfizer acquisition. She also managed diligence and development planning to enable spinout of a former Rinat-Pfizer biologic asset into Labrys Biologics. She has been a scientific and strategic advisor to many entrepreneurs, nascent biotechs, and pharmaceutical companies. Her expertise includes small and large molecule development from discovery through translational research through the clinic.

Dr. Robbins received her BS from the Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley, and her MD from the Medical College of Pennsylvania. She completed postgraduate training in internal medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and in anesthesiology and pain at the Johns Hopkins University Medical Institutions. She served as Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology at UCSF from 1995-2000 and has been teaching faculty at the Stanford University School of Medicine since 2002. She is board certified in anesthesiology.

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Mark Gallop, PhD

Executive in Residence
5AM Ventures
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Mark Gallop, PhD

Executive in Residence
5AM Ventures

Dr. Gallop consults with emerging biotechnology companies on drug discovery technologies and strategies, with an emphasis on oncology, neuroscience, gastrointestinal disorders, and prodrug design.

From 2012 to 2017 he served as the founding Chief Scientific Officer at Nurix, Inc., a venture-backed discovery company formed to explore drug development targeting ubiquitin ligase enzymes, with therapeutic applications spanning oncology, immunology, inflammation, and immuno-oncology.

Prior to joining Nurix, he was Senior Vice President of Research at XenoPort, Inc., a company he co-founded in 1999 with the mission of improving the clinical utility of medicines by exploiting active transport mechanisms to optimize pharmacokinetic properties of drugs. While at XenoPort, his team discovered Horizant, a prodrug of gabapentin that was approved by the FDA in 2011 and the MHW in Japan in 2012 for the treatment of restless legs syndrome and neuropathic pain.

Previously, Dr. Gallop was Senior Director of Combinatorial Chemistry at Affymax.

He is recognized as an early pioneer and international expert in solid-phase combinatorial chemistry and was a recipient of the ACROS award of the Belgian Organic Synthesis Symposium in 1996 for his outstanding contributions to this field.

He is an inventor on more than 100 issued or pending US, and PCT patents and an author of over 60 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals. In 1994, he co-authored a landmark review of the then-emerging field of combinatorial chemistry that has subsequently become one of the most highly cited papers in chemistry.

After undergraduate studies in New Zealand, he obtained his PhD degrees in inorganic chemistry from the University of Cambridge and was a Lindemann postdoctoral fellow in the laboratories of Profs. Peter G. Schultz and Robert G. Bergman at the University of California, Berkeley.

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Clete A Kushida, MD, PhD

Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science
Stanford University
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Clete A Kushida, MD, PhD

Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Science
Stanford University

Clete A. Kushida, MD, PhD is a neurologist, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, division chief and medical director of Stanford Sleep Medicine, and director of the Stanford Center for Human Sleep Research. He is founding president of the World Sleep Society, past president of the World Sleep Federation, past president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, past president of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies Board of Directors, and founding president of the California Sleep Society.

Dr. Kushida has conducted basic and clinical sleep research since 1977, served as principal investigator for numerous large federal- and industry-sponsored studies, and his research interests include the anatomic and physiologic changes associated with sleep apnea, the management of restless legs syndrome, and countermeasures for sleep loss.

Dr. Kushida has served as chair of the Standards of Practice Committee of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and is currently chair of the International Sleep Medicine Guidelines Committee of the World Sleep Society. He has authored or edited over 250 publications; he has also authored or edited 6 books, including serving as editor-in-chief of the largest publication on the field of sleep to date, the Encyclopedia of Sleep (4 volumes, 429 chapters, 748 authors), and he serves as editor-in-chief of the journal Sleep Science and Practice. He is a past recipient of the highest professional awards in the field of sleep medicine, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s Nathaniel Kleitman Distinguished Service Award, and the World Sleep Society’s Distinguished Service Award.

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Jia-Ning Xiang, PhD

Chairman
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Jia-Ning Xiang, PhD

Chairman

Jia-Ning Xiang, PhD founded XW Laboratories and has served as its Chief Scientific Officer since April 2020 and Chairman of the Board of Directors since December 2019.

Previously, he was Chief Executive Officer and a Member of the Board since February 2014. From 2007 to 2013 Dr. Xiang was Senior Director and Head of Integrated Platform & Sciences and Head of Medicinal Chemistry, respectively, at the GlaxoSmithKline Neuroscience Center in Shanghai. Dr. Xiang was Director of Medicinal Chemistry at XenoPort from 2001 to 2007.

Prior to that he spent 9 years at SmithKline Beecham from 1992 to 2001, holding various positions, most recently as Assistant Director of Medicinal Chemistry. Dr. Xiang holds 46 issued U.S. patents and contributed to 9 compounds that were studied in clinical trials of central nervous system disorders, including the marketed drug Horizant for the treatment of Restless Legs Syndrome and Neuropathic Pain.

Dr. Xiang holds a BS in Chemistry from Wuhan University in China, and a PhD in Organic Chemistry from University of Virginia, and conducted postdoctoral research in Chemistry at California Institute of Technology.

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Leonard Blum

Director
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Leonard Blum

Director

Mr. Blum joined XW Laboratories in April 2020 as President and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Blum had previously founded, built, and led the commercial organizations at a series of emerging growth biopharmas, including from 2000 until 2007 at ICOS Corp. (acquired by Eli Lilly), Theravance from 2007 to 2016, Omeros Corp. 2016 to 2018 and Madrigal Pharmaceuticals 2018 to 2020. From 1987 to 2000 he progressed through marketing, sales, and business leadership roles at Merck and Co. with increasing US and international responsibilities. Over the past 33 years, he was responsible for national and global launches, turn-arounds, and rapid sales acceleration for over 20 medicines in a wide variety of therapeutic categories, including specialty products and blockbusters. His work has earned multiple industry accolades and is the subject of 2 Harvard Business School case studies.

Prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry, Mr. Blum served as an officer in the US Army Special Forces (Honor Graduate of Special Operations Detachment Officer Course 6-86), studied International Finance as a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Zurich, earned his undergraduate degree in Economics from Princeton University magna cum laude and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is active in community service and from 2009-2019 he and his wife owned and operated a medical clinic in Minneapolis, Minnesota that has treated thousands of individuals battling chemical and alcohol dependency.

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James Huang

Director
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James Huang

Director

Prior to creating Panacea Venture, James Huang joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers China as a managing partner in 2011 and focuses on the firm’s life science investment. His main investment interests are innovation around China’s growing healthcare markets and helping entrepreneurs build companies. Before KPCB China, Mr. Huang was a managing partner at Vivo Ventures. He has made more than 15 investments in China since 2007.

Before joining Vivo in 2007, Mr. Huang was president of Anesiva, a biopharmaceutical company focused on pain-management treatments. During his 20-year career in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, he held various senior positions in business development, sales, marketing and R&D with Tularik Inc. (acquired by Amgen), GlaxoSmithKline LLC, Bristol-Meyers Squibb, and ALZA Corp. (acquired by Johnson & Johnson).

Mr. Huang is Chairman of Board at Kindstar Global and JHL Biotech, and Director at GenScript, ChiralQuest, Zenesis, CVie Therapeutics, EntreMed, and XWPharma.

Mr. Huang received an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business and a BS degree in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He was born in Taipei, Taiwan.

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Asish K. Xavier, PhD, MBA

Director
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Asish K. Xavier, PhD, MBA

Director

Asish K. Xavier is with Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc. (JJDC) and is based in the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Center in California. Dr. Xavier focuses on venture investments in biotechnology and diagnostics. He joined JJDC in 2004 and has invested in over a dozen biotech and diagnostics deals.

Dr. Xavier previously worked in business development at BioRexis Pharmaceutical Corporation which was acquired by Pfizer in 2007. While at BioRexis, he assisted the company in raising a $30 million second round of financing. Dr. Xavier has worked in business development at Structural GenomiX, Inc., acquired by Eli Lilly in 2008, and was a project leader at Message Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Dr. Xavier received a PhD from the University of Houston in Chemical Engineering, and a MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated with honors. He received a Bachelor of Technology in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India. Dr. Xavier was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Chemistry at Johns Hopkins University.

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Johnson Lin

Director
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Johnson Lin

Director

Johnson Lin is an accomplished investment professional with over 13 years of Wall Street experience in Investment Banking, Global Asset Management and Hedge Fund expertise, in London and Hong Kong. Johnson currently heads up WI Harper’s global healthcare practice, with board representations at over 15 portfolio companies.

Prior to joining WI Harper, Mr. Lin was a portfolio manager with globally renowned, multi-billion dollar hedge funds such as Marshall Wace (in London) and Myriad Asset Management (in Hong Kong), focusing on the Global Healthcare and Consumer sectors.

During his time at Marshall Wace, Mr. Lin was an integral member of the award-winning MW Global Opportunities Fund, which won Eurohedge’s New Hedge Fund of Year 2009 and European Long/Short Equity Hedge Fund of the Year awards 2011, overseeing a ten-fold increase in the fund’s AUM from US$300 million to US$3 billion, over 3 years.
  
He holds a Bachelor of Science (with honors) in Finance from the London School of Economics (LSE), in the United Kingdom, and started his career as an investment banking analyst with Goldman Sachs International in London.

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Nikki Zhang

Director
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Nikki Zhang

Director

Nikki Zhang is a Director at KPCB China and Panacea Venture. Since joining the team in 2016, she has focused on investments in life sciences and healthcare areas.

Ms. Zhang has extensive working experience in both biotech and medical device industries. Before joining KPCB, Ms. Zhang worked at Zimmer Biomet Inc., where she took multiple leadership roles to manage the company’s global trauma business, M&A, and post-merger integration projects. Earlier in her career, Ms. Zhang was a business development manager at Hutchison MediPharma, where she specialized in corporate strategy, global licensing, and strategic partnership management.

Ms. Zhang holds an MBA from The Fuqua School of Business of Duke University. She also received an MA in Biotechnology from Columbia University and a BS in Biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin.

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