A multi-asset precision oncology company

The Kirilys Team

We are an experienced and highly motivated team focused on improving the lives of patients with cancer through the development and improvement of therapeutic treatments.

MANAGEMENT
BT Slingsby, MD, PhD, MPH

CEO

Steve Ritland, PhD, MBA

Head of Preclinical Development & Pharmacology

Dirk Huebner, MD
Head of Clinical Development
Ashwin Ram, MD, MS

Head of Operations

Thomas D. Steele, PhD, MS
Head of Preclinical Safety & Toxicology
Lori Hansen
Head of Program Management
Steve Smith
Head of ADME/PK
Raj Dua, PhD
Head of CMC
kirilys-favicon
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
BT Slingsby, MD, PhD, MPH

Co-Founder & Chairman

Kapil Dhingra, MBBS
Co-Founder & SAB Chairman
Takeshi Takahashi M.B.A.

Co-Founder & Board Member

Galym Imanbayev

Board Member

kirilys-favicon
PARTNERS

BT Slingsby, MD, PhD, MPH ​

CEO

BT Slingsby is Founder and Managing Partner with Catalys Pacific. He co-founded Kirilys Therapeutics and currently serves as its CEO and Chairman. BT is a physician-scientist and biotechnology entrepreneur leading the company creation efforts for the firm. Prior to Catalys Pacific, he founded the Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund – the world’s first public-private fund focused on the development of new medicines for low- and middle-income countries. In his role as CEO and Executive Director at the GHIT Fund, he deployed over 100 investments and grew the fund to $350M in capital.

BT graduated from Brown University with honors, earned his M.P.H. and Ph.D. from Kyoto University and the University of Tokyo, and received his M.D. with honors from the George Washington University. In recognition of his contributions to global health, he has been awarded a Foreign Ministry Commendation from the Government of Japan. BT has authored over 50 peer-reviewed articles on medicine and public health and currently lectures at the Graduate School of Medicine at the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University.

Steve Ritland, PhD, MBA

Head of Preclinical Development & Pharmacology

Dr. Steve Ritland is the Head of Preclinical Development and Pharmacology at Kirilys Therapeutics and has 20+ years of leadership experience in pharmaceutical research and development with proven success in leading high performing, clinical stage drug development programs from IND to successful NDA/BLA/MAAs, lifecycle management, product approvals and launch. He has had a strong focus on creating and successfully executing therapeutic area and project-level strategy, in hematology, oncology, and inflammation / fibrosis. He brings practical drug development experience, including integration of cross-functional scientific, clinical, regulatory, supply chain, and commercial strategies, as well as leading partnered programs.

Prior to Kirilys, Steve was VP of Global Drug Development Hematology at BMS/Celgene where he was instrumental in 4 new molecular entity global approvals from 2017-2020 (IDHIFA, INREBIC, REBLOZYL, and ONUREG). Prior to BMS/Celgene, Steve was Executive Director of Pharma Business Oncology at Roche Pharmaceuticals. Steve received his PhD in cancer biology from the Mayo Clinic and his MBA from Columbia University Business School

Dirk Huebner, MD

Head of Clinical Development

Dr. Dirk Huebner brings nearly 30 years of academic and industry based clinical drug development experience within the fields of oncology and immune-oncology. Over these years Dr. Huebner led multiple clinical programs in hematologic as well as solid tumor malignancies from phase 1 to phase 3 development stages.

Prior to joining Kirilys Dr. Huebner served as the CMO of Mersana with oversight of development of the ADC pipeline as well as serving as a clinical development consultant expert on multiple oncology programs. Prior to joining Mersana, Dr. Huebner served as Vice President and Head of Development for Boston Biomedical where he built a robust clinical development team and oversaw the development of several early-stage compounds as well as of the napabucasin phase 3 program. Prior to that, he spent six years at Millennium / Takeda Oncology as Executive Medical Director where he served as the global clinical lead for ADCETRIS® (brentuximab vedotin), an ADC that is indicated for the treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma and certain CD30 positive T-cell lymphomas. In that role, he led the regulatory approval of ADCETRIS in Europe and the design and implementation of the subsequent registration-enabling studies for the compound. Prior to Takeda, he held global roles of increasing responsibility in global clinical drug development at Genzyme, Roche, and Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Dr. Huebner received his Medical Doctor degree from Freie Universitaet Berlin, Germany and pursued a medical residency at the Department of Urology, University Hospital Eppendorf, Hamburg.

Ashwin Ram, MD, MS​

Head of Operations

Ashwin is a physician-scientist and biotechnology entrepreneur who serves as Co-Founder and Senior Vice President of Operations at Pathalys Pharma in addition to being Vice President of Operations at Kirilys Therapeutics and Vice President of Investments at Catalys Pacific. Ashwin is also the Founder and Chairman of Jupiter Therapeutics, Inc. a preclinical biotech company focused on nanoparticle drug delivery. Before launching Jupiter, he worked as a radiation oncologist and for Genentech’s Early Clinical Development Oncology team.

Ashwin completed his MD at the University of Michigan Medical School with AOA honors and Dean’s distinction in research. After training in radiation oncology at Johns Hopkins Hospital — where he received the Rangos award for creativity in cancer discovery —he completed an MS in bioengineering at Caltech and a postdoc at Stanford University as an NIH/NCI Cancer Translational Nanotechnology fellow.

Thomas D. Steele, PhD, MS​

Head of Preclinical Safety & Toxicology

Dr. Steele is President/CEO of Nonclinical Safety Solutions, LLC, a consulting firm that provides scientific services and strategic advice on nonclinical safety testing to the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Steele earned his MS and PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology from Purdue University, and received postdoctoral training at the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins Schools of Medicine, mainly focusing on neurotoxic mechanisms of recreational and abused drugs.

Dr. Steele has over 25 years of experience within the pharmaceutical industry, including work at the US FDA as Pharmacology/Toxicology reviewer for Neuropharmacological Drug Products, where was responsible for the review of over 50 US INDs at FDA, and was the primary nonclinical pharmacology/toxicology reviewer for the FDA approvals of Mirapex, Tasmar, Comtan, and Maxalt.

During his career in industry, Dr Steele designed and conducted the nonclinical toxicology/safety assessment programs to support over an estimated 50 research projects that have successfully entered human testing across a wide range of therapeutic areas including oncology, diabetes, neuroscience, inflammation, virology. Dr Steele has authored or co-authored the nonclinical sections of numerous successful regulatory applications, and peer-reviewed publications. At Hoffmann-LaRoche, Dr. Steele led an integrated team of toxicologists and pharmacokineticists to shepherd several Discovery and Development Oncology Projects from Early Research into the clinic. As Head of Toxicology at ImClone, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Eli Lilly, Dr Steele oversaw the nonclinical safety assessment of a range of monoclonal antibodies specific for oncology targets including VEGF, EGFR and TGF-β receptors, and was the primary author of the nonclinical pharmacology/toxicology dossier for the successful marketing authorization of Cyramza for solid tumors. As Director of Preclinical Safety at Ariad Pharmaceuticals, Dr Steele independently led the nonclinical safety evaluation of novel small molecular weight tyrosine kinase inhibitors for oncologic indications and developed the nonclinical safety strategy to address clinical and regulatory questions arising from adverse post-marketing experiences of an approved therapeutic (i.e., ponatinib).

As an independent consultant, Dr Steele provides scientific guidance and leadership for the safety evaluation of both large and small molecular weight therapeutics for mainly small biotech companies in the oncology space.

Lori Hansen

Head of Program Management

Lori Hansen is consultant with 30 years of drug development experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, specializing in Portfolio and Program Management. She has a special affinity for working with start-up/virtual and early-phase companies to create development plans to achieve their corporate objectives. She has a breadth of experience in drug development, including vaccines, small molecules, large molecules, and antibody drug conjugates (ADCs).

Prior to becoming a consultant in 2015, Lori most recently led the Program, Portfolio, and Alliance Management activities at Seattle Genetics during the period of development and commercialization for Adcetris, an ADC approved for the treatment of Hodgkin Lymphoma. Prior to that, she was the head of Corporate Project Management at Dendreon, which went on to receive approval for the first active cellular immunotherapy treatment, Provenge, approved to treat prostate cancer.

Lori graduated with a B.S in Microbiology from Washington State University, followed by A PhD at the University of California, Irvine, and post-doctoral work at UCSF.

In the area of oncology, she has been involved with the development of Provenge, Adcetris, the BLA submission for Immunomedics’ TRODELVY® (acquired by Gilead in 2020), and the recent submission of an IND for an immuno-oncology monoclonal antibody (currently in Phase 1).

Steve Smith​

Head of ADME/PK

Steve has over 40 years of drug development experience and has been a consultant for large number of pharmaceutical, biotechnology, private equity, and strategic consulting companies in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, Switzerland, Israel, China, Japan, and Australia. He has experience with FDA, EMA and other agencies, a wide variety of indications such as oncology, central nervous system, inflammation, pain, virology, respiratory, genitourinary, rare diseases, and technical expertise in drug metabolism, pharmacokinetics, bioanalysis, lead optimization, time-dependent inhibition, mechanism of toxicity, prediction of human pharmacokinetics, clinical pharmacology, drug interactions, dose selection for clinical trials, pediatric trials, health authority questions, removing clinical holds, and IND, NDA, CTA, MAA preparation.

Prior to consulting, Steve was head of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics at Roche Palo Alto and head of Nonclinical Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics at UCB Pharma in Braine-l’Alleud, Belgium.

Recently, Steve was deeply involved in the NDA approvals of VITRAKVI (larotrectinib) and RETEVMO (selpercatinib), working with both compounds starting at the preclinical stage.

Raj Dua, PhD

Head of CMC

Raj Dua, PhD serves as Kirilys Therapeutics’ CMC advisor. Dr. Dua has previously served as CMC advisor and an independent consultant for several smaller and virtual biotechnology companies and helped in establishing CMC strategy, process development, scale up and overall product development from early stage to commercialization of pharmaceutical products. Previously, Dr. Dua held a senior management role at Resolve Bio, Alder Biopharmaceuticals, Trubion Pharmaceuticals and Xcyte Therapies, where he played a key role in development, scale up and commercialization of products related to autologous cell therapy, monoclonal antibodies, fusion proteins and peptides.

Dr. Dua received a PhD from the University of Georgia in the field of Medicinal chemistry and pursued postdoctoral research at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Raj was instrumental to successful development of the following oncology compounds:

1. Xcellerate™ – Multiple myeloma
2. Anti-CD20 (TRU-015) – Breast Cancer
3. Anti-CD37 (TRU-020) – CLL
4. Ad35 – CEA (ETBX-011) – Colon Cancer
5. 20+ molecules as consultant

BT Slingsby, MD, PhD, MPH ​

Co-Founder & Chairman

BT Slingsby is Founder and Managing Partner with Catalys Pacific. He co-founded Kirilys Therapeutics and currently serves as its CEO and Chairman. BT is a physician-scientist and biotechnology entrepreneur leading the company creation efforts for the firm. Prior to Catalys Pacific, he founded the Global Health Innovative Technology (GHIT) Fund – the world’s first public-private fund focused on the development of new medicines for low- and middle-income countries. In his role as CEO and Executive Director at the GHIT Fund, he deployed over 100 investments and grew the fund to $350M in capital.

BT graduated from Brown University with honors, earned his M.P.H. and Ph.D. from Kyoto University and the University of Tokyo, and received his M.D. with honors from the George Washington University. In recognition of his contributions to global health, he has been awarded a Foreign Ministry Commendation from the Government of Japan. BT has authored over 50 peer-reviewed articles on medicine and public health and currently lectures at the Graduate School of Medicine at the University of Tokyo and Kyoto University.

Kapil Dhingra, MBBS​

Co-Founder & SAB Chairman

Dr. Dhingra is a medical oncologist and a physician-scientist with a proven track record in academic research, patient care, and drug development. He served as Vice President, Head of the Oncology Disease Biology Leadership Team and Head of Oncology Clinical Development at Hoffmann-La Roche (“Roche”), during which he led numerous drug approvals, including Herceptin®, Tarceva®, and Avastin®. Prior to joining Roche, he worked in the oncology clinical development group at Eli Lilly and Company. Dr. Dhingra has served as a faculty member at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Indiana University School of Medicine, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Dhingra is currently a member of the Boards of Directors of LAVA Therapeutics, Black Diamond Therapeutics, Inc., Replimune, Inc., Autolus Therapeutics plc, and Median Technologies, and he has previously served on the boards of several successful biotech companies, including Biovex, Micromet, Algeta, YM Biosciences, Epitherapeutics, Advanced Accelerator Applications, Exosome Diagnostics, and, Five Prime Therapeutics. He is a member of the NCI Experimental Therapeutics Panel. Dr. Dhingra founded KAPital Consulting, LLC in 2008, a company dedicated to helping biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and diagnostic companies realize the clinical and commercial advances in oncology. Dr. Dhingra obtained his M.B.B.S. degree from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, India. He completed his residency in internal medicine at Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center, New York Medical College and completed his fellowship in hematology and oncology at Emory University School of Medicine.

Dr. Dhingra played a leadership role in the development of the following drugs:

As Head of Roche Oncology:
Herceptin
Rituxan/MabThera
Avastin
Xeloda
Zelboraf
Perjeta

As a member of BoD of biotechs:
Blincyto
Xofigo
Imlygic
Lutathera

Takeshi Takahashi M.B.A.

Co-Founder & Board Member

Takeshi Takahashi is a Managing Partner with Catalys Pacific. He holds extensive experience in M&As, IPOs, and financing in the healthcare sector. Prior to Catalys Pacific, he worked for the investment banking division of Morgan Stanley for 12 years and played a significant role in over 30 distinguished transactions including, but not limited to, Japanese companies’ acquisitions of U.S. listed companies with an enterprise value of over US$10.0 billion, acquisitions of global healthcare companies with an enterprise value of over US$5.0 billion, and a number of alternative financing transactions. Prior to working for Morgan Stanley, Takeshi was an analyst and a portfolio manager for global and Japan fixed income and managed a $3.0+ billion portfolio in Japan and the U.S. at Merrill Lynch’s asset management division.

Takeshi graduated from Waseda University with a degree in Political Science and Economics, and holds an M.B.A. from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Proficiently bilingual and bicultural.

Galym Imanbayev

Co-founder

Dr. Galym Imanbayev joined Lightspeed in 2020 as a Partner focused on the Health sector. Galym’s interest in health is rooted in his childhood experiences growing up in Kazakhstan following his father on trips to rural towns to ensure medicine was accessible not only for those of privilege in the cities but to the underserved communities outside. Seeing the proper administration and power of medicine uplift entire communities drove Galym to pursue dual economics and pre-medical undergraduate studies, and later graduate with a dual MD/MBA degree from Stanford University School of Medicine and Graduate School of Business.

Galym’s interest in venture capital was first sparked by a cardiac diagnostic technology which he would eventually help lead investment in. While Galym had done research in cardiac imaging and studied economics as his major, the two fields always seemed like parallel paths with little crossover. Seeing the way the physician founder and his physician investors accelerated the scientific discoveries into tangible clinical products to help patients, Galym realized that healthcare venture capital is a unique bridge that merged his then parallel worlds of medical innovation and finance.

Before his graduate studies, Galym spent the majority of his time as an investor at Capricorn Healthcare & Special Opportunities. At Capricorn, he invested across a broad range of sectors and stages of companies, including diagnostics, health IT, provider, and senior health markets, including investments in Epic Systems, CPF Senior Living, and the aforementioned company, HeartFlow.

During his graduate school years, Galym spent time with Data Collective VC, Healthtech Capital, and Pear VC, and served as an advisor to several early-stage companies. Additionally, Galym was consulting faculty for Stanford Medicine X and served as the graduate representative on the Stanford University Board of Trustees. Outside of investment and strategy roles, Galym performed research in a number of labs, publishing peer-reviewed papers in gene therapy, stem cell biology, and medical imaging.

In his free time, Galym prioritizes spending time with family, loves to play pickup basketball, mentors students with disabilities as part of the Lime Connect Network, and serves on the board of the Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance.