Founded in 2016, Laekna is a clinical-stage global biotechnology company, dedicated to bringing ground-breaking therapies to cancer and liver fibrosis patients worldwide.
The company has two potential core products: LAE002 is an investigational highly selective adenosine triphosphate (ATP) competitive AKT inhibitor for the treatment of ovarian cancer, prostate cancer, breast cancer and PD-1/PD-L1 drug-resistant solid tumors. The other Core Product LAE001 is an investigational potential first-in-class next-generation androgen synthesis inhibitor that simultaneously inhibits both CYP17A1 and CYP11B2 for the treatment of prostate cancer.
Laekna’s robust infrastructure has already enabled the rapid development of 14 innovative product candidates, including one pivotal clinical trial and another five clinical trials for our potential Core Products. Among these six clinical trials, three multi-regional clinical trials (MRCTs) are designed to address urgent yet unmet global medical needs in the standard of care (SOC)-resistant cancers.
Laekna’s internal drug discovery primarily focuses on coordinating the human immune system to treat cancer and liver fibrosis.
We are committed to
becoming a globally leading innovative
that can bring ground-breaking therapies
to cancer and liver fibrosis
Glossary & abbreviationsMCRPC: metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer IND: investigational new drug MRCT: multi-regional clinical trial PROC: platinum-resistant ovarian cancer TNBC: triple negative breast cancer ActRIIA: activin receptor type IIA HR+/HER2- breast cancer: the most common type of breast cancer with overexpression of HR and without overexpression of HER2
Jeff Porter, Ph.D. was appointed as Chairman of Scientific Advisory Board of Laekna in March 2022. He has over 25 years of global R&D leadership and strategic expertise, having most recently served as Vice President, Global Head of Chemical Biology & Therapeutics for the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR).
As a senior member of the Leadership team at the NIBR from its inception, Jeff developed an enabling target and lead discovery approach focused on biological pathways, a fundamental tool for the success of NIBR. The diverse research group he led developed a dynamic multidisciplinary platform that merged pathway biology and disease area expertise with enabling technology. Their efforts led to numerous seminal discoveries, from fundamental insights to novel targets and clinical candidates that showed benefits in early proof of concept human trials and beyond. Examples include the discovery of multiple key targets/drug candidates in the core pathways of Developmental biology as well as the ‘drug-ability’ of RNA splicing.
Prior to Novartis, Jeff worked with Ontogeny (now Curis, Inc.) for over 5 years, starting as a staff scientist and advancing to serve as its Vice President of Research. He received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and performed postdoctoral work in the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Johns Hopkins.
Dr. Peter ten Dijke was appointed as advisor of Scientific Advisory Board of Laekna in 2021. He is the professor of molecular cell biology at Leiden University. His laboratory studies how subverted TGF family signaling is involved in cancer, vascular and bone diseases. They combine chemistry with biology to develop novel synthetic molecules for therapeutic gain.
He received his Ph.D. degree in 1991 from Wageningen University, The Netherlands based on his research on the identification of the third isoform of TGF-β performed at Oncogene Science, Inc., New York, USA. He did his postgraduate studies with Kohei Miyazono and Carl-Henrik Heldin at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR), Uppsala, Sweden. In 1994, he became group leader at LICR and in 1999 he moved to the Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. In 2005 he moved to the Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.
Dr. Scott L. Friedman was appointed as advisor of Scientific Advisory Board of Laekna in 2022. He is the Dean for Therapeutic Discovery and Chief of the Division of Liver Diseases, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He has performed pioneering research into the underlying causes of scarring, or fibrosis associated with chronic liver disease, affecting millions worldwide. Dr. Friedman was among the first to isolate and characterize the hepatic stellate cell, the key cell type responsible for scar production in liver. His work has spawned an entire field that is now realizing its translational and therapeutic potential, with new anti-fibrotic therapies for liver disease reaching clinical trials.
He is widely recognized as a dynamic and a respected author, with over 300 peer-reviewed publications. He has mentored over 85 postdoctoral fellows and students. He has been a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, and was elected as a Fellow of the American Gastroenterological Association, the Am. College of Physicians, the American Assn. for the Study of Liver Diseases and the American Association for the Advancement for Science.
Dr. Scott L. Friedman was recognized with the Distinguished Achievement Awards from both the American Assn for the Study of Liver Diseases and the American Liver Foundation. In 2013 he was awarded the Shanghai Magnolia Gold Award by the Mayor of Shanghai and the China Friendship Award from the Premier of China in 2014 in recognition of his efforts to improve the health of the residents of Shanghai and China through his research achievements.
Dr. Oyang was appointed as advisor of Scientific Advisory Board of Laekna in 2021. He has had over 40 years of experience in drug discovery. From 2013 to 2018, he was with the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (China) where he served as Head of Global Discovery Chemistry (China) and managed chemistry portfolio in drug and target discovery for various disease areas. From 2010 to 2013, he was with BioDuro where he served as Vice President of Chemistry. At BioDuro, he oversaw all programs in synthetic chemistry, medicinal chemistry and provided integrated services to clients. From 1982 to 2010, Dr. Oyang worked at Roche – in Palo Alto and at Syntex (acquired by Roche) where he served in roles of increasing responsibility including Director of Medicinal Chemistry. At Roche, he led multiple small molecule programs that advanced to the clinic. Dr. Oyang is an author of over 60 publications and patents.
Dr. Oyang obtained his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Loyola University of Chicago (with Professor James W. Wilt) and pursued postdoctoral research at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (with Professor Frederick D. Greene) and the University of Chicago (with Professor Josef Fried).
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