A deeper understanding of the human body allows us to better explore solutions to the problems and hurdles we face throughout our lives. Dr. Leen Kawas is a renowned bioscientist who has spent her time as the face of several prominent companies, including Athira Pharma. Most recently, Dr. Kawas has begun exploring work in the field of venture capitalism as she guides promising young companies toward the funding that they need to succeed.
Dr. Kawas is the Managing General Partner at Propel Bio Partners, and her work there has led to exciting outcomes in the past year. Most recently, Kawas took her time to appear on a podcast to explore the ups and downs of the industry as well as what she hopes to accomplish by researching the importance of the microbiome of babies.
Let’s dive into their conversation to explore some of its outcomes as well as the reason for potential excitement in the future.
Importance of Biome Research
First and foremost, Dr. Leen Kawas has always been at the forefront of cutting-edge research and biomedicine. A revered bioscientist with a history of success as the Chief Executive Officer and President of Athira Pharma, Kawas was keen to share what made her excited about her partnership through Propel Bio Partners with the San Diego-based group, Persephone Biosciences.
Dr. Kawas said in her interview, “I think Persephone exemplified the type of companies that we’re looking for. They have firm scientific founders that are very pragmatic and focused on creating value for the patients and for the investors.”
Biome research has been fueled by a robust public interest in probiotics as well as a streamlined and more efficient path to the market. Persephone Biosciences hopes to cut through the noise so as to bring something to the public that can help them. Kawas added, “What I also like about Persephone is they directly acknowledge the market conditions.”
Citing her own experience as a working mother, Kawas said on the podcast, “I understand the stress on mothers. This is the product that I think represents a significant value. There’s market opportunity there. This is the first product in a pipeline.”
Looking to the Future
As venture capitalists and bioscience professionals continue to delve into the realm of biome development, expect continued progress to pile up. Kawas said of her work with Persephone Biosciences, “I think it’s common knowledge right now that the gut microbiome is involved in several of the pathologies that we are experiencing at different ages, including Alzheimer’s, diabetes and autoimmune diseases.”
Dr. Kawas worked through Propel Bio Partners to invest in the fledgling company, hoping to inspire more growth in an area that definitely needs it. Kawas added, “They are creating infant probiotics that will help and empower mothers to make decisions that are the best for them and for the baby.”
The goal at Persephone is to help fuel the development of beneficial infant probiotics that help both child and mother, empowering them both when they need it the most.