Addressing the burden of chronic fibrotic diseases
Rila is advancing a lead program to treat kidney fibrosis
Founded with technology from Drs. John He and Kyung Lee at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Rila is developing novel programs to create safe and effective anti-fibrotic treatments. Our lead program is a first-in-class small molecule allosteric inhibitor targeting HIPK2 in kidney fibrosis and will be entering IND-enabling studies in October 2022.There is a large unmet need to address renal fibrosis, which underlies the progression of chronic kidney disease to end-stage renal failure.
Shang Pharma Innovation identifies transformational healthcare discoveries at leading research labs and medical centers, then provides the right combination of resources needed to reach critical development milestones.
Dr. John Cijiang He is a Professor of Medicine and Pharmacological Sciences at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He holds the title of Irene and Dr. Arthur M. Fishberg endowed chair of Nephrology. He is the division chief of Nephrology at Mount Sinai Health System. He has more than 30 years of research experience, and his laboratory has been continuously funded by NIH for the last 20 years. His research interest has been in the fields of kidney cell biology and the mechanisms of chronic kidney disease including kidney fibrosis. His lab uses the systems biology approach to identify potential new biomarkers and drug targets for chronic kidney diseases. As one of these examples, his lab used systems biology approach to identify HIPK2 as a key driver for kidney fibrosis and this work leads to the discovery of HIPK2 inhibitors as anti-fibrosis drugs for chronic kidney disease. He has published more than 250 peer-reviewed papers in the fields.
Founder and Chairman
Kyung Lee, PhD
Kyung Lee is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Division of Nephrology. She has a long-standing focus on uncovering the molecular mechanisms governing disease initiation and progression in the early stages of chronic kidney disease. The scope of her research encompasses broad disease areas that include diabetic kidney disease, glomerulonephritis, HIV-associated kidney disease, and renal fibrosis. Dr. Lee has over 12 years of basic science research in nephrology and contributed to over 70 publications. She obtained her B.S. in Biochemistry from the State University of New York at Binghamton, Ph.D. in Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and completed the post-doctoral fellowships at Columbia University Medical Center and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Robert Drakas, PhD
Dr. Drakas is Vice President of ShangPharma Innovation with more than 20 years experience leading therapeutic programs and cross function teams. He previously served as the Executive Director of Business Development at ChemPartner Inc., a leading research organization providing services for the biopharmaceutical industry. In addition, he was part of the founding team for ShangPharma Investment Group. Earlier in his career, Dr. Drakas served as senior analyst and senior research biochemist at Merck. He received a B.S. degree in biology from the University of Scranton, an M.S. in biochemistry from Drexel University and a Ph.D. in molecular pharmacology from Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Drakas is board member of Blue Oak Therapeutics, Azkarra Therapeutics, ShangPharma Innovation, and board observer of Tilos Therapeutics, Mediar Therapeutics, and Evrys Bio.