Nitrase Therapeutics Expands Leadership Team with Accomplished Drug Discovery and Development Executives

in Portfolio News

SAN FRANCISCO, July 06, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nitrase Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company deploying its unique NITROME platform to unlock the therapeutic potential of nitrases, a new class of enzymes discovered in-house that offer promise of a pipeline of therapies against a broad variety of diseases, today announced the addition of two key scientific leadership team members: Frank Kayser, Ph.D., vice president of drug discovery, and Sheerin K. Shahidi-Latham, Ph.D., vice president of pre-clinical development.

“The expansion of the leadership team marks an important step forward in our mission to unlock the therapeutic potential of nitrases across multiple devastating diseases, including cancer and Parkinson’s disease,” said Irene Griswold-Prenner, Ph.D., founder and chief scientific officer of Nitrase Therapeutics. “Frank and Sheerin each bring over 20 years of experience in drug discovery and development for both biotech and large pharma. Their expertise will be instrumental as we build a pipeline of drugs based on the nitrase targets discovered through our proprietary NITROME platform.”

Frank Kayser, Ph.D.
Dr. Kayser has more than 25 years of senior-level experience in drug discovery and has led multidisciplinary teams that progressed compounds from early chemical leads into optimized drug candidates in late-stage clinical trials. With expertise in medicinal chemistry and structure-based drug design, he has developed numerous drug candidates for neuroscience, oncology, cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, and immunology. Before Nitrase Therapeutics, Dr. Kayser was the chief scientific officer and senior vice president of drug discovery at BioArdis, where he spearheaded all aspects of small molecule discovery. Previously, he was the head of chemistry and senior vice president of chemistry in charge of delivering full integrated drug discovery at BioDuro, and he led the chemistry department at Nurix. Additionally, he has held research and management positions in the pharmaceutical industry at Amgen, Tularik and Merck. Dr. Kayser is a co-author on more than 40 U.S.-issued and corresponding international patents, and multiple pending U.S. and PCT applications. He has a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Marburg, Germany with Prof. M. T. Reetz, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship with Prof. B. H. Lipshutz at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Sheerin K. Shahidi-Latham, Ph.D.
Dr. Shahidi-Latham brings nearly 20 years of biotech and pharmaceutical experience ranging from early target validation to clinical development. Prior to joining Nitrase Therapeutics, she served as a senior director of the ICF disease team and translational medicine at Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS). During her tenure at BMS, Dr. Shahidi-Latham developed and executed biomarker-based strategies for clinical development programs, while also co-leading a cross-functional translational steering committee charged with defining, prioritizing, and directing the execution of reverse translational efforts. Prior to BMS, Dr. Shahidi-Latham was the senior director of biomarkers and discovery DMPK at MyoKardia, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company utilizing a precision medicine approach to discover, develop, and commercialize targeted therapies for the treatment of rare cardiovascular diseases. Earlier in her career, Dr. Shahidi-Latham served as a senior scientist and head of metabolomics and imaging mass spectrometry in the Department of Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics at Genentech. Dr. Shahidi-Latham received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Vanderbilt University under the tutelage of Prof. Richard Caprioli and a B.S. in Biochemistry from Miami University.

About Nitrase Therapeutics, Inc.
Nitrase Therapeutics is a pioneering biopharmaceutical company deploying its unique NITROME platform to unlock the therapeutic potential of nitrases, a new class of enzymes that it discovered, to develop a pipeline of therapies against a broad range of diseases. The medicines that Nitrase Therapeutics is developing will target these enzymes and potentially help slow or halt the progression of numerous diseases in which nitrases and nitro-substrates play a role, including Parkinson’s, cancer, immunological and fibrotic diseases. Nitrase Therapeutics (under the former name Nitrome Biosciences) has been widely recognized and has won multiple awards including the prestigious Target Advancement grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF). Nitrase Therapeutics is located in Brisbane, CA, and its investors include Sofinnova Partners, AbbVie Ventures, Dementia Discovery Fund, Bristol Myers Squibb, Mission Bay Capital and Alexandria Venture Investments. For more information, please visit the company’s website at


Wheelhouse LSA

Investing in Women Code Logo

We invest in talented innovators. We strongly adhere to the view that diversity, including under-represented groups, strongly adds to success. If you are an entrepreneur seeking investment and a partner who can help you to build your business, we would love to hear from you. Please get in contact with our team.