Mission
Kantum's mission is to establish a new therapeutic paradigm for AKI prevention and treatment.
Focus

What is Acute Kidney Injury (AKI)?

AKI is characterized by an abrupt loss of kidney function. Medical experts have best described AKI as a “silent killer” because it causes no signs or symptoms early in its disease course.

It often occurs as a medical complication following major surgery, heart attack, stroke, sepsis, polytrauma, etc.

It affects 1 in 5 hospitalized adults and 1 in 3 hospitalized children. No specific treatments exist for AKI patients.

The Science

The uridine diphosphate (UDP)-glucose/P2Y14 receptor signaling pathway is part of the innate immune system. The P2Y14 receptor is located on epithelial surfaces, and its activation by UDP-glucose triggers damaging inflammation in organs such as the kidney, lung and uterus.

Inhibiting this pathway provides promising opportunities for treatment and prevention of serious debilitating conditions, such as acute kidney injury, lung inflammation and endometriosis.

Acute Kidney Injury impacts 1 in 5 hospitalized adults and 1 in 3 hospitalized children. No approved therapy exists for treating AKI.
About

Kantum Pharma was founded based on pioneering work from the laboratory of our scientific founder, Dr. Sylvie Breton, at MGH/Harvard Medical School. 

The Company is focused on translating her important research on the UDP-glucose/P2Y14 receptor signaling pathway into potentially transformative therapies in order to improve outcomes and patients’ lives.  The company’s lead program, KB-1801, is based on technology licensed from MGH and is currently in preclinical development for prevention of acute kidney injury. 

The company is pursuing additional applications of the technology for therapeutics and diagnostics associated with delayed graft function disorder, cystic fibrosis and inflammatory disorders of the female reproductive tract.

Kantum’s largest investor is Broadview Ventures.

Chronic lung inflammation is a primary driver of pulmonary function decline in cystic fibrosis patients.
Management Team

Sylvie Breton

PhD, Scientific founder, Chair of SAB, and Director

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Glenn Batchelder

Executive Chair

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John Randle

PhD, Senior Vice President Research & Development

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Andrea Franz

Chief Financial Officer

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Strategic and Scientific Advisory Board

Dennis Ausiello, MD

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Dennis Brown, PhD

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Martin Freed, MD

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Todd Rosengart, MD

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Sushrat Waikar, MD, Mph

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Winfred W. Williams, MD

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Board of directors

Sylvie Breton, PhD

Glenn Batchelder

Jean-François Carbonneau

Tom Needham

Broadview Ventures, LLC (observer)

Benjamin Kreitman

Broadview Ventures, LLC (observer)

Management Team

Sylvie Breton

PhD, Scientific founder, Chair of SAB, and Director

Professor Sylvie Breton, PhD, is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and directs the Breton Laboratory within the Program in Membrane Biology / Center for Systems Biology in the Nephrology Division at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

She is highly experienced in all aspects of epithelial cell biology, cell signaling, and physiology of the kidney and the urogenital tract. She brings several areas of expertise to the Company. She has trained several scientists, who now occupy leadership positions at different institutions throughout the world. She and her colleagues have published over 100 papers since 1993.

Prof. Breton is the recipient of several awards, including MGH Claflin Distinguished Scholar award in 1997, the American Physiological Society Renal Section investigator Award in 2005, the MGH Joseph Martin Basic Research Prize award in 2008, and the 2012 Research Award of the Society for the Study of Reproduction. She is a Charles and Ann Sanders Research Scholar (2011), and incumbent of the Richard Moerschner Endowed MGH Research Institute Chair (2019). She is a board member of the American Journal of Physiology: Cell Physiology. Prof. Breton has been a member of ASA since 2003, she presented the ASA Women in Andrology Lecture in 2011, she was recently elected Secretary of the ASA Council, and she was Co-Chair of the Program Committee for the ASA 2017 meeting.

Glenn Batchelder

Executive Chair

Mr. Glenn Batchelder previously was Co-Founder and CEO of Civitas Therapeutics, a development stage pulmonary delivery therapeutic company based on the ARCUS technology platform that was sold to Acorda Therapeutics. Prior to Civitas he served as CEO of BIND Biosciences (acquired by Pfizer), CEO of Acceleron Pharma (NASDAQ: XLRN) and SVP of Operations at Millennium Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Takeda).

During his more than 30 years of executive leadership experience he also served in functional roles including sales, marketing, business development, manufacturing, supply chain management and R&D.

He currently serves as Chairman of the Board for Synchronicity Pharma and XyloCor Therapeutics and serves on the board of directors for Synspira. He also serves on the non-profit board of directors for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and The Possible Project. He is the former Chairman of the MassBio board.

John Randle

PhD, Senior Vice President Research & Development

Dr. John C.R. Randle, PhD, brings over 30 years of practical, hands-on experience to the business of drug candidate selection and development.

Dr. Randle has a strong scientific educational foundation with graduate, post-graduate and pharmaceutical discovery research experience creating product candidates from biomedical concepts.

He is the author of over 50 original and review articles and an inventor on 13 patents & applications. He advanced over 20 compounds/products in development from preclinical through Phase 3 clinical planning, including 7 IND/CTAs and program leadership for telaprevir (VX-950, Incivek®) from Phase 1 through late Phase 2 trials.

Andrea Franz

Chief Financial Officer

Ms. Franz is a financial executive with over 25 years of experience in small to mid-size biotechnology companies. Most recently she is the CFO of X4 Pharmaceuticals and is instrumental in building out the finance and legal infrastructure as well as crafting the story used for multiple financings.

Prior to this, she was the VP of Finance and Administration at Civitas Therapeutics, Inc where she was instrumental in establishing the infrastructure required for the planned public offering and the resulting sale to Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. Prior to that Ms. Franz served as the interim CFO of Kala Pharmaceuticals during the expansion of the management team and critical financings. Prior to that, Ms. Franz served as the CFO of BIND Biosciences (name changed to BIND Therapeutics) where she was instrumental in building out the financial infrastructure needed from early start-up research to a clinical state oncology company with multiple sources of funding (equity, government, partnerships, debt, public offering).

Other prior experience includes projects at Marathon Biopharmaceuticals (purchased by Lonza), Circe Biomedical (purchased by Arbios Systems), Millenium and others.

Andrea is a CPA and received her business degree from the University of New Hampshire.

Strategic and Scientific Advisory Board

Dennis Ausiello, MD

Dennis A. Ausiello, MD, is the Director of the Center for Assessment Technology and Continuous Health (CATCH) at MGH; Jackson Distinguished Professor of Clinical Medicine, Emeritus at Harvard Medical School; and the Physician-in-Chief, Emeritus of the Department of Medicine at MGH. Previously, Dr. Ausiello served as Chief of Medicine from 1996-2013 and Chief of the Renal Unit at MGH from 1983-1996 for MGH.

Dr. Ausiello was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences in 1999 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003. Dr. Ausiello serves as a director for Pfizer, Alnylam, TARSIS and Seres Therapeutics.

Dennis Brown, PhD

Prof. Dennis Brown is an internationally recognized expert on renal physiology and kidney function at the Massachusetts General Hospital  (Nephrology Division) and Harvard Medical School.

He is the Director of the MGH Program in Membrane Biology, and Associate Director of the MGH Center for Systems Biology. He is one of the world’s leading authorities on intercalated cells, which are the pro-inflammatory cells involved in AKI. He has over 380 publications (h-index 85), and is the current Editor in Chief of Physiological Reviews, the world’s leading physiological journal.

He was chair of the NIH “kidney” grant reviewing study section from 2011-2014, and is the current President of the American Physiological Society. His honours include numerous named lectureships, mentoring awards, membership of Academia Europaea (the European Academy of Science), and an honorary degree from his alma mater UEA Norwich (UK) for his contributions to cell biology and physiology.

Martin Freed, MD

Dr. Martin Freed brings more than 25 years of strategic development and operational expertise from across the biopharmaceutical and life sciences industries. As a seasoned drug development executive and life sciences entrepreneur, his experience spans from Phase 1 drug development through to post-registration clinical development and medical affairs programming across numerous therapeutic areas.

Dr. Freed has held senior leadership positions with various biopharmaceutical companies, most recently as Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer of Civitas Therapeutics, Inc., which was acquired by Acorda Therapeutics Inc. in 2014. Prior to Civitas, he held leadership positions at Adnexus Therapeutics, Inc., Vitae Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals/GlaxoSmithKline. Dr. Freed has been published in more than 40 peer reviewed manuscripts, four book chapters and more than 90 abstracts related to an array of drug development and translational medicine programs. Currently, Dr. Freed also holds Board positions with Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Sojournix, Inc.

Dr. Freed performed his internal medicine residency at Temple University Hospital and nephrology fellowship at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Todd Rosengart, MD

Dr. Todd Rosengart is a nationally recognized cardiothoracic surgeon, a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-supported scientist, and an extensively published investigator. Since the mid-1980s, Dr. Rosengart’s research group has been working on treatments for heart disease, including angiogenic therapy and, more recently, cellular reprogramming.

Dr. Rosengart is noted for his expertise in minimally invasive heart surgery, minimally invasive valve surgery, off-pump surgery, coronary artery bypass surgery, closure of atrial septal defect (ASD) or ventricular septal defect (VSD), myectomy/myotomy for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), minimally invasive aortic or mitral repair or replacement, cardiac surgical procedures, gene therapy, myocardial ischemia and cardiothoracic surgery.

Dr. Rosengart is a professor and chair of Baylor College of Medicine’s Michael E. DeBakey Department of Surgery and the professor of heart and vascular disease at the Texas Heart Institute. He is the appointed DeBakey-Bard Chair of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine.

Sushrat Waikar, MD, Mph

Sushrut Waikar, MD, MPH, Clinical Advisor, is Associate Professor of Medicine, BWH/HMS. He is Director of Translational Research and Ambulatory Services, BWH and is an expert in acute and chronic kidney disease.

Dr. Waikar is a clinician-investigator with interest in acute kidney injury (AKI), chronic kidney disease (CKD), renal replacement therapy, and electrolyte abnormalities. Dr. Waikar's research projects include epidemiologic investigations utilizing large databases as well as translational/patient-oriented research projects. Ongoing studies in my research group include: the epidemiology of AKI and hyponatremia; novel blood and urinary biomarkers of AKI and CKD; and small solute flux during hemodialysis and continuous renal replacement therapy.

Dr. Waikar's lab has a number of ongoing observational cohorts with biological sample collection in patients with and at risk for AKI and CKD, including in patients undergoing cardiac surgery, cardiac catheterization, intensive care unit hospitalization, cisplatin chemotherapy, and kidney biopsy.

Winfred W. Williams, MD

Winfred W. Williams, MD, Medical Advisor, is Nephrologist and Associate Chief of the Division of Nephrology at MGH/HMS. He is Director of the Program in Interventional Nephrology for the Transplantation Unit at MGH.

Dr. Williams is the Associate Chief of the MGH Division of Nephrology and Founding Director of the MGH Center for Diversity and Inclusion. Dr. Williams has a long, foundational track record at MGH in the development of programs to enhance the diversity of the physician workforce here and at Harvard Medical School (HMS).

Over the past two decades, he has helped develop critical initiatives to support hospital-wide diversity goals. Dr. Williams graduated from Harvard College, cum laude, with a B.A. in Biochemical Sciences. He went on to medical school at the New York University School of Medicine and completed his residency and fellowship training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in health policy addressing disparities in the care of end stage renal disease and organ transplantation. He is currently serving (and has served) on several national committees addressing key policy issues in nephrology and transplantation and is past chair of the AST and OPTN/UNOS Minority Affairs Committees and member of the Board of Directors at UNOS, the governing body for organ allocation in the U.S.

In his research endeavors, Dr. Williams’ most recent work focuses on transplantation across select ABO incompatible blood groups to increase access to transplantation for ethnic minority patients. The findings of his 2015 landmark study—published as the cover article for the Amer J of Transplantation—helped provide the basis for a new kidney allocation algorithm, resulting in an increase in the rate of transplantation for ethnic minority patients in the US.

Our mission is to develop targeted therapies to prevent damaging inflammation without inhibiting the critical functions of the immune system.
News
May 27, 2020

Kantum Pharma highlights new research demonstrating beneficial effects of P2Y14 antagonist in Acute Kidney Injury

Paper published by company’s scientific founder in Journal of Clinical Investigation and findings highlighted in Nature Reviews Nephrology

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Press Release
November 4, 2019

Kantum Pharma founder to present preclinical data demonstrating beneficial effects of P2Y14 antagonist in Acute Kidney Injury at the American Society of Nephrology Annual Meeting

Preclinical results support the therapeutic potential of KB-1801 for the prevention of Cardiac Surgery-Associated Acute Kidney Injury and advancement into clinical development.

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Press Release
October 23, 2019

Boston Biomedical Innovation Center success stories with Kantum Pharma

We are thrilled to share with you a new web video we are releasing that highlights our 'Commercialization Coaches' and other services that are ways B-BIC successfully differentiates from other grants.

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Video
February 20, 2019

The Power of Discovery with Sylvie Breton –Charged Podcast Episode #20

Her discoveries have the potential to change medicine—Dr. Breton has identified a method for predicting the onset of acute kidney disorder, which affects more than four million people yearly and is often called the “silent killer” for its lack of symptoms. In this episode, she talks about why she enjoys research so much, and how each new discovery spurs her on to the next.

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Podcast
News
September 10, 2019

Changing Medicine One Day At A Time

Professor Sylvie Breton, PhD, is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and directs the Breton Laboratory.

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News
September 9, 2019

Sylvie Breton, PhD, MSc: The Power of Discovery

Professor Sylvie Breton, PhD, is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and directs the Breton Laboratory within the Program in Membrane Biology / Center for Systems Biology in the Nephrology Division at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

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News
August 9, 2019

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News
Publications
Kidney
Pro-inflammatory P2Y14 receptor inhibition protects against ischemic acute kidney injury in mice
Battistone MA, Mendelsohn AC, Spallanzani RG,  Allegretti AS, Liberman RN, Sesma J,  Kalim S,, Wall SM, Bonventre JV, Lazarowski ER, Brown D, and  Breton S
Journal of Clinical Investigation – Online Prepublication
Renal intercalated cells sense and mediate inflammation via the P2Y14 receptor
Azroyan A, Cortez-Retamozo V, Bouley R, Liberman R, Ruan YC, Kiselev E, Jacobson KA, Pittet MJ, Brown D, 
and Breton S.
PLOS ONE - March 2015
Novel proinflammatory function of renal intercalated cells
Breton S, Brown, D
Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism – June 2018
Transcriptomes of major renal collecting-duct cell types in mouse identified by single-cell RNA-Seq
Chen L, Lee JW, Chou C-L, Nair A, Battistone MA, Paunescu TG, Merkulova M, Breton S, Verlander JW, Wall S, Brown D, Burg MB, and Knepper MA
PNAS – November 2017
Urinary UDP-glucose as a biomarker of acute kidney injury in ICU patients
Liberman RN, Allegretti AS, Sesma J, Russo LM, Lazarowski ER, Kalim S, Brown D, Waikar S, Thadhani RI and Breton S.
American Society of Nephrology Annual Meeting – Poster TH-PO668 November 2016
Lung
Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced pulmonary neutrophil recruitment and platelet activation is mediated via the P2Y1 and P2Y14 receptors in mice
Amison RT, Arnold S, O'Shaughnessy BG, Cleary SJ, Ofoedu J, Idzko M, Page CO and Pitchford SC
Pulmonary Pharmacology and Therapeutics – August 2017
UDP-glucose promotes neutrophil recruitment in the lung
Sesma J, Weitzer CD, Livraghi-Butrico A, Dang H, Donaldson S, Alexis NE, Jacobson KA, Harden TK and Lazarowski ER
Purinergic signalling – July 2016 
Female Reproductive Tract
The UDP-Glucose Receptor P2RY14 Triggers Innate Mucosal Immunity in the Female Reproductive Tract by Inducing IL-8
Arase T, Uchida H,  Kajitani T, Ono M, Tamaki K,  Oda H,  Nishikawa S, Kagami M, Nagashima T,  Masuda M,  Asada H, Yoshimura Y and  Maruyama TJournal of Immunol. – June 2009
Our team is dedicated to improving patients’ lives by translating our science into important therapies and diagnostics.
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The Kantum Pharma Team

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