From Computational Discovery to a New Psoriasis Drug: Jeb Keiper on The Long Run

Today’s guest on The Long Run is Jeb Keiper.

Jeb is the CEO of Boston-based Nimbus Therapeutics.

Jeb Keiper, CEO, Nimbus Therapeutics

Nimbus made news in December 2022 when it sold its experimental Tyk2 inhibitor to Takeda Pharmaceuticals for $4 billion upfront and $2 billion in potential milestones. The drug’s value skyrocketed when it hit the primary endpoint of a Phase 2b clinical trial for psoriasis. Nimbus hasn’t disclosed the detailed results of that study, but the pill is said to have best-in-class potential when compared with a first-in-class molecule from Bristol Myers Squibb. Takeda is imagining all kinds of other possible uses of this anti-inflammatory medicine for psoriatic arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

This is quite a victory for any small biotech company. But there’s more to the story.

Nimbus got to this point after investing for more than a decade in its physics-based computational drug discovery platform. It was among the early adopters seeking to use high-performance computers to model the best possible small molecule drug candidates against a given target. The model didn’t just work one time – Nimbus sold a previous small molecule drug candidate for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, a chronic liver disease, to Gilead Sciences.

Jeb is a chemist by training, spent a good early part of his career in pharmaceutical business development, and joined Nimbus as chief business officer in 2014. He became CEO in 2018. I’ve known Jeb for a number of years, and he was a member of the inaugural Timmerman Traverse for Life Science Cares in 2021. I’ve been trying to get him on the show for about a year, and am really glad I was able to sit down with him in person at the recent JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco. I think this is an especially thoughtful and absorbing conversation that will be of interest to a wide range of people in biotech.

And now for a word from the sponsor of The Long Run – the BIO CEO & Investor Conference.

Now in its 25th year, the BIO CEO & Investor Conference is a premier event connecting biotech leaders from established and emerging public and private companies with the investor and banking communities.

You can expect limitless networking, on-point sessions crafted by impressive industry experts, polished company presentations, and making important connections powered by BIO One-on-One PartneringTM.

We look forward to seeing you February 6-9 in New York and virtually.

Register now

Now, please join me and Jeb Keiper on The Long Run.

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