Leadership Transition at Renibus Therapeutics: Co-Founder Appointed as Sole CEO

Jeffrey Keyser, co-founder and former Co-CEO of Renibus, steps into the role of president and CEO. Bolstered by an expanded Series B funding round in 2023 and a promising lead drug candidate, it signals a new chapter for the Southlake-based biopharmaceutical firm.

Renibus Therapeutics, a Southlake-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, has announced a leadership transition, appointing co-founder Jeffrey Keyser as president and CEO. The move comes as Keyser’s former Co-CEO Frank Stonebanks departs to pursue new opportunities.

The company said Keyser is a veteran of the biopharmaceutical industry, noting that his leadership has been instrumental in Renibus’ success to date. “He is well positioned to lead the company into its next phase of growth and innovation,” Renibus said. 

Before co-founding Renibus, Keyser invented the Mucinex product line for Adams Respiratory Therapeutics, Inc. and co-founded ZS Pharma, Inc., which was acquired by Astra Zeneca.

Stonebanks served as CEO from December 2021 until December 2022, before transitioning to the role of Co-CEO, a position he held until this month. 

Pioneering heart and kidney health solutions

Renibus, founded in 2015, develops advanced treatments for heart, kidney, and metabolic diseases. The biopharma has achieved several key milestones over the past year, particularly in the development of its lead drug candidate, RBT-1.

RBT-1, a one-time IV treatment that’s given 1-2 days before scheduled heart or valve surgery, is in the final testing phase to see if it can lower the chance of complications and enhance recovery after cardiothoracic surgery. The drug received FDA Breakthrough and Fast Track Designation in 2022 and Breakthrough Therapy Designation in 2023.

In fall 2023, Renibus announced the company is considering ways to expand its opportunity with RBT-1 across a “wide spectrum of procedures and post-operative” settings, including potentially transplant surgeries, TAVR’s (trans aortic valve replacements), and thoracic aortic aneurysms.

Investors back Renibus’ vision with substantial funding

The company’s financial growth has been strong, with a $47 million initial closing of a Series B funding round in July 2023, followed by a final close of an upsized Series B round, bringing the total to $72 million in September 2023, according to Renibus news release. The proceeds were expected to fund the pivotal Phase 3 trial of RBT-1.

Prior to that, Renibus Therapeutics announced in February 2022 that it had closed a $35 million Series A funding round that included a $15 million extension led by “family offices specializing in biotech investments” to help fuel the development of three of its therapies.

Later that year, Renibus received $33 million in bridge financing.

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