Endevica Bio’s COO on finding balance and freedom in pharma

LeAnn Kuhlmann-Qi is the chief commercial officer of Columbia, Missouri–based Endevica Bio. The company’s lead drug candidate is TCMCB07, a peptide melanocortin-4 antagonist for cachexia stemming from cancer and other chronic conditions.

Holding an MBA. from the University of Missouri, Kuhlmann-Qi has extensive experience managing the business aspects of early-stage biotechnology companies. She is also the co-owner of Cell Origins LLC, which offers phage display laboratory services to researchers.

In the following interview that belongs to our ongoing Women in Pharma and Biotech series, Kuhlmann-Qi explains how she got into industry, describes her work on TCMCB07 and touches on what it is like to be a female executive in the male-dominated pharmaceutical industry.

The responses have been lightly edited.

What initially attracted you to the pharmaceutical industry?

Leann Kuhlmann-Qi


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Investigational drug promises to reverse wasting syndrome in cancer patients

Endevica Bio (formerly TCI Peptide Therapeutics) was founded in 2009 with a focus on peptides that affect the melanocortin system, which mammals use to regulate food intake and energy homeostasis. The company’s core focus is on a drug candidate known as TCMCB07, which is a potential treatment for cachexia in cancer patients. Cachexia, a wasting disorder that can result in significant weight loss, is common in patients with advanced cancers, AIDS and kidney failure.

Endevica Bio anticipates that clinical trials for TCMCB07 will begin in the fourth quarter of 2021.

To learn more about the company and its TCMCB07 candidate, we spoke with the company’s chief commercial officer, LeAnn Kuhlmann Qi. In the following interview, Kuhlmann Qi provides an overview of cachexia and the potential to reverse the condition and explains why a dog model of disease can be considerably more useful than a rodent model.

Drug Discovery &a…

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