Two Indian-Americans named to Zura Bio’s scientific advisory board

The formation of the SAB marks a significant step in Zura Bio’s commitment to advancing solutions in translational and clinical science.

Dinesh Khanna(L) (Image- University of Michigan Health) along with Ajay Nirula (R) (Image - Eli Lilly Gateway labs), have joined Zura Bio Forms scientific advisory board. /

Zura Bio Limited, a clinical-stage immunology company, has announced the formation of a five-member scientific advisory board (SAB) including two Indian Americans physicians who are experts in their fields.

Dr. Dinesh Khanna and Dr. Ajay Nirula will leverage their expertise to help the company expand  its research and development efforts in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, an official statement said.

Khanna is a professor of medicine and the director of the University of Michigan Scleroderma Program. He leads a multidisciplinary team dedicated to advancing knowledge about scleroderma and related conditions. 

His research focuses on developing new patient-reported outcome measures and leading clinical trials for new scleroderma treatments. Khanna obtained his M.D. from University College of Medical Sciences and completed a clinical and research rheumatology fellowship, as well as an M.Sc. in clinical research, at UCLA.

On the other hand, Nirula is the executive vice president and head of research and development at Recludix Pharma. Prior to this, he was senior vice president and the immunology therapeutic area head for Eli Lilly & Co., overseeing the company's research and early clinical development in immunology. 

Nirula has also held leadership roles at Amgen and Biogen Idec, contributing to research programs and regulatory filings for diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, and vasculitis. He earned his undergraduate degree in molecular biology from UC Berkeley, followed by a medical degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School.

“We welcome these esteemed advisors whose expertise will enhance our understanding of targeted pathways and their pivotal role in disease pathogenesis,” said Michael Howell, chief scientific officer and head of translational medicine at Zura Bio. 

“This understanding will be impactful across our portfolio, particularly in directing our efforts towards supporting Phase 2 clinical development in systemic sclerosis and hidradenitis suppurativa, as well as elucidating the roles of BAFF and IL-17A across autoimmune and inflammatory diseases,” Howell added.