First Seattle IPO Led by a Female CEO
Over the last 20 years, 77 companies in Washington state have successfully completed IPOs, but none of them had a female CEO.
Athira Pharma will be the first Washington company to go public with a female CEO in over 20 years. Here are two great Geekwire articles about the company and Athira’s CEO, Leen Kawas. Some highlights:
- Leen Kawas co-founded Athira Pharma in 2011 at age 26 while she was earning her (second) doctorate degree at WSU
- She started as the company’s VP of Research and became CEO in 2014
- Athira is a drug development company treating neurodegenerative diseases by restoring and building new connections in the brain
- Their primary therapeutic candidate is a drug that could slow, halt, or re-establish brain function for patients with Alzheimer’s disease
- They only have ~20 employees, but they’ve raised $100M+ of venture capital, including $85M in June (biotech is expensive!)