Venture Café – Brian Kim, MD and Duke Leahey, MA Present: From Discovery of a New Drug to a Digital Center of Excellence for Chronic Itch

September 17, 2020
4:00 pm - 4:45 pm
Venture Café Virtual,

Precision Medicine Thursdays at Venture Café
Attendance is FREE and open to all.


Brian Kim, MD

Associate Professor of Dermatology                                                                    Washington University in St. Louis

If you would like to contact Dr. Kim about his talk, he can be reached at

Duke Leahey, MA

Co-Founder at

Duke Leahey can be reached at

From Discovery of a New Drug to a Digital Center of Excellence for Chronic Itch

Based on the original discovery in the Kim Lab at WashU that Janus kinase (JAK) signaling in neurons critically mediates itch, Dr. Brian Kim and Duke Leahey co-founded Nuogen Pharma to develop JAK inhibitors for itch by way of a novel route of delivery. Currently, there are no FDA-approved medications specifically for chronic itch. Beyond treatments, recognizing the highly unmet need for patients in terms of diagnosis, education, management, and access, Dr. Kim and Duke decided to start an online digital center of excellence called SootheRx. This platform aims to revolutionize and innovate the delivery of care itself while simultaneously bringing new treatments to patients with chronic itch in the most effective and efficient manner possible.

On the third Thursday of every month, ICTS Precision Medicine hosts a session featuring WashU faculty working in translational genomics/precision medicine areas. Talks are typically oriented toward biotechnology, diagnostics, informatics, start-ups and precision interventions based on medical genomics innovations.