Ventoux Biosciences

Ventoux Biosciences Launches to Transform Disease Management for Fibrotic Disease

View Post

Dupuytren’s Disease Impacts Millions of Patients including Company Founder, Pharmaceutical Industry Veteran

April 25, 2023 — SAN DIEGO — Ventoux Biosciences, a privately held specialty pharmaceutical company, has launched with a mission to deliver life-changing therapies for patients with Dupuytren’s and related fibrotic diseases. The company initiated pre-clinical evaluation of its early-stage pipeline, VEN-201 and VEN-202, in Q2 2023.

Dupuytren’s disease (palmar fibromatosis) is a common, progressive, debilitating, often painful fibrotic disease impacting hand mobility and function. Limited noninvasive options exist therefore surgical interventions remain the mainstay of care. Surgical options, while helpful for patients, are known to have high disease recurrence, prolonged recovery times, and potential complications. Disease recurrence can occur in up to 85% of surgeries with overall surgical complication rates up to 39%.

“As a Dupuytren’s patient myself, I started Ventoux Biosciences to develop new treatments to slow disease progression and improve outcomes for the millions of patients with mild to severe disease,” said Kurt Harrington, Founder & CEO of Ventoux Biosciences. Harrington continues, “My father also has Dupuytren’s, which is the most common inherited connective tissue disorder. The emotional driver for starting the company is to bring new options to market to help millions of my fellow patients, including my Dad, as well as for my two teenage sons, should they develop this predominantly genetic disease.”

“Currently, patients with early Dupuytren’s disease have no recourse other than waiting for the disease to progress in order to be eligible for treatment, including hand surgery,” said Keith Denkler, MD. Clinical Professor of Plastic Surgery at the University of California San Francisco and member of Ventoux Biosciences Scientific Advisory Board.

Dupuytren’s disease is estimated to affect 8.2% of the population worldwide and over 30 million patients in the United States and Europe alone. Ventoux Biosciences is focused on development of treatments that will attenuate fibrosis and reduce inflammation in this under-served patient population. 


Latha Satish, M.Sc., M.Phil, Ph.D.

Dr. Satish is a trained biotechnologist with several years of experience in cell and molecular biology. Dr. Satish’s interest has been in skin research with a special focus on skin inflammation, infection, and fibrosis. The other arm of Dr. Satish’s research has been to study the molecular determinants of palmar fascial disease, Dupuytren’s contracture.

Her long-term interest has been to develop therapeutic agents to help alleviate the pain and distress of patients with Dupuytren’s. Her studies on Dupuytren’s disease were funded by a private donor, which moved the research forward to study this disease in an animal model, which was not feasible earlier. Dr. Satish’s research on Dupuytren has identified small molecules that can be used as a target to intervene with the progression and development of the disease.

Dr. Satish received her Ph.D. from a prestigious institute in India and did her post-doctoral training at the University of Pittsburgh. Currently, Dr. Satish serves as a faculty at the Division of Asthma Research, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital; named as the top hospital in the US. At Cincinnati Children’s, Dr. Satish researches Atopic Dermatitis, a chronic inflammatory skin disease affecting children and adults. Dr. Satish has published over 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals, review articles and book chapters.

Dr. Keith Denkler

Dr. Denkler is an accomplished, board certified plastic surgeon with expertise in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery. Dr. Denkler is a clinical professor of plastic surgery at UCSF and has a private practice in Marin County.

He is internationally renowned for his use of multiple approaches in treating the debilitating and disabling effects of palmar fibromatosis (Dupuytren disease). Dr. Denkler is an expert in needle aponeurotomy (NA), a minimally invasive procedure that uses subcutaneous needles to release the contracture as well as use of subcutaneous injection of collagenase. He has treated over 10,000 Dupuytren’s fingers, authored >35 publications and book chapters, presented internationally and domestically and is often cited for expert opinion in national and international news discussing Dupuytren’s. HIs pioneering investigational work documenting the safety of epinephrine with local anesthesia contributed to the origination of “wide-awake hand surgery”.

Dr. Denkler trained at prestigious medical institutions in the United States and Europe. He attended Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, followed by residency training in plastic and reconstructive surgery with the Cronin, Bauer, and Biggs group, also in Houston. Additionally, Dr. Denkler completed a hand surgery fellowship with Dr. Eugene Kilgore in San Francisco and one year of fellowship training in craniofacial surgery with Dr. Paul Tessier in Paris, France.

Dr. daiva bajorunas

Daiva Bajorunas MD is an endocrinologist with more than 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry.  She has a strong interest in advancing therapeutic options for conditions of significant unmet medical need. 

For the past decade, Daiva has been engaged as a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry, currently as Founder and Principal, DBMD Consulting, and previously as Chief Medical Officer / Chief Scientific Officer for Vault Bioventures. She has provided her expertise to enhance large, mid-size and small pharmaceutical company product development, clinical/regulatory, and life cycle strategies for both drugs and devices, including oral, transdermal, injectable and inhalative delivery systems, working across multiple therapeutic areas and geographies. She has considerable experience chairing Data Safety Monitoring Boards.   

In the past she held various R&D positions of increasing responsibility at Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, BMS, Aventis (acquired by Sanofi), and Kos Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Abbott). Before she joined industry, she held academic appointments at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Cornell University Medical College (CUMC), and was Director of Clinical Care, Endocrinology Service, Memorial Hospital (MH), New York, NY. Daiva received her MD degree at the University of Michigan Medical School, did her residency training at St. Vincent’s Hospital & Medical Center in NY, her metabolism fellowship at Stanford University Medical Center, CA and her endocrinology fellowship at MH/CUMC, NY.