a new source of energy

Established in 2012, Khondrion is focused on the development of innovative therapies for inherited mitochondrial diseases.

about Khondrion

Khondrion is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company discovering and developing therapies targeting mitochondrial disease. The company is advancing its proprietary science through a wholly-owned clinical and preclinical small molecule pipeline of potential medicines.  

The company’s in-house discovery engine is using unique live-cell imaging technologies, patient-derived cell lines and predictive cell-based disease models to build a portfolio of promising compounds. Active discovery programmes are underway developing new therapies, biomarkers and new read-out technologies in the field of mitochondrial diseases.

To accelerate the discovery and development of its potential medicines for mitochondrial diseases, Khondrion collaborates with a global clinical and academic network and patient organisations internationally. Khondrion is headquartered in Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Khondrion was founded by Professor Dr. Jan Smeitink who has devoted his entire career to the care of mitochondrial disease patients, to better understand the complexity of this disease and his life mission is to develop a treatment for these high impact, often early, fatal group of disorders.

Fully operational since 2012 and located in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, Khondrion focuses primarily on the development of innovative therapies for inherited mitochondrial diseases, including Leigh disease, MELAS (mitochondrial encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes), Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy and other Respiratory Chain / Oxidative Phosphorylation disorders.

our leadership team

Jan Smeitink

Chief Executive Officer & Founder

With more than 25 years’ experience in patient care, diagnostics and research for patients suffering from mitochondrial disease, Jan is the Founder and CEO of Khondrion. He also holds a position as Professor in Mitochondrial Medicine at the Radboud University Medical Center (RUMC) in the Netherlands and has been appointed foreign adjunct professor at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. In addition, he coordinates the Radboud Center for Mitochondrial Medicine (RCMM) at the Radboud UMC. He has published more than 375 peer-reviewed scientific papers.

Rob van Maanen

Chief Medical Officer

Rob is a specialist in pharmaceutical medicine having previously held positions at major pharmaceutical companies including Astellas, Eisai and Roche.  He brings over 20 years’ experience in strategic and operational global drug development, medical affairs, pharmacovigilance and regulatory experience. He has a Medical Degree from the University of Utrecht, Specialist certification in Pharmaceutical Medicine from the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Medicine, UK and obtained his Master of Business Administration from the University of Amsterdam. 

Dr Herma Renkema

Chief Early Development Officer

Dr Renkema, who joined Khondrion as a Scientist in 2016, is responsible for overseeing Khondrion’s broad preclinical strategy with regard to the medical operations of the Company. Dr. Renkema is a specialist in medical biology with extensive experience in mitochondrial biochemistry having previously held positions at the University of Amsterdam, the Institute of Medical Technology in Tampere, Finland, and the RadboudUMC, Nijmegen. She has a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Amsterdam and has contributed to over 40 publications on mitochondrial function and disease.

our team

Khondrion’s team members bring a wealth of expertise in mitochondrial disease research and preclinical and clinical drug development.

Khondrion is supported by a team of corporate, strategic and legal advisors that complements its expertise and facilitate the work.


Khondrion is supported by a group of strategic supporters including the Dutch Foundations Energy4All, Join4Energy, Road4Energy, Ride4Kids, Tim Foundation, and Zeldzame Ziekten Fonds, Khondrion has also received funding from National and European Governments, including from the EU Horizon 2020 SME Instrument phase 2 program and EFRO (Europees Fonds voor Regionale Ontwikkeling) of the European Union.

EU Horizon 2020 SME grant

In July 2018, Khondrion was awarded €2.3M from the highly competitive EU Horizon 2020 SME instrument program. The Khon2btreat grant will be used for the execution of a phase 2b dose-finding clinical trial with KH176 in adults with mitochondrial disease and the delivery of the milestones allowing for financing of the pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial for market approval.