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.

Julien Beyrath

Chief Operating and Scientific Officer

Julien holds a PhD in molecular and cellular biology with a major in Pharmacology from the University of Strasbourg, France. Prior to working at Khondrion, Julien was a researcher at the Centre for Systems Biology and Bioenergetics of the Radboud University Medical Center, the Netherlands, focusing on the identification of new drug targets for mitochondrial disease. He has expertise in the discovery of drug candidates and their pre-clinical development. Julien is responsible for internal and external research and development programs and manages the day-to-day operations of the Khondrion laboratories.

Dennis Lammers

Chief Financial Officer

Dennis joined Khondrion as CFO in 2013. Dennis also holds a position as Financial Funding Affairs at the Technology Transfer Office at the Radboud University Medical Center, the Netherlands. He has extensive international experience in financial, project and business control as well as financial management of grants and cost price modeling.

Edwin Spaans

Chief Medical Officer

Edwin is Khondrion’s Chief Medical Officer. As a PharmD registered as Clinical Pharmacologist and Pharmaceutical Medicine he has over 20 years of experience in Drug Innovation and Clinical Research. Prior to joining Khondrion he held positions at Kinesis Pharma, Organon and Actelion Pharmaceuticals. Edwin has supervised a large number of clinical programs in a wide range of indication areas.

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.