Bothell-based biopharmaceutical company Athira Pharma said Thursday it has placed Chief Executive Officer Leen Kawas on leave.

In a brief statement with no details, the company said its board determined it needs to review Kawas’s conduct during doctoral research at Washington State University and has appointed an independent committee to begin the process. The company said Chief Operating Officer Mark Litton would immediately assume Kawas’s day-to-day responsibilities overseeing the company.

Athira, which raised $204 million in an initial public offering in September 2020, is working on treatments for restoring neuronal health and stopping neurodegeneration, with late-stage clinical trials ongoing for molecules treating Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s dementia.

Information on Athira’s initial public offering has been corrected.