Healthcare Industry News: antiviral
News Release - June 14, 2007
Critical Biologics Appoints Chief Medical OfficerRichard Straube, M.D. to Lead CBC's rhu-pGSN Development Program
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--Critical Biologics Corporation (CBC) today announced the appointment of Richard Straube, MD as Chief Medical Officer, effective June, 2007.
"Having worked extensively with Rick in the past, I am absolutely delighted in his decision to join us!" said Ashleigh Palmer, CBC's Chief Executive Officer. "Rick's experience and expertise in critical care clinical trial design and drug development represents a distinctive core competence and a valuable strategic asset for CBC going forward."
Straube and Palmer previously teamed up in the late 1990s to found INOtherapeutics, Inc. They subsequently grew that development stage company into a fully integrated critical care pharmaceutical business with annual revenues approximating $160 million. While together at INOtherapeutics, they successfully developed and commercialized the orphan drug, INOmax®, which received FDA approval in 1999 for the treatment of hypoxic respiratory failure in full-term neonates. Earlier this year, INOtherapeutics was acquired by Ikaria Holdings, Inc. in a transaction valued at approximately $670 million.
Prior to his work with INOmax®, Dr. Straube was responsible for building a clinical research capability at T-Cell Sciences, Inc. focusing on ARDS and multiple sclerosis therapies. He was recruited from academia in the 1980s by Centocor, Inc. where he headed up clinical development for several monoclonal antibody programs targeting sepsis, ARDS and rheumatoid arthritis. Dr. Straube received his medical degree in 1977 from the University of Chicago and completed a Pediatric Infectious Diseases Fellowship at the University of California, San Diego. In 1982, Dr. Straube was selected as a Milbank Clinical Epidemiology Fellow at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine earning his MSc in epidemiology. He subsequently spent a year at the UK's Communicable Disease Surveillance Centre (CDSC) in Colindale as an outbreak investigator. Dr. Straube returned to the USA in 1984 and joined the Pediatric Infectious Diseases faculty at UCSD, where he took part as an investigator in multiple antiviral drug interventional trials including herpes zoster, RSV, pneumonia, and AIDS studies.
"I am extremely pleased to be joining CBC at the start of its clinical development journey." said Dr. Straube. "The preclinical and prognostic clinical data generated by CBC's founding scientists is very impressive, and the therapeutic potential of recombinant human plasma gelsolin looks to be extremely promising from every perspective."
Gelsolin is a naturally occurring protein found inside cells as well as in the plasma. Circulating plasma gelsolin (pGSN) levels decrease shortly after a variety of tissue injuries such as trauma, major surgery, burns and sepsis. Severe depletion of pGSN has been found to correlate strongly with adverse clinical outcomes in critical care patients such as longer ventilator times, longer duration of ICU stays and death. Experiments in animal models have shown that disease progression and adverse outcomes can be averted by a timely replenishment of pGSN using recombinant human plasma gelsolin (rhu-pGSN). It is therefore anticipated that, in high-risk critical care patients, the early detection of reduced pGSN levels followed by replacement with rhu-pGSN could provide an efficacious and well-tolerated therapeutic intervention.
About Critical Biologics
Critical Biologics Corporation, based in Cambridge, MA, was founded in 2006 with the strategic intent to develop and commercialize theranostics and therapeutics that predict and regulate inflammatory responses to life-threatening diseases. In particular, CBC is currently focused on a theranostic approach to treat critical care patients with low plasma gelsolin (pGSN) levels at high risk of life-threatening complications. Gelsolin was first discovered by Dr. Thomas P. Stossel, American Cancer Society Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Translational Medicine Division and Senior Physician in the Hematology Division at Brigham & Women's Hospital. In October 2006, CBC entered into an agreement with Brigham & Women's Hospital to license technology and intellectual property pertaining to the therapeutic and diagnostic use of pGSN to predict and pre-emptively treat a variety of medically and economically important conditions. In December 2006, CBC successfully closed a Series 'A' financing with a $7 million investment from Morningside Ventures. The Morningside investment will enable CBC to expeditiously advance the development of its lead therapeutic, recombinant human plasma gelsolin (rhu-pGSN), into Phase-2 human clinical trials.
Source: Critical Biologics Corporation
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