Healthcare Industry News: Amgen
News Release - July 6, 2010
AlloCure Names Robert M. Brenner, M.D. Chief Executive OfficerAlloCure in clinical development with allogeneic mesenchymal stem cell therapy for kidney disease
Establishing new corporate headquarters in Burlington, MA
BURLINGTON, Mass.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--AlloCure Inc., a biotechnology company pioneering the use of cell therapies for the treatment of kidney diseases, today announced the appointment of Robert M. Brenner, M.D., as President and Chief Executive Officer. Dr. Brenner, who brings extensive clinical development and medical affairs expertise in the field of nephrology, was previously Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs at AMAG Pharmaceuticals, and for nine years made leading contributions to Amgen’s global development efforts in nephrology and renal anemia. John Wirthlin, AlloCure’s prior CEO, assumes the position of Chief Operating Officer and remains a member of the company’s management team.
“Robert Brenner’s extensive medical background, relationships with the nephrology community, and experience with the strategic development and commercialization of important renal therapeutics will be a major asset for AlloCure as the company advances its novel cell therapy through the clinic and towards commercialization,” said Lutz Giebel, Ph.D., AlloCure board member and Managing Partner, SV Life Sciences.
“With the expansion of the company’s activities in preparation for Phase 2 clinical trials, we are pleased that John Wirthlin will serve as COO, working closely with Rob on the company’s management team,” said Thomas Dyrberg, Senior Partner, Novo Ventures, Novo A/S.
“AlloCure has made great strides in advancing the promise of cell therapy for the preservation of kidney health,” said Robert M. Brenner, M.D.” I am excited to join the company in this dynamic period and am eager to contribute to fully developing this therapy for the benefit of patients so greatly in need.”
Preparing for Phase 2 Trials in Acute Kidney Injury
“Allocure has reached an important milestone in the company’s evolution, with the completion of enrollment in our Phase 1 trial in acute kidney injury,” said John Wirthlin. “We look forward to completing this study soon and presenting the results in an appropriate scientific forum. We are now preparing for a Phase 2 study aimed at providing clinical proof-of-concept for our technology.”
Robert M. Brenner, M.D. Biography
Robert M. Brenner, M.D. joins AlloCure from AMAG Pharmaceuticals, where he was Senior Vice President of Medical Affairs and responsible for the company’s nephrology clinical development activities. Previously, Dr. Brenner was at Amgen for nine years where he served in a variety of nephrology leadership roles both in clinical development and medical affairs, ultimately holding the title of Executive Director and Renal Anemia Global Program Area Leader. During his career, Dr. Brenner contributed to the approval of new products, led the design of clinical trials, and was a key liaison to the nephrology community, professional societies and regulatory agencies.
Dr. Brenner received his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and his M.D. from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed his medical residency in internal medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and his fellowship in nephrology at Stanford University Medical Center.
About Acute Kidney Injury
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a serious medical condition and is associated with considerable morbidity, mortality and healthcare costs. There are currently no effective treatment options to prevent or treat AKI, other than supportive measures, including dialysis. AlloCure’s innovative cell therapy offers the promise of improving outcomes in patients afflicted with this serious condition.
The scientists of AlloCure, founded in 2008 and previously known as NephroGen, have made great progress in the development of the first effective cell therapy for the treatment of kidney diseases as well as other unmet medical needs. The AlloCure laboratory in Hamburg, Germany, headed by Chief Scientific Officer and Professor Axel Zander, together with Professor Claudia Lange, both prominent stem cell biologists and bone marrow transplant experts, has developed proprietary and highly efficient protocols for the harvesting, expansion, and functional characterization of bone marrow-derived human Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC), also termed Multipotent Stromal Cells. These AlloCure protocols were used to prepare the allogeneic MSCs (no matching of donor and recipient tissues required, permitting off-the-shelf use) that were tested in the phase I clinical trial for acute kidney injury. The design of the trial was based on extensive pre-clinical studies conducted by Dr. Christof Westenfelder, Chief Medical Officer, an experienced investigator in the field of Nephrology, at AlloCure’s laboratory in Salt Lake City, Utah. This work established the protective activity of MSCs in experimental acute kidney injury, and identified the critical mechanisms whereby these cells both protect and stimulate the repair and return of function of an injured kidney or other organ. Both the Hamburg and Salt Lake City laboratories continue to pursue important investigations in support of the therapeutic application of these unique MSCs.
AlloCure, a privately held, venture-funded company, raised a $14.5 million Series A financing from SV Life sciences and Novo A/S in July 2008. The company’s headquarters is located in Burlington, MA, with other locations in Salt Lake City, UT and Hamburg, Germany. For more information about AlloCure, please visit the company’s web site at http://www.allocure.com.
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