Healthcare Industry News: Eli Lilly
News Release - June 30, 2011
Sheila Gujrathi, M.D. Named Chief Medical Officer of ReceptosIndustry veteran with breadth of clinical development experience in immunology and oncology therapeutic areas will lead RPC1063 clinical program and expand development activities
SAN DIEGO--(Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network)-- Receptos, Inc. announced today that Sheila Gujrathi, M.D. has joined the executive management team as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Gujrathi will assume leadership of the RPC1063 clinical program, and will also lead expansion of development activities for both the S1P1 agonist portfolio as well as additional assets in the immunology therapeutic area that the company will in-license in accordance with its strategic plan. Receptos is developing RPC1063 as a potential treatment for multiple sclerosis and other immunology indications. RPC1063 is a highly selective sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 1 (S1P1) agonist that entered a single-ascending and multiple-ascending dose design Phase 1 clinical safety study under a US Investigational New Drug (IND) application in 2011. The Phase 1 study is anticipated to conclude in early 2012, paving the way for a Phase 2 Proof of Concept (PoC) study.
Dr. Gujrathi joins Receptos from Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), where she was Vice President of the Global Clinical Development Group in Immunology. In that role, she was responsible for late-stage clinical development for Orencia®, Nulojix®, and other clinical immunology assets being developed in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), solid organ transplant, systemic lupus erythematosus, juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), and inflammatory bowel disease. Dr. Gujrathi was instrumental in preparing several regulatory submissions in the US, EU, and other countries for Orencia® IV and SC sBLA applications in RA and JIA, as well as for Nulojix® in kidney transplant recipients, which included a positive FDA advisory committee hearing. In addition, she provided strategic direction and leadership for the Immunoscience franchise at BMS, including external business development opportunities where she was involved in acquisitions of several immunology compounds both in the discovery and clinical stages of development.
Prior to joining BMS, Dr. Gujrathi was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company in the healthcare practice. She then spent several years at Genentech where she held roles of increasing responsibility in the Immunology, Tissue Growth and Repair clinical development group. She worked on a number of clinical programs in the Immunology area including Xolair®, Rituxan® and ocrelizumab. She also held the role of Avastin® Franchise Team Leader helping to develop strategies in multiple oncology indications. Dr. Gujrathi received her B.S. with highest distinction in Biomedical Engineering and M.D. from Northwestern University in their accelerated Honors Program in Medical Education. She completed her Internal Medicine Internship and Residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School and is board certified in internal medicine. She received additional training at UCSF and Stanford in their Allergy and Immunology Fellowship Program.
“Receptos is exceptionally fortunate to have secured the leadership of Dr. Gujrathi for our clinical pipeline, including RPC1063, a best-in-class S1P1 agonist for multiple sclerosis,” said Faheem Hasnain, President and Chief Executive Officer of Receptos. “With Dr. Gujrathi’s appointment, development expansion is anticipated for the Receptos S1P1 agonist portfolio. In addition, upon the Series B funding for Receptos planned for late 2011, we will capitalize on Dr. Gujrathi’s wealth of knowledge and clinical development experience in immunology to in-license additional programs for our preclinical and clinical development pipeline.”
About RPC1063 and S1P1 Agonists
RPC1063, developed in the labs of Receptos, is a novel, highly selective S1P1 agonist exhibiting picomolar potency that is effective in rodent models of multiple sclerosis, and possesses an excellent safety profile in non-clinical toxicology studies. In addition to selectivity, which reduces the likelihood of “off-target” side effects, RPC1063 has an appropriately short half-life to promote rapid reversibility of lymphopenia. S1P1 is a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) that binds the lipid signaling molecule sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P). S1P is a circulating lipid that binds to five GPCRs termed S1P1-5. S1P1 selectively regulates physiological functions in the immune and cardiovascular systems, including immune cell trafficking and the maintenance of endothelial integrity. In the disease state of multiple sclerosis, S1P1 agonism works by selectively sequestering circulating lymphocytes, blunting the underlying autoimmune cause of multiple sclerosis.
Receptos is a biopharmaceutical company developing best- and first-in-class G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) therapeutic candidates through information-driven drug discovery, including GPCR structure determination. The company’s lead program is a best-in-class S1P1 small molecule agonist candidate for autoimmune indications, including multiple sclerosis, which has begun Phase 1 clinical testing. The S1P1 program is supported by the company's proprietary high resolution protein crystal structure of the S1P1 receptor. In November 2009, Receptos completed a $25 million Series A financing and is supported by a seasoned venture capital syndicate including ARCH Venture Partners, Flagship Ventures, Lilly Ventures and Venrock. Receptos has established partnerships on its GPCR structure determination technology platform with Eli Lilly and the Ortho-MacNeil-Janssen subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson.
For more information please visit us at http://www.receptos.com.
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