CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Apnimed, a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing oral pharmacologic treatments to address obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and related disorders, announced today that Ruoxi (Rosy) Hu, Ph.D., from Morningside Technology Advisory, LLC has been appointed to the company’s Board of Directors. Dr. Hu replaces Jay Galeota, who recently stepped down from the Board.
“We’re delighted to welcome Dr. Hu to Apnimed’s Board of Directors,” said Larry Miller, M.D., Chief Executive Officer and Chair of the Board of Apnimed. “Her expertise in working with companies as they grow from discovery through preclinical and clinical development will be valuable as we continue to advance our development pipeline, including the completion of the Phase 2b MARIPOSA study for our lead candidate AD109 and the initiation of our Phase 3 program at the end of the year.”
Dr. Hu is an experienced advisor, having worked with Mass General Brigham Ventures and Clarion prior to joining Morningside Technology Advisory. She received her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences in Public Health from Harvard University.
“I am pleased to be joining Apnimed’s board at this pivotal point in the company’s development,” said Dr. Hu. “There is a significant need for oral pharmaceutical treatment options for the more than 35 million Americans who have OSA, many of whom remain untreated. I look forward to working with the Apnimed team as they advance their clinical programs for AD109 and beyond.”
Apnimed’s AD109 has the potential to be the first oral pharmacologic that treats OSA airway closures at night. It is a first-in-class, novel, investigational combination dosed once daily at bedtime and is designed to treat OSA patients across a broad spectrum of disease severity. AD109 combines a selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (atomoxetine) with Apnimed’s new chemical entity and selective antimuscarinic (aroxybutynin). AD109 targets key neurological pathways in OSA that cause upper airway closure during sleep by activating the upper airway dilator muscles and maintaining an open airway during sleep. This drug combination has the potential to become a safe, effective, and convenient treatment for OSA, addressing some of the key limitations of the current device and surgical approaches that are the standard of care treatments. AD109 is currently completing Phase 2 clinical trials, after which Apnimed plans to meet with FDA to discuss the Phase 3 development program.
About Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is one of the most common and serious sleep disorders and is estimated to affect more than 35 million Americans, though underdiagnosis continues to be a serious problem. OSA is characterized by partial or complete upper airway closure that occurs during sleep, which often leads to poor sleep, and in the long term, has been shown to exacerbate hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke. Additionally, OSA can impair work productivity, reduce functional ability, and lower quality of life.
Sleep-related muscular relaxation driven by the central nervous system is the key neurologic mechanism that causes OSA. In patients with OSA, a reduction in neuromuscular control of the upper airway during sleep leads to a corresponding relaxation of the upper airway dilator muscles. The vast majority of diagnosed patients are prescribed positive air pressure therapy devices such as continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, but many patients are dissatisfied with these mechanical nighttime devices and fewer than half are compliant long-term, leaving a significant population untreated, undertreated, and at risk.
Apnimed is a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company working to transform the treatment of sleep apnea based on a simple idea – patients with obstructive sleep apnea could benefit from treatment with a safe and effective oral medication dosed once daily at bedtime. Apnimed’s lead development program targets the neurologic control of upper airway muscles to maintain an open airway during sleep. Based in Cambridge, Mass., the company is developing a portfolio of novel pharmacologic therapies for sleep apnea and related disorders. Learn more at apnimed.com or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.