NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Olatec Therapeutics LLC, a leader in the developing class of selective NLRP3 inhibitors, today announced that Craig T. Basson, MD, PhD has been elected to their Board of Directors.
Excited to join Olatec’s Board of Directors, Dr. Basson explained: “I am thrilled to contribute to Olatec’s development of lead compound, dapansutrile – starting in gouty arthritis and to realize [dapansutrile’s] potential to translate the science of the NLRP3 inflammasome in multiple disease areas. I am confident in Olatec’s ultimate ability to deliver this important medicine globally to the many patients suffering from inflammatory diseases.”
A veteran of both large pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, Dr. Basson served as Chief Medical Officer, Global Head of Research and Development and/or interim Chief Executive Officer of Boston Pharmaceuticals, Inc., between February 2020 and August 2022 when he became an advisor to the Board of Directors. At Boston Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Basson led the acquisition and development of a broad pipeline of innovative drug candidates into the clinic.
In the preceding decade, Dr. Basson served as the Global Head of Translational Medicine for the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Therapeutic Areas at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research (NIBR) in Cambridge, MA. Leading a team of physicians with expertise in translational medicine, Dr. Basson oversaw more than 10 successful clinical studies and supported the development of Entresto™, licogliflozin, iscalimab and abelacimab, among other novel medicines, for patients suffering from cardiovascular disease, diabetes and metabolic disorders. Dr. Basson’s experience in drug development synergizes with Olatec’s focus in inflammation, since his work at Novartis advanced clinical programs for the anti-IL-1β biologic, canakinumab (Ilaris™), into multiple disease areas and supported translational studies in the landmark CANTOS trial.
Prior to joining Novartis, Dr. Basson was the Gladys and Roland Harriman Professor of Cardiology and Internal Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, whose faculty he joined in 1997. He completed his BA and MA at Washington University in St. Louis, MO and received an MSc in Physiological Sciences from the University of Oxford as a Marshall Scholar. Dr. Basson holds an MD and PhD from Yale University. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Johns Hopkins Hospital and his clinical Cardiology fellowship and postdoctoral Cardiovascular Genetics fellowship at Harvard University and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Basson is an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation and a Fellow of the American Heart Association and of the American College of Cardiology. Currently, Dr. Basson is a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Medical School and an attending physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, while also serving on scientific advisory boards.
Reflecting on Dr. Basson’s election, Olatec’s CEO & Chairman, Damaris B. Skouras, said: “We are very pleased to have Craig join our Board. Craig brings to Olatec deep, proven expertise in translational medicine and an impressive track record in drug development directly relevant to our field of inflammation therapeutics. Craig will undoubtedly make valuable contributions to the development journey of dapansutrile and our OLT Analogues.”
Dapansutrile (lab code: OLT1177®) is an investigational small molecule, new chemical entity that specifically binds to and blocks NLRP3 (nucleotide-binding and oligomerization domain [NOD, leucine rich repeat-, pyrin domain-containing 3), the sensor molecule integral in the formation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. Inflammasomes are multiprotein complexes involved in intracellular surveillance of danger signals that trigger an intense inflammatory response, via generation of bioactive IL-1β and IL-18 through caspase-1 activation. Dapansutrile has been shown to prevent the formation of the NLRP3 inflammasome, which in turn inhibits the production of IL‑1β and IL‑18. NLRP3 is one of the most well characterized inflammasome sensors due to its involvement in a wide range of disorders, including sterile inflammation, infections and rare genetic autoimmune syndromes. Dapansutrile is in Phase 2 clinical development and has been well tolerated and shown to improve clinical outcomes in patients with acute gout flare (see The Lancet Rheumatology) and heart failure (see Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology). Dapansutrile has also been observed to have anti-inflammatory properties and other promising activity in a broad spectrum of over 20 preclinical animal models including arthritis, asthma, acute myocardial infarction, diabetes, contact dermatitis, melanoma, pancreatic and breast cancers, spinal cord injury and Alzheimer’s disease.
About Olatec Therapeutics LLC
Olatec is a privately held, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing a platform of oral NLRP3 inhibitors to treat and prevent a broad spectrum of acute and chronic inflammatory diseases known to be mediated by IL-1. In addition to the lead compound, dapansutrile, Olatec’s platform of proprietary compounds includes approximately 60 analogues (OLT Analogues) being screened as viable drug candidates. An IP portfolio protecting Olatec’s compounds consists of over 130 patents granted, covering dapansutrile and OLT Analogues. Olatec’s drug development team is comprised of experienced management and international experts in translational medicine with unparalleled expertise in inflammation and immunology and has been involved in the discovery and development of first-line inflammation treatments in the market today. For more information, please visit http://www.olatec.com.
Disclaimer & Forward-looking Statement
The information contained herein is being provided for information purposes only. The Company makes no express or implied representation or warranty as to the completeness of this information. Any forward-looking statements contained in this release are based on assumptions made by Olatec at the time this Press Release was prepared. Any forward-looking statement contained in this Press Release is subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may be materially different from those contemplated in such forward-looking statements. All information with respect to industry data has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable and current, but the accuracy thereof cannot be guaranteed by the Company. Olatec does not undertake any obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements contained in this Press Release to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date this Press Release was prepared, or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.