WOBURN, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ReForm Biologics, Inc., a company developing a new generation of bio-innovative biologic medicines to improve patient access, safety, and convenience, today announced that John Yee, MD, MPH has joined the company’s Board of Directors. ReForm also announced the publication in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences (jpharmsci.org) of a key article Caffeine as a Viscosity Reducer for Highly Concentrated Monoclonal Antibody Solutions – Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
“Dr. John Yee is a purpose-driven medical leader with a passion for improving patient outcomes who has more than 20 years of drug development experience in both early-stage biotechnology companies and at established pharmaceutical companies,” said Jim Sherblom, ReForm’s Executive Chairman. “John’s considerable record of accomplishment will be invaluable to ReForm as we develop a pipeline of reformulated biotherapeutics that will be better tolerated by vulnerable patients particularly the elderly and children. On behalf of all of us at ReForm, I welcome John to the Board and we look forward to his contributions.”
Dr. Yee is currently Chief Medical Officer at Sobi North America. Prior to joining Sobi, he served as Senior Vice President, Medical Affairs at Flexion Therapeutics, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Medical Affairs at Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Vice President, Medical Affairs, Safety and Operations at Intarcia Therapeutics. From 2011 to 2016, Dr. Yee was at AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, where he served as Vice President, US Head Medical Officer and Vice President and Head of Medical Affairs for the US Diabetes franchise. Dr. Yee began his industry career at Genzyme Corporation in 2003 as Director, Global Medical Programs and later served in other leadership roles, including Vice President, Global Medical Affairs and Vice President, Global Head, Evidence-Based Medicine and Health Outcomes Research. Dr. Yee earned his MD at Harvard Medical School and graduated from the T.H. Chan School of Public Health at Harvard with an MPH in Health Care Management. He completed his pediatric residency and fellowship training at Boston Children’s Hospital. Prior to joining industry, John held leadership roles at Boston Children’s Hospital and was a faculty member at Harvard Medical School.
“ReForm is committed to changing the characteristics of biological medicines so that they are more easily administered and better tolerated by patients,” said Dr. Yee. “Currently, most biologics are administered as intravenous infusions which can be time consuming as well as uncomfortable for patients. By reformulating biologic medicines to improve viscosity and stability, these biologics could be administered by subcutaneous injection, a potentially much more convenient process that could be less painful, particularly for children and older patients. I am excited to join ReForm as the company advances its programs to the clinic.”
ReForm also announced the publication in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences of an article entitled “Caffeine as a Viscosity Reducer for Highly Concentrated Monoclonal Antibody Solutions”. The article reports that caffeine effectively lowers the viscosity of both infliximab and ipilimumab as model proteins, whereas other common viscosity-reducing excipients, sodium chloride and arginine, do not. Furthermore, stability studies under accelerated stress conditions show that caffeine has no impact on stability of lyophilized infliximab or liquid ipilimumab formulations. In addition, the presence of caffeine in the formulations does not affect in vitro bioactivities of infliximab or ipilimumab. The results from this study suggest that caffeine could be a useful viscosity reducing agent that complements other traditional excipients and provides viscosity reduction to a wider range of mAb drug products.
“The study supports the use of caffeine to reduce the viscosity of biologics, thereby introducing the possibility of administering these important medicines through subcutaneous injection rather than through infusions which can be inconvenient and painful,” said John M. Sorvillo, Chief Executive Officer, ReForm Biologics. “Our technology platform is using our mechanistic understanding of protein-protein and protein-solvent interactions to identify and design excipients that improve viscosity and stability to develop a low-risk, clinic-ready pipeline of candidates for oncology, inflammation, arthritis, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease.”
About ReForm Biologics, Inc.
ReForm Biologics’ mission is to develop improved biologic formulations derived from our proprietary, patented technology platform to enhance patients’ lives, particularly for fragile populations such as children and the elderly. We are doing this by improving the viscosity and stability of known biologics, with our own formulations as well as for those of other biopharmaceutical companies to make their medicines gentler for patients.