TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Vasomune Therapeutics, Inc., a therapeutic biopharmaceutical company developing a novel first-in-class medicine for the treatment of COVID-19 pneumonia and pathogen-induced ARDS, today announced the formation of a Clinical and Scientific Advisory Board. The Board is composed of key opinion leaders in their respective fields of medicine and translational therapeutic development.
“We are very excited to be working with this esteemed group of medical and scientific advisors as we transition to the clinic with our novel therapeutic approach to COVID-19 that involves targeting the vasculature,” said Douglas A. Hamilton, President and Chief Executive Officer, Vasomune.
Members of the Vasomune Clinical and Scientific Advisory Board are:
David Andrews, PhD – Dr. Andrews is Director of and Senior Scientist in Biological Sciences at Sunnybrook Research Institute, Professor of Biochemistry and Medical Biophysics at University of Toronto and a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Membrane Biogenesis. His research areas include regulation of apoptosis at mitochondrial level, high throughput and image-based high-content screening using automated imaging and analysis of cells in monolayer and 3D cultures, gene knockdown and screening of libraries of small molecules. Dr. Andrews participated in the start-up of MBI Fermentas and Isogenica, and his group performs collaborative and contract research for a variety of biotech companies. He holds licensed patents in regulation of translation and in vitro evolution.
Carolyn S. Calfee, MD, MAS – Dr. Calfee, MD, MAS is Professor of Medicine and Anesthesia at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she attends intensive care units. She completed her undergraduate studies at Yale University and medical school at the University of Pennsylvania before moving to UCSF for her residency, chief residency and fellowship training, as well as her Master’s degree in Clinical Research. Her primary academic focus is the pathogenesis and treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Her main research interests include molecular subphenotypes of ARDS and precision medicine in critical care; the role of environmental exposure, including smoking, air pollution and novel tobacco products in susceptibility to lung injury; and novel treatments for ARDS.
Eddie Fan, PhD, MD – Dr. Fan is an Associate Professor in the Interdepartmental Division of Critical Care Medicine and the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto and a Staff Intensivist at the University Health Network/Mount Sinai Hospital. He is also currently the Medical Director of the Extracorporeal Life Support Program at Toronto General Hospital. Dr. Fan’s research has focused on advanced life support for acute respiratory failure and patient outcomes from critical illness. Dr. Fan obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto, his medical degree from the University of Western Ontario and a PhD in Clinical Investigation from Johns Hopkins University.
Michael Julius, PhD – Dr. Julius is a professor emeritus in the Department of Immunology at the University of Toronto. His four decades of research experience at Stanford University, the Basel Institute for Immunology, the Institute Pasteur, McGill University and the University of Toronto, where he chaired the Department of Immunology, is dedicated to understanding the biochemistry and genetics of lymphocyte activation. Dr Julius has in-depth knowledge of multiple therapeutic areas, including neuroscience, cancer, cardiovascular and immune system; and expertise across multiple platforms, including high-content cellular analyses, artificial intelligence, health informatics, and imaging-guided interventions and therapeutics. Most recently, Dr. Julius was recruited to the position of Vice President, Research, at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre where he created an international hub for life sciences dedicated to both discovery and commercialization with an annual budget of $125M. This initiative achieved a functional integration of researchers, clinicians, business and patients towards moving discoveries into the clinic; and has spun-off 15 startup companies. Dr. Julius received his BSc at McGill University and his PhD at Stanford University, and has authored 230 publications.
Dana McClintock, MD – Dr. McClintock is the Chief Medical Officer of Alladapt Immunotherapeutics, Inc., a role she has held since 2018. Prior to joining Alladapt, Dr. McClintock was Global Head of Innovation for Immunology, Infectious Disease and Ophthalmology, at Genentech/Roche. Prior to this position, Dr. McClintock held roles of increasing responsibility at Genentech/Roche, including Global Head of Pipeline and Portfolio Planning for Immunology, Infectious Disease and Ophthalmology, as well as Interim Global Co-Head of Ophthalmology. Earlier in Dr. McClintock’s pharmaceutical career, she was deeply involved in respiratory, immunology and ophthalmology clinical development activities across a range of phases, from IND-enabling work and early clinical trials through post-marketing commitments and medical affairs activities. Dr. McClintock was involved in key clinical development activities for omalizumab (Xolair) and ranibizumab (Lucentis) as along with other pipeline molecules. Prior to joining the pharmaceutical industry, Dr. McClintock’s academic research focus was in ARDS, with publications evaluating ventilator parameters as well plasma biomarkers of epithelial and endothelial cell injury. Dr. McClintock received a BA in Chemistry from Duke University and an MD from the University of Virginia. Dr. McClintock completed her training in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, both at the UCSF.
Renato Skerlj, PhD – Dr. Skerlj has 25 years of experience leading the discovery and development of small molecule drugs to treat rare diseases, cancer, infection and neurodegenerative diseases, and deep scientific expertise in the research and development of innovative, genetically-targeted treatments. Currently, he is Senior Vice President of Research and Development at X4 Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA, and previously held drug discovery and development leadership roles at Cambridge-based Lysosomal Therapeutics, Inc. Prior to that, he was interim Head of Small Molecule Discovery at Genzyme, and was part of the executive team at AnorMED, a publicly-traded company that was acquired by Genzyme in 2006. Dr. Skerlj is an inventor of both plerixafor, a stem cell mobilizer approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2008, and ertapenem, an anti-bacterial approved by the FDA in 2001, and has been responsible for delivering multiple drug candidates into early clinical research. He has authored 65 publications and holds 50 patents. Dr. Skerlj received his PhD in Synthetic Organic Chemistry from the University of British Columbia and completed postdoctoral fellowships at the University of Oxford and Ohio State University.
AV-001 is an investigational medicine designed to activate the Tie2 receptor and restore normal barrier defense in the vasculature. Following trauma or infection, the body’s host vascular response can become unchecked, leading to vascular leak and ultimately organ failure and death. Vasomune is developing AV-001 for the treatment of COVID-19 pneumonia and pathogen-induced moderate-to-severe ARDS. ARDS is a life-threatening condition that can develop after pneumonia, trauma, shock and sepsis, and is also the leading cause of death for patients infected with COVID-19. Prior to the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, the combined annual incidence of ARDS was approximately 370,000 patients per year in the US and EU with an average mortality rate of 40%. At present, there are no effective therapeutics to treat ARDS.
About Vasomune Therapeutics
Vasomune Therapeutics is a private early stage biopharmaceutical company developing the next generation of medicines to harness the body’s ability to defend against illness. The company is transitioning in the near term to the clinic with a novel therapeutic approach to ARDS that involves targeting a signaling molecule in the vasculature responsible for regulating barrier defense. Vascular dysfunction is associated with the pathology of several disease states, including COVID-19 pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), acute lung injury (ALI), acute kidney injury (AKI), hemorrhagic shock, sepsis and stroke. Vasomune’s head office and laboratory is located in Toronto, Canada with US offices in San Mateo, CA. For more information about the company and its product candidates, please visit www.vasomune.com or email the President and CEO of Vasomune at firstname.lastname@example.org.