DIEPENBEEK, Belgium, March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
Amakem Therapeutics, a clinical stage ophthalmology company, today announced the appointment of Dr. James Tsai to its Clinical Advisory Board.
Dr. Tsai is Professor and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science at the Yale School of Medicine. His research interests are in glaucoma, and he previously served as Director of the Glaucoma Division at the Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute, Columbia University. Dr. Tsai is a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American College of Surgeons, and the Royal Society of Medicine in the United Kingdom. He is Chair of the Medical Advisory Board of The Glaucoma Foundation and an elected member of the American Ophthalmological Society, the American Eye Study Club, and the New York Ophthalmological Society. Dr. Tsai received his M.D. at the Stanford University School of Medicine, undertook his residency training at USC/Doheny Eye Institute, and completed fellowships at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London.
Dr. Tsai said: "In spite of available treatment options, glaucoma remains a leading cause of blindness. Amakem's lead drug candidate, AMA0076, has shown extremely promising results in early clinical trials and could lead to the potential of the Rho Kinase inhibitor class being realized. I look forward to working with the rest of the Clinical Advisory Board and the Company as development of AMA0076 continues, and, hopefully, to a new treatment option for glaucoma patients becoming a reality."
Dr. Jack Elands, CEO of Amakem, said: "I am delighted Jim has agreed to join our Clinical Advisory Board, a group which already includes four leading experts in ophthalmology and glaucoma. Their input has been extremely valuable as we have advanced the clinical development of AMA0076, our lead drug candidate, in glaucoma. Having Jim join the team can only add to that advice and guidance in future."
Amakem presented top-line clinical results for AMA0076, a highly potent locally-acting Rho Kinase (ROCK) inhibitor, at the Ophthalmology Innovation Summit (OIS) at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in November 2013. AMA0076 has demonstrated IOP reduction without significant hyperemia, the first ROCK inhibitor to achieve this goal in the clinic.
In addition to Dr. Tsai, the Company's Clinical Advisory Board for glaucoma comprises Dr. Keith Barton of Moorfields Eye Hospital London, Dr. Paul Kaufman of the University of Wisconsin, Dr. Kuldev Singh of Stanford University School of Medicine and Dr. Ingeborg Stalmans of University Hospital Leuven.
Amakem Therapeutics is an ophthalmology company developing new treatments for serious eye conditions. Amakem's product pipeline is based on its unique Localized Drug Action platform which is designed to generate safe and effective kinase inhibitors that minimize side effects.
Amakem's lead candidate, AMA0076, is in clinical development for IOP reduction in patients with glaucoma or ocular hypertension. The Company is also working to apply the Localized Drug Action approach to a range of other eye diseases.
Founded in 2010, Amakem has raised more than €21m in funding and is backed by leading life sciences investors including Forbion, Omnes Capital (previously Crédit Agricole), Vesalius BioCapital, LRM, PMV/Vinnof and Life Science Research Partners.
Amakem is based in Belgium and located in the life sciences incubator "BioVille" at the University of Hasselt.