TORRANCE, Calif., Jan. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Emmaus Life Sciences, Inc. (the Company or Emmaus), a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative treatments and therapies for rare and orphan diseases, announced the recent re-appointment of Yutaka Niihara, M.D. MPH, the Company's co-founder and Chairman, as CEO of the company. Niihara will continue to lead the work on Emmaus' pharmaceutical grade L-glutamine treatment (PGLG), having completed its Phase 3 trial for the management of sickle cell disease (SCD).
"We started 2016 with renewed focus, continuing to advance our work on our sickle cell program," said Niihara. "In 2015 we raised over $7 million with the support of loyal shareholders to bring our total funds raised to more than $50 million. I would like to thank our loyal shareholders now in excess of 400 and express gratitude to our management team and new board members as we move forward."
Niihara is the principal inventor of the patented L-glutamine therapy for treatment of sickle cell disease, has been involved in patient care and research for sickle cell disease during most of his career and is a widely published author in the area of sickle cell disease. Dr. Niihara is board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine/Medical Oncology and the American Board of Internal Medicine/Hematology. He is licensed to practice medicine in both the U.S. and Japan. Dr. Niihara is a Professor of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He received his B.A. in Religion from Loma Linda University in 1982 and obtained his MD degree from the Loma Linda University School of Medicine in 1986 and received his MPH from Harvard School of Public Health in 2006.
About Emmaus Life Sciences
Emmaus Life Sciences is engaged in the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative treatments and therapies for rare diseases. The Company's research on SCD was initiated by Dr. Niihara at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. Emmaus' SCD therapy has Orphan Drug designation in the U.S. and Europe and Fast Track designation from the FDA. The Company has completed a 230 patient Phase 3 trial. For more information, please visit www.emmauslifesciences.com.
About Sickle Cell Disease
SCD is an inherited blood disorder characterized by the production of an altered form of hemoglobin which polymerizes and becomes fıbrous, causing red blood cells to become rigid and change form so that they appear sickle shaped instead of soft and rounded. Patients with SCD suffer from debilitating episodes of sickle cell crisis, which occur when the rigid, adhesive and inflexible red blood cells occlude blood vessels. Sickle cell crisis causes excruciating pain as a result of insufficient oxygen being delivered to tissue, referred to as tissue ischemia, and inflammation. These events may lead to organ damage, stroke, pulmonary complications, skin ulceration, infection and a variety of other adverse outcomes. SCD is an orphan disease in the U.S affecting approximately 100,000 patients in the U.S and millions worldwide with significant unmet medical needs.
This press release contains forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, regarding the research, development and potential commercialization of pharmaceutical products. Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and involve inherent risks and uncertainties, including factors that could delay, divert or change any of them, and could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially from current expectations. Additional risks and uncertainties are described in reports filed by Emmaus Life Sciences, Inc. with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. Emmaus is providing this information as of the date of this press release and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
SOURCE Emmaus Life Sciences, Inc.