WEST DES MOINES, Iowa, Dec. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Spotlight Innovation Inc. (OTCQB: STLT), a pharmaceutical company advancing technologies designed to address rare, emerging and neglected diseases, today announced the formation of its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) with the appointment of Professors Elliot J. Androphy, Kevin Hodgetts, and Hengli Tang. The SAB will work closely with the Spotlight Innovation management team to advance the Company's product development programs.
"We're honored that these eminent inventors, scientists and key opinion leaders have chosen to serve on our SAB," said Dr. Geoffrey Laff, Spotlight Innovation's Senior Vice President of Business Development. "Their ongoing technical and strategic guidance will influence our allocation of resources and accelerate development of our early-stage pipeline product candidates."
The inaugural members of Spotlight Innovation's Scientific Advisory Board are:
Hengli Tang, Ph.D.
Professor Tang is a Biological Science Faculty Member at Florida State University's Department of Biological Science. He is an accomplished virologist who has been studying RNA viruses for more than two decades, publishing extensively on retroviruses and the hepatitis C virus. In early 2016, Prof. Tang's lab began to study Zika virus in response to the Zika global health emergency. Since then, he and his research collaborators have been at the forefront of research concerning the pathogenesis of, and development of therapeutics for, Zika virus infection. He recently co-authored a study, published in Nature Medicine, reporting two classes of compounds: one that protects Zika virus-infected neural cells from programmed cell death ("apoptosis") and another that directly inhibits Zika virus replication. According to the study, when used in combination, compounds from the two classes enhanced the neuroprotective effect. Professor Tang's professional contributions have been recognized with numerous awards, including the Developing Scholar Award from Florida State University, Outstanding Service as Online Mentor from the American Society for Microbiology, and the Research Scholar Award from the American Cancer Society.
Elliot J. Androphy, M.D.
Professor Androphy is the Chair of the Department of Dermatology of the Indiana University School of Medicine. He is the author of 135 journal articles published in Science, Nature, EMBO Molecular Medicine, Human Molecular Genetics, Journal of Virology, Molecular Cell, and other publications. After a four-year postdoctoral fellowship in virology at the Laboratory of Cellular Oncology of the National Cancer Institute/NIH, he joined Tufts Medical Center. His research team began investigations in SMA and identified the critical difference between SMN1 and SMN2 exon 7 splicing. Dr. Androphy served as Vice Chair for Research of the Department of Medicine, and as Director of the M.D./Ph.D. Program at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where his lab characterized the mechanism of alternative splicing of the SMN2 gene, which leads to skipping of exon 7 and failure to protect from motor neuron loss found in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). His lab developed a cell-based high throughput screen for compounds that increase levels of the SMN protein that is deficient in SMA, with the goal of increasing the potency and optimizing the pharmacology of pre-clinical leads. His work at the Indiana University School of Medicine has led to the identification of pre-clinical compounds that increase SMN protein levels. Dr. Androphy is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for both Cure SMA and FightSMA, previously served on the SAB of ImmuLogic and of Signal Pharmaceuticals, and is co-founder of Elagen Inc.
Kevin Hodgetts, Ph.D.
Professor Hodgetts is the head of Medicinal Chemistry and Director of the Laboratory for Drug Discovery in Neurodegeneration (LDDN) at Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. He is also the Founder and co-Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of Klogene Therapeutics, Inc. Dr. Hodgetts has a broad background in organic and medicinal chemistry, with experience in both industrial and academic drug discovery. He has over 15 years of experience working on treatments for diseases of the central nervous system. Compounds from two projects that he was involved with have entered clinical trials: NGD-8243, the first TRPV1 antagonist to reach phase II clinical trials for pain; and NGD-4715, the first MCH-1 antagonist to reach phase I clinical trials for obesity. Dr. Hodgetts joined the LDDN in September 2012 to work with the academic community to design new and innovative strategies for drug discovery for neurodegenerative diseases.
About Spotlight Innovation Inc.
Spotlight Innovation Inc. (OTCQB: STLT) identifies and acquires rights to innovative, proprietary technologies designed to address unmet medical needs, with an emphasis on rare, emerging and neglected diseases. To find and evaluate unique opportunities, we leverage our extensive relationships with leading scientists, academic institutions and other sources. We provide value-added development capability to accelerate development progress. When scientifically significant benchmarks have been achieved, we will endeavor to partner with proven market leaders via sale, out-license or strategic alliance. For more information, visit www.spotlightinnovation.com or follow us on www.twitter.com/spotlightinno.
Statements in this press release that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements herein include statements regarding Spotlight Innovation's efforts to develop and commercialize its various technologies, and to achieve its stated benchmarks. Actual outcomes and actual results could differ materially from those in such forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include: risks and uncertainties, such as the inability to finance the planned development of the technologies; the inability to hire appropriate staff to develop the technologies; unforeseen technical difficulties in developing the technologies; the inability to obtain regulatory approval for human use; competitors' therapies proving to be more effective, cheaper or otherwise more preferable; or, the inability to market a product. All of which could, among other things, delay or prevent product release, as well as other factors expressed from time to time in Spotlight Innovation's periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). As a result, this press release should be read in conjunction with Spotlight Innovation's periodic filings with the SEC. The forward-looking statements contained herein are made only as of the date of this press release and Spotlight Innovation undertakes no obligation to publicly update such forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.
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SOURCE Spotlight Innovation Inc.