MILFORD, Mass., Nov. 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of viral infections, today announced that Nezam Afdhal, MD, will join the Company as Chief Medical Officer, effective November 9, 2015. Dr. Afdhal has been a consultant to the Company since 2011, and has served as the Company's non-executive Chief Medical Officer since 2015.
"I am delighted that Dr. Afdhal has joined the Spring Bank Management Team to lead the next stage of our Company's clinical development strategy," said Martin Driscoll, President and Chief Executive Officer of Spring Bank. "Since 2011, our Company has worked extensively with Dr. Afdhal in the area of liver disease and antiviral drug development. We look forward to benefiting from his leadership as part of the Spring Bank management team as we advance our lead compound, SB 9200, into Phase 2 clinical trials in Hepatitis B patients in the first half of 2016."
"I am excited to be joining the Spring Bank Management Team at this important time in the company's evolution as we prepare to advance the development of SB 9200, a potential break-through antiviral compound for the treatment of Hepatitis B (HBV) and RSV," said Dr. Afdhal. "I believe Spring Bank's proprietary Small Molecule Nucleic Acid Hybrid Technology (SMNH) can address a wide array of therapeutic indications, potentially improving the lives of patients worldwide. As a host immune modulating drug targeting RIG-I and NOD-2, cytosolic proteins that play a role in the body's natural defense against viral infections, we believe SB 9200 has the potential to be a backbone in the evolution of HBV antiviral therapy."
Dr. Afdhal will remain as a Senior Physician at the Liver Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School (Part Time). Dr. Afdhal received his MD degree in 1981 from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and did fellowship training at University College Dublin and at Boston University School of Medicine. His clinical expertise focuses on the management of the complications of liver disease, including cirrhosis and portal hypertension. His research has been in the area of liver fibrosis, Hepatitis B and C and has been national and global lead for many novel therapeutic agents approved for liver disease. Dr. Afdhal has served on multiple State and National and Global advisory boards for liver disease. He has served on the Editorial Board and as a reviewer for multiple scientific journals. He has published more than 300 papers in journals such as New England Journal of Medicine, Gastroenterology, Hepatology, Gut, and Journal of Hepatology, as well as 30 book chapters and two books. He is the US Editor for the Journal of Viral Hepatitis. Dr. Afdhal has spoken nationally and internationally on chronic liver disease and received many awards, including the American Liver Foundation Award for Excellence, a Fulbright Scholarship and the Mitchell Lectureship of the Royal College of Physicians. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and a member of the European Association for the Study of the Liver.
About Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals
Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of a novel class of orally bioavailable therapeutics based on its proprietary small molecule nucleic acid hybrid, or SMNH, chemistry platform. SMNH compounds are small segments of nucleic acids that we design to selectively target and modulate the activity of specific proteins or enzymes implicated in various disease states. The Company is developing its most advanced SMNH product candidate, SB 9200, for the treatment of viral diseases. SB 9200 has been designed to selectively activate the host cellular proteins, RIG-I and NOD-2, which have been implicated in the body's immune response to viral infections. Spring Bank believes that SB 9200 can play an important role in antiviral therapy by modulating host immune response to fight viral infections such as HBV, HCV and RSV.
SOURCE Spring Bank Pharmaceuticals, Inc.