VANCOUVER, March 2 /PRNewswire/ - iCo Therapeutics Inc. announced today that Dr. Alan Bird has joined iCo's Strategic Advisory Team. A pioneer in ophthalmic research, teaching and clinical medicine, Dr. Bird's contributions to the field of retinal disease have met with worldwide acclaim. "We are thrilled to have such a respected advisor on our team," said Andrew Rae, iCo President and CEO. "His knowledge and experience will be invaluable as we continue to seek out and license cutting-edge products to build our ophthalmology portfolio." Dr. Bird's esteemed career began at Moorfield's Eye Hospital in London, England where his contributions to the treatment of retinal vascular disease and genetic & degenerative retinal disorders were at the forefront of the field. From Moorfield's, his academic career took him to the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and Jules Stein Eye Center in the United States. He returned to London and spent the majority of his career at the Institute of Ophthalmology at University College London and Moorfield's Eye Hospital where, in collaboration with Professor Shomi Bhattacharya, Dr. Bird identified numerous eye disease genes and cemented the standing of the University College London and Moorfield's Eye Hospital as one of the top eye research and care centers worldwide. Dr. Bird also spent time in Africa undertaking research into river blindness, where his work led to the establishment of Ivermectin as the treatment of choice for this disease. Dr. Bird's expertise has been widely sought after and he has made strategic contributions to the US National Eye Institute, the UK Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, INSERM and Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. He has also played a key role in the design and evaluation of numerous clinical trials involving ground-breaking treatments in retinal disease today. Most recently, Dr. Bird chaired the Independent Data Safety and Monitoring Committee for the pegaptanib pivotal trial for age-related macular degeneration. "iCo's business model of developing pre-existing drugs for diseases of the eye has significant potential," said Dr. Bird. "I look forward to helping with the clinical trial design of these products, beginning with the antisense compound iCo 007." Dr. Bird is a Fellow of the UK National Academy of Medical Science and has received a number of prestigious awards in vision science and ophthalmology, including the Alcon Research Award, The Helen Keller Prize, the Kayser Award, and the Jules Francois Medal. In 2006, he was honored with the lifetime achievement award by the Macular Society. iCo Therapeutics Inc. is an emerging, Vancouver-based biotechnology company focused on developing pre-existing drugs for a range of new conditions affecting isolated biological environments - areas such as the eye, spinal cord, or joints - where locally-administered application of these therapies would have minimal systemic distribution and fewer safety issues. For more information, visit the company website at www.icotherapeutics.com. Business Development Contact: Finance/Investor Contact: Dr. John Clement, CTO Mr. John Meekison, CFO 778.688.0644 604.602.9414 Media Contact: Elayne Wandler, ABLE Communications 778.865.0172
SOURCE iCo Therapeutics Inc.