MONMOUTH JUNCTION, N.J., Dec. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- CytoSorbents Corporation (OTCQB:CTSOD), a critical care focused immunotherapy company marketing its CytoSorb® blood purification technology to help fight deadly inflammation in critically-ill and cardiac surgery patients in 28 countries worldwide, today announced the appointment of Dr. Gregory B. Di Russo, MD, FACS, as its Senior Vice President of Clinical Development, effective January 5, 2015.
Dr. Di Russo is an accomplished pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon specializing in congenital cardiac surgery, and was Vice Chairman of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., with a strong background in surgical intensive care medicine. He joins CytoSorbents with more than 20 years of clinical practice and diverse clinical development experience at CSL Behring and Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS).
"There is a tremendous unmet medical need for therapies that can mitigate the potentially life-threatening consequences of excessive inflammation in critically-ill patients and in those undergoing high-risk cardiac surgery," commented Dr. Di Russo. "CytoSorb® has the broad and unique ability to remove cytokines, free hemoglobin, and others inflammatory substances from blood – a crucial step in helping to manage inflammation in these patients. I look forward to bringing my experience in both cardiac surgery and intensive care medicine to advance clinical development at CytoSorbents. Together, we plan to accelerate and implement well-designed clinical studies in cardiac surgery for regulatory approval in the U.S. and in other indications such as sepsis in the rest of the world. Our intent is to help a broad range of patients while making CytoSorb® standard of care in these indications."
Most recently, Dr. Di Russo was Global Therapeutic Area Head for Acquired Bleeding and Head of Specialized Sciences at CSL Behring, a worldwide leader in the plasma protein biotherapeutics industry. He led the clinical development of a portfolio of products for the management of acquired bleeding disorders, including the global development of both fibrinogen and prothrombin complex concentrates.
Prior to CSL Behring, Dr. Di Russo was a Director of Immunology in Global Clinical Research at Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he helped to lead many aspects of the clinical program that led to the FDA approval of belatacept (NULOJIX®) for the prevention of kidney transplant rejection. He was also a Director of Cardiovascular/Metabolics at BMS, supporting early cardiovascular programs and the FDA and European Medicines Agency (EMA) filings that resulted in the approval of dapagliflozin (FARXIGA™), a novel anti-diabetic medication in the U.S. and Europe.
Prior to BMS, Dr. Di Russo served as Vice Chairman of Cardiovascular Surgery at Children's National Medical Center and was also the Director of Cardiac Transplantation. There, he re-established the heart transplant program and led multi-disciplinary transplant and mechanical circulatory support teams. He was also Assistant Professor of Surgery at George Washington University.
Dr. Robert Bartlett, Chief Medical Officer of CytoSorbents, stated, "We are very excited to have Greg join us at this important time for the company. His strong background in cardiac surgery, critical care, and immunology, as well as his significant experience and track record in clinical development at premier biopharmaceutical companies, makes him an excellent choice to lead the day-to-day efforts of our ambitious clinical agenda. With his appointment, we strengthen our commitment to making clinical trials a central tenet of the company."
Dr. Di Russo completed his Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery fellowship at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and his Cardiothoracic Surgery residency at the University of Utah School of Medicine. He received Board certification in General and Thoracic Surgery and received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College (Sidney Kimmel Medical College) at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He is a graduate of Princeton University and received his Certificate in Business of Medicine from the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.
About CytoSorbents Corporation
CytoSorbents Corporation is a critical care focused immunotherapy company using blood purification to control severe inflammation -- with the goal of preventing or treating multiple organ failure in life-threatening illnesses. Organ failure is the cause of nearly half of all deaths in the intensive care unit, with little to improve clinical outcome. CytoSorb®, the Company's flagship product, is approved in the European Union and marketed in 28 countries around the world, as a safe and effective extracorporeal cytokine adsorber, designed to reduce the "cytokine storm" that could otherwise cause massive inflammation, organ failure and death in common critical illnesses such as sepsis, burn injury, trauma, lung injury, and pancreatitis. These are conditions where the risk of death is extremely high, yet no effective treatments exist. CytoSorb® is also being used during and after cardiac surgery to remove inflammatory mediators, such as cytokines and free hemoglobin, which can lead to post-operative complications, including multiple organ failure.
CytoSorbents' purification technologies are based on biocompatible, highly porous polymer beads that can actively remove toxic substances from blood and other bodily fluids by pore capture and surface adsorption. CytoSorbents has numerous products under development based upon this unique blood purification technology, protected by 32 issued US patents and multiple applications pending, including HemoDefend™, ContrastSorb, DrugSorb, and others. Additional information is available for download on the Company's website: http://www.cytosorbents.com/.
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SOURCE CytoSorbents Corporation