ALLSTON, Mass., Feb. 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Elevian, an emerging biotech company developing new medicines that target the GDF11 pathway, announced the addition of a stroke clinical advisory team to advance development of recombinant GDF11 (rGDF11) to promote recovery post stroke. The team includes Steven Cramer, M.D., Seth Finklestein, M.D., Teresa Kimberley, Ph.D., P.T., Daniel Laskowitz, M.D, MHS, David Lin, M.D., and Gary Steinberg, M.D.
"We have assembled several of the leading experts in the emerging field of stroke recovery, bringing together knowledge and experience about the clinical implications of stroke and emerging therapies," said Mark Allen, M.D., CEO of Elevian. "Together we have mapped out a clinical strategy using rGDF11 to promote recovery post stroke."
"Stroke is a massive, unmet medical need. It is the second leading cause of death worldwide and the number one cause of long-term disability," said Seth Finklestein, MD, Neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Chair of Elevian's Stroke Clinical Advisory Board. "Elevian has produced exciting preclinical efficacy data demonstrating that rGDF11 promotes motor function recovery post stroke. These data, if translated to humans, could provide an important new therapy for patients who have suffered a stroke."
Dr. Finklestein is currently a Neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and Former Head of the CNS Growth Factor Research Laboratory at MGH and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School (HMS). He is also Former VP and Head of the Neuroscience Division at Viacell, Inc., former CEO of Biotrofix, Inc., and current CEO at Recovery Therapeutics, Inc. Dr. Finklestein is a graduate of Haverford College and Harvard Medical School. His major interest is brain repair and recovery after stroke.
Dr. Steven C. Cramer is a Professor of Neurology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He is also the Director of Research at California Rehabilitation Institute, and co-PI of the NIH StrokeNet clinical trials network. Dr. Cramer received his medical degree from University of Southern California, his Residency in Internal Medicine at UCLA, and completed his Residency in Neurology and a Fellowship in Cerebrovascular Disease at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Cramer also earned a Master's degree in clinical investigation from Harvard Medical School. His research focuses on neural repair after central nervous system injury in humans, with an emphasis on stroke and on recovery of movement, with a major emphasis is on translating new drugs and devices to reduce disability after stroke, and on individualizing therapy for each person's needs. Dr. Cramer has been awarded the Stroke Rehabilitation Award from the American Heart Association and the Barbro B. Johansson Award in Stroke Recovery from the World Stroke Organization.
Teresa Jacobson Kimberley, Ph.D., P.T., is a professor and director of the Brain Recovery Lab, in the department of Physical Therapy in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the MGH Institute of Health Professions. She has an appointment as Research Staff at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Department of Neurology, and as Core Faculty in the Center for Neurotechnology and NeuroRecovery. Kimberley received her bachelor's in Physical Therapy and her doctorate in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Her lab's focus is on understanding the pathophysiology of motor impairment and develop novel rehabilitation interventions for neurologic disorders, such as dystonia and stroke. Her research helped pioneer the use of neuroimaging and non-invasive brain stimulation in the investigation of rehabilitation-related areas.
Dr Laskowitz is a Professor and Vice Chair of Neurology at Duke University where he serves as the Medical Director for the Neurovascular Laboratories and leads the Neuroscience Medicine program at the Duke Clinical Research Institute. He received his MD and his Master of Health Science in clinical research from the Duke University School of Medicine and completed his neurology residency training at the University of Pennsylvania. His perspective on drug development is shaped by the compelling unmet needs in the care of his patients with acute and chronic brain injury. His research focus is on the role of genetic influences on neuroinflammatory responses, secondary neuronal injury, and recovery from ischemic and traumatic brain injury. Dr. Laskowitz has been involved with several translational trials evaluating new therapies in stroke and acute brain injury. He is a fellow of the American Heart Association and American Neurological Association and has authored or co-authored more than 200 peer-reviewed articles.
Dr. Lin is a critical care Neurologist and Neurorehabilitation specialist at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is the Director of the MGH NeuroRecovery Clinic. He is also an Instructor in Neurology at Harvard Medical School. In his clinical practice, Dr. Lin cares for patients with acute neurologic injuries including stroke, brain hemorrhage, traumatic brain injury, seizures, and spinal cord injury in the MGH Neurosciences Critical Care Unit and he provides recommendations to facilitate best possible recovery at the MGH NeuroRecovery clinic. Dr. Lin's research involves understanding mechanisms of brain plasticity in patients order to guide recovery after stroke and other acute brain injuries.
Dr. Steinberg is the Founder and Co-Director of the Stanford Stroke Center, former Chair of Neurosurgery, and Director of the Stanford Moyamoya Center. His 33 years of experience in basic and translational neuroscience research has focused on hemorrhagic and ischemic stroke, as does his neurosurgical clinical practice. Dr. Steinberg received his medical degree from Stanford University and did residencies at Stanford University, for General Surgery and Neurosurgery, and at Santa Clara Medical Center. His lab investigates pathomechanisms of cerebral ischemia, develops neuroprotective agents, and employs novel approaches to enhance post-stroke functional recovery. He has successfully translated his preclinical work into several stem cell clinical trials for stroke, spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury, as well as leading numerous other clinical cerebrovascular trials.
About Elevian, Inc. Elevian is an emerging biotech company developing medicines that target the GDF11 pathway, with the potential to treat and prevent many age-related diseases. Elevian's lead program uses recombinant GDF11 (rGDF11) to promote recovery post stroke. The company has established additional programs focused on the use of rGDF11 to treat diabetes and obesity, and the regulation of GDF11 via novel molecules.