SAN DIEGO and PERTH, Australia, Aug. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- PYC Therapeutics (ASX: PYC), a biotechnology company combining two complementary platform technologies (selective drug delivery and precision drug design) to develop a new generation of RNA therapeutics to change the lives of patients with inherited diseases, today announced the formation of its ophthalmology-focused Clinical Advisory Board. The Advisory Board will work closely with the Company's executive management team to support the advancement of its rich pipeline of therapeutic candidates in inherited retinal diseases (IRDs), with an initial focus on progressing lead drug candidate VP-001 for the treatment of Retinitis Pigmentosa Type 11.
"We are proud to announce some recent additional members of our Clinical Advisory Board at this critical time for PYC as we advance VP-001 closer to the clinic. These esteemed scientist-clinicians bring decades of diverse experience being involved in developing drugs to address inherited retinal diseases and improving the lives of patients, and their expert guidance will be useful," said Glenn Noronha, PhD, Chief Development Officer of PYC Therapeutics. "In patient-cell derived models, VP-001 has shown the potential to have a meaningful impact for patients with Retinitis Pigmentosa Type 11, and we are progressing important larger animal studies toward key preclinical milestones over the coming months. We look forward to working alongside our Clinical Advisory Board in providing expertise and input into our translational strategy for VP-001 as we aim to file an Investigational New Drug application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in the middle of next year."
On his appointment to PYC's Clinical Advisory Board, Mark Pennesi, MD, PhD said "I'm excited to work with the team from PYC Therapeutics to help support the development of novel RNA therapeutic solutions for patients with inherited retinal diseases. Behind these diseases are the unmet needs of tens of thousands of patients around the world, and I'm motivated to find good solutions for diseases where none exist today."
Some recent additions to the PYC Clinical Advisory Board include:
David Birch PhD – Dr. Birch is the Scientific Director of the Retina Foundation of the Southwest, where he is also the Director of the Rose-Silverthorne Retinal Degenerations Laboratory. Dr. Birch has authored or co-authored over 300 scientific articles and is a recipient of the Visionary Award and the Board of Directors Award from the Foundation Fighting Blindness. Dr. Birch is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Foundation Fighting Blindness and has involvement in clinical trials across multiple inherited retinal diseases. He earned his BA from the University of California, Riverside and his PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Florida Medical School and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary at Harvard Medical School.
Fred Chen MD, PhD – Dr. Chen is the head of the Ocular Tissue Engineering Laboratory at the Lions Eye Institute in Perth, Western Australia and is focused on the diagnosis and treatment of IRDs and macular degeneration. Dr. Chen has over 10 years of experience in clinical and translational research in the field of retinal disease diagnosis and treatment. He has published over 130 peer-reviewed journal articles and several book chapters. He has previously served on the Board of Ophthalmic Research Institute of Australia and is a section editor for the journal, Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology. Additionally, he serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of PYC Therapeutics. He earned his BM and MBBS from the University of Western Australia and his PhD in cell transplantation for the treatment of retinal diseases from University College London after completing a double fellowship training in surgical and medical retina at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London.
Jacque Duncan MD – Dr. Duncan is an ophthalmologist who specializes in treating retinal degenerative diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration, and a Professor at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where she is Vice Chair for Clinical Trials and Academic Director of the Retina Service. In her research, Dr. Duncan is studying treatments to preserve vision and devices to stimulate visual perception. She has received research funding from the National Eye Institute, Foundation Fighting Blindness, the US Food and Drug Administration Office of Orphan Products Development, Research to Prevent Blindness, the Karl Kirchgessner Foundation, Hope for Vision and the American Geriatrics Society, and she received a Career Development Award from the Foundation Fighting Blindness. Dr. Duncan earned her BS at Stanford University and MD at UCSF School of Medicine, where she also completed internship and ophthalmology residency. She then completed a medical retina fellowship at the Penn Medicine Scheie Eye Institute, where she focused on patients with age-related macular degeneration and inherited retinal degeneration. She has served as Chair of the Foundation Fighting Blindness Scientific Advisory Board since 2015, and Chair of the Executive Committee of the Foundation Fighting Blindness Consortium.
Mark Pennesi MD, PhD – Dr. Pennesi is Professor of Ophthalmology at Oregon Health & Science University's (OHSU) School of Medicine. He also holds the Kenneth C. Swan Endowed Professorship and is the Chief of the Ophthalmic Genetics Division at the Casey Eye Institute at OHSU. His research is focused on developing novel therapeutic regimens for inherited retinal diseases. He is the PI or co-PI on numerous clinical trials, including for X-linked retinitis pigmentosa. In addition, he is an investigator for antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) therapies, including for RHO autosomal dominant RP. He is a principal investigator on the Allergan Brilliance study, where the first patient was treating with gene editing from CEP290-related retinopathy. In 2011, Dr. Pennesi received the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)/Alcon Early Career Clinician-Scientist Research Award. He was awarded the Alcon Young Investigator Award in 2014 and a Residency Teaching Award in 2015. Dr. Pennesi has also received Career Development Awards from Research to Prevent Blindness and Foundation Fighting Blindness. Dr. Pennesi also serves as a scientific and clinical consultant and is on advisory boards at several organizations. He has been elected to the Macula Society and Retina Society. Dr. Pennesi earned his MD and PhD from the Baylor College of Medicine and his BS from the University of Pennsylvania.
About PYC Therapeutics
PYC Therapeutics (ASX: PYC) is a development-stage biotechnology company pioneering a new generation of RNA therapeutics that utilize PYC's proprietary library of naturally derived cell penetrating peptides to overcome the major challenges of current genetic medicines. PYC believes its PPMO (Peptide conjugated Phosphorodiamidate Morpholino Oligomer) technology enables a safer and more effective RNA therapeutic to address the underlying drivers of a range of genetic diseases for which no treatment solutions exist today. The Company is leveraging its leading-edge science to develop a pipeline of novel therapies including three preclinical stage programs focused on inherited eye diseases and preclinical discovery efforts focused on neurodegenerative diseases. PYC's discovery and laboratory operations are located in Australia, and the Company's preclinical, clinical, regulatory and corporate operations are based in San Diego, California. For more information, visit pyctx.com, or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Forward looking statements
Any forward-looking statements in this ASX announcement have been prepared on the basis of a number of assumptions which may prove incorrect and the current intentions, plans, expectations and beliefs about future events are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, many of which are outside the Company's control. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from assumptions or expectations expressed or implied in this ASX announcement include known and unknown risks. Because actual results could differ materially to assumptions made and the Company's current intentions, plans, expectations and beliefs about the future, you are urged to view all forward-looking statements contained in this ASX announcement with caution. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
SOURCE PYC Therapeutics