DURHAM, N.C., May 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Symberix, a pioneer in microbiome-targeted drug discovery, announced today the addition of P. Kay Wagoner, Ph.D. to its Board of Directors, the allowance of broad method-of-treatment claims for an invention licensed to Symberix by University of North Carolina and inclusion as a Portfolio Company in the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network, a resource for high potential start-up companies.
Dr. Wagoner is a leader and teacher in health care and university education with over 30 years of experience in drug discovery and development. She is President of Wagoner Discovery and Development, an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Medicine's Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (UNC-CH), an Entrepreneur in Residence with the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network and at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy at UNC-CH. She currently advises and mentors multiple emerging pharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostic and healthcare IT companies.
Dr. Wagoner was the founder and CEO of Icagen, which focused on discovering drugs for hematologic, neurologic, urinary and cardiovascular disorders. She led Icagen's initial public offering in 2005 and its acquisition by Pfizer Inc. in 2011. Prior to Icagen, Dr. Wagoner held research management positions at Glaxo Inc., and led Glaxo's U.S. ion channel drug discovery efforts in central nervous system, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
Dr. Wagoner has been recognized as the UNC-CH Distinguished Alumna for Science and Business, and has been awarded the Entrepreneurial Excellence Award by the North Carolina Council for Entrepreneurial Development, the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Regional Award for Life Sciences and Healthcare, and the outstanding achievement award by the Women in Bio organization.
"We are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to work closely with Kay on our Board and with the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network," said Ward Peterson Ph.D., Symberix's President and CEO. "Kay is a seasoned pharmaceutical scientist, executive leader, entrepreneur, and mentor for company start-ups. This combination of expertise is ideal for guiding Symberix's growth as we advance two lead projects focusing on chemotherapy-induced diarrhea and NSAID-induced enteropathy."
In addition, the University of North Carolina received a Notice of Allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for Patent Application #14/033,920, which is licensed exclusively to Symberix. The allowed claims will be issued on May 10, 2016, as U.S. patent #933402898, "Selective Beta-Glucuronidase Inhibitors as a Treatment for Side-Effects of Camptothecin Antineoplastic Agents." The invention was made by Dr. Matthew Redinbo, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Symberix, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Biochemistry and Microbiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. The patent discloses a method for alleviating symptoms of GI distress in a cancer subject undergoing chemotherapy containing a camptothecin antineoplastic agent by administering to the patient therapeutic amounts of a selective bacterial beta-glucuronidase inhibitor. Symberix's drug discovery efforts are focused on identifying novel, potent, and selective inhibitors of the bacterial beta-glucuronidase enzyme expressed in the gut microbiome.
About Symberix, Inc.
Symberix, Inc. is a microbiome-targeted biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of a new class of non-antibiotic drugs that selectively curb harmful microbiome activity without killing its vast populations of beneficial bacteria. Intestinal microbes that make up the human gut microbiome are important in digestion, metabolism, tissue repair, immune development, vitamin synthesis and other key functions. The initial focus of Symberix is the development of two novel drugs that selectively inhibit a bacterial enzyme responsible for triggering clinically serious side effects of certain pain and cancer medications. In the United States, more than $2 billion is spent annually on direct medical costs for hospitalization associated with intestinal adverse drug reactions from use of use of anti-cancer drugs and NSAIDs. For more information, visit www.symberix.com.
About Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network
The Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network mission is to unlock the tremendous economic potential of startups from the universities and the community in the Research Triangle Park region and the State of North Carolina. Proven, serial entrepreneurs, who have themselves raised significant venture capital, work together as a cohesive group to provide intensive coaching to promising entrepreneurial teams. Their goal is to help the next generation of entrepreneurial ventures raise the capital necessary to reach their next stages of growth. This is a philanthropic endeavor free of charge to those accepted in the program and takes no equity in the companies it coaches. To learn more, visit www.blackstoneentrepreneursnetwork.org.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/symberix-adds-pharmaceutical-industry-executive-to-board-of-directors-expands-key-patent-asset-and-joins-blackstone-entrepreneurs-network-300265972.html
SOURCE Symberix, Inc.