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ProJenX Announces Formation of Scientific Advisory Board
NEW YORK, March 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- ProJenX, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel, brain-penetrant therapies targeting biologically-defined pathways for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and other neurodegenerative diseases, today announced the formation of its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). The SAB, which includes internationally renowned experts in stem cell biology, ALS disease modeling and drug discovery, and clinical development across neurodegeneration, will provide strategic guidance for the development of ProJenX's lead candidate prosetin—a brain-penetrant, orally available, MAP4K inhibitor—and additional pipeline expansion activities.
The inaugural members are Leonard van den Berg, MD, PhD (UMC Utrecht), Claire Henchcliffe, MD, DPhil (UC Irvine), Joe Lewcock, PhD (Denali Therapeutics), Lee Rubin, PhD (Harvard University), and Neil Shneider, MD, PhD (Columbia University).
Dr. Rubin, Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University and Co-Director of the Neuroscience Program at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, said, "My own laboratory's longstanding interest in patient-derived models of ALS and in the identification of neuroprotective compounds pointed us, much like ProJenX, to MAP4Ks as key regulators of motor neuron degeneration. I am excited by the research behind prosetin and look forward to working with ProJenX to elucidate and intervene in the key cellular pathways involved in ALS and neurodegeneration."
"To meaningfully alter the course of disease in ALS, we must advance better-validated therapeutic candidates," said Dr. Shneider, Director of the Eleanor and Lou Gehrig ALS Center and Claire Tow Associate Professor of Neurology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. "The long-term collaboration between Columbia University researchers and Project ALS that led to prosetin is an example of the rational, scientifically rigorous approach required for clinical success, and I am eager to work with the ProJenX team to move prosetin forward in ALS."
Erin Fleming, Co-Founder and Vice President of Research & Development at ProJenX, said, "We are honored to convene a world-class Scientific Advisory Board, who represent peerless experience and knowledge across ALS drug development, data-driven clinical trial design, and the MAP kinase pathway in neurodegeneration. With our advisors' leadership, ProJenX is poised to translate decades of scientific discovery to people with ALS—beginning with prosetin."
ProJenX's SAB member biographies can be viewed here.
ProJenX is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing novel, brain-penetrant, targeted therapies to address neurodegenerative diseases, with an initial focus on ALS. ProJenX was created out of a long-term research collaboration between Project ALS and researchers at Columbia University to rapidly develop and commercialize its lead therapy candidate, prosetin, for people living with ALS. At the heart of ProJenX's approach is an innovative, patient-specific, cell-based drug discovery platform that can be leveraged for research and drug development for ALS and other debilitating brain diseases. For more information, visit projenx.com.
Prosetin is a potent, oral, brain-penetrant, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAP4K) inhibitor targeting endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. ER stress is a common feature across sporadic and familial forms of ALS, and MAP4Ks emerged as the critical regulators of ER stress-mediated motor neuron loss in a patient-specific, cell-based discovery platform developed by researchers at Columbia University. ProJenX is currently conducting a three-part Phase 1 clinical trial, PRO-101, investigating prosetin in healthy individuals and people living with ALS. Prosetin is an investigational new drug and has not been approved by the FDA.
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