IRVINE, Calif., April 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- AtheroNova Inc. (OTCBB:AHRO), a biotech company focused on the research and development of compounds to safely regress atherosclerotic plaque and improve lipid profiles in humans, today announced that Stephen Nicholls, M.B.B.S., PhD., Heart Disease Theme leader at the South Australia Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI), has been appointed as chair of the newly renamed Clinical Advisory Board, replacing the recently retired Dr. Giorgio Zadini, one of the co-founders of AtheroNova. Dr. Nicholls will also be a Co-Principal Investigator in the Company's upcoming clinical trials.
"As we continue to make positive strides, this is a key step in our evolution from a pre-clinical to a clinical stage pharmaceutical company as we move toward entry into Phase 1 in the near future. Dr. Nicholls brings a wealth of experience in the imaging and analysis of cardiovascular plaque as we target the treatment of both serum cholesterol as well as atherosclerosis with AHRO-001," stated Thomas W. Gardner, CEO of AtheroNova. "Dr. Nicholls' experience with clinical developments during his time at the Cleveland Clinic as well as his new role as the key theme leader in one of the premier research organizations in Australia is essential in leading our Clinical Advisory Board. We would like to thank Dr. Zadini for all of his tremendous efforts and accomplishments as the key medical advisor of the Company during the development stage and wish him well."
"Steve is one of the world's most respected authorities in the imaging of atherosclerosis," commented Mark Wedel, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of AtheroNova. "We are profoundly fortunate and appreciative to benefit from his leadership and expertise as we move forward. His legacy in the battle against cardiovascular disease first at the Cleveland Clinic and now at SAHMRI is world renown and look forward to his contribution. In addition to the other recent additions at the Company, Steve's role is an exponential addition to our clinical developments efforts here at AtheroNova."
Dr. Nicholls assumed the position of Heart Disease Theme leader at the South Australia Health and Medical Research Institute in May 2012 in conjunction with the Heart Foundation as a direct effort of the Australian government to provide research in one of the leading causes of death in Australia and around the world. He has taken his efforts to educate and research directly to the major media in Australia and has been overseeing a major building initiative to unite the various research efforts currently conducted by the institute in numerous locations around Adelaide. His research emphasis includes the functional properties of HDL, the role of inflammation and oxidative stress in atherogenesis and the development of new imaging modalities to assess factors that influence the natural history of atherosclerosis. He plays a lead role in clinical trials that employ intravascular ultrasound to investigate the impact of novel anti-atherosclerotic therapies. He is Professor of Cardiology at the University of Adelaide and a Consultant Cardiologist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
Prior to joining SAHMRI, Dr. Nicholls was Medical Director of Intravascular Ultrasound and Angiography Core Laboratories at Cleveland Clinic and Clinical Director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Cardiovascular Diagnostics and Prevention. Dr. Nicholls was also Associate Director of the Cleveland Clinic Coordinating Center for Clinical Research and Assistant Professor of Molecular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University. He held dual faculty appointments in the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine in the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute at Cleveland Clinic, and the Department of Cell Biology in the Learner Research Institute. He has played a lead role in clinical trials that investigate the impact of novel anti-atherosclerotic therapies and is the principal investigator of the SATURN (high dose statins for evaluating plaque regression), AQUARIUS (renin inhibition), ASSERT (apoA-I induction) and ASSURE (apoA-I induction) studies, ACCELERATE (CETP inhibition), study chair of VISTA-16 (sPLA2 inhibition) and serves on the steering committees of the DalOutcomes (CETP inhibition) and ALECARDIO (PPAR a/g agonist) studies. He has also authored more than 400 original manuscripts, meeting abstracts and book chapters.
Dr. Nicholls received his medical degree from the University of Adelaide in Australia. Following residency in internal medicine at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, he completed a clinical fellowship in cardiovascular medicine at John Hunter Hospital. He subsequently undertook his doctoral studies, focusing on the protective properties of high-density lipoproteins (HDL or "good cholesterol") at the Heart Research Institute in Sydney. Following this training, Dr. Nicholls completed a postdoctoral fellowship in plaque imaging at Cleveland Clinic prior to his faculty appointment.
He is a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and American College of Cardiology and a member of the American Heart Association. He received the Helen May Davies Research Award from the National Heart Foundation of Australia, the Young Investigator Award at the 13th International Symposium on Atherosclerosis and was a finalist for the Samuel A. Levine Clinical Young Investigator Award at the 2005 Annual Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association.
AtheroNova Inc., through its wholly-owned subsidiary, AtheroNova Operations, Inc., is a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, research, development and licensing of novel compounds to reduce or regress atherosclerotic plaque deposits and to safely improve lipid profiles in humans. In addition to its lead compound AHRO-001, AtheroNova plans to develop multiple applications for its patents-pending therapies in market sectors that include: Cardiovascular Disease, Stroke, Peripheral Artery Disease, Dementia and Alzheimer's and Erectile Dysfunction, all of which have been linked to atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis and its related pharmaceutical expenses for these indications cost consumers more than $41 billion annually in the United States alone. For more information, please visit www.AtheroNova.com.
This news release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based upon the current beliefs and expectations of AtheroNova's management and are subject to significant risks and uncertainties. If underlying assumptions prove inaccurate or risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements.
Risks and uncertainties include but are not limited to, general industry conditions and competition; significant fluctuations in expenses associated with clinical trials, failure to secure additional financing, the inability to complete regulatory filings with the Food and Drug Administration, general economic factors, including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations; the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation and health care legislation in the United States and internationally; global trends toward health care cost containment; technological advances, new products and patents attained by competitors; challenges inherent in new product development, including obtaining regulatory approval; AtheroNova's ability to accurately predict future market conditions; manufacturing difficulties or delays; financial instability of international economies and sovereign risk; dependence on the effectiveness of AtheroNova's patents and other protections for innovative products; and the exposure to litigation, including patent litigation, and/or regulatory actions.
AtheroNova undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Additional factors that could cause results to differ materially from those described in the forward-looking statements can be found in AtheroNova's 2012 Annual Report on Form 10-K and the company's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) available at the SEC's Internet site(www.sec.gov).
SOURCE AtheroNova Inc.