May 25, 2009 – Honolulu, Hawaii. Cardax Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Cardax”) is pleased to announce the appointment of Gilbert M. Rishton, Ph.D., as Chief Science Officer.
Dr. Rishton has led drug discovery programs in the pharmaceutical industry for over fifteen years, primarily at Amgen. He was the founding medicinal chemist at the Thousand Oaks site involved with initiating and building the Amgen Small Molecule Drug Discovery Group, which has grown to become one of the most formidable in the pharmaceutical industry.
At Amgen, he was the chemistry manager for a development program that spanned several phases from preclinical development to manufacturing and then human clinical trials, resulting in the commercial launch of Amgen’s first orally administered small molecule product, Sensipar. He also led the medicinal chemistry program for Amgen’s Secretase Team that was among the first to produce small molecule secretase inhibitors as potential therapeutic agents for Alzheimer’s disease.
“The Cardax compound platform targets inflammation driven by mitochondrial oxidative stress and represents a potential major medical breakthrough,” said Dr. Rishton. “These compounds are not only exceptionally safe but have application to a number of major unmet medical needs, including cardiovascular disease, liver disease, Alzheimer’s, macular degeneration, prostate disease, and even many cancers. I believe I can help bring these treatments to those who need them most.”
“We are extremely fortunate to have someone of Dr. Rishton’s experience, capability, and national reputation join Cardax to help lead the pre-clinical and clinical development of these important compounds,” said David G. Watumull, CEO of Cardax. “He joins a great team and his successful experience is exactly the skill set we need at this time,” Watumull added.
Dr. Rishton is also founder and Director of the Channel Islands Alzheimer's Institute, a non-profit whose mission is to enable new drug development through the identification of high quality novel drug leads that might become Alzheimer’s disease medicines of the future.
About Cardax Pharmaceuticals. Cardax Pharmaceuticals is developing a platform of proprietary, exceptionally safe, small molecule compounds that impact inflammation driven by mitochondrial oxidative stress. The Company’s first product, XanCor, localizes intracellularly in heart and liver tissue, including mitochondria, and is in pre-clinical development for cardiovascular and liver disease indications. XanCor has demonstrated efficacy in animal models of six of the seven major components of cardiovascular disease, including hyperlipidemia, inflammation, atheroma formation, endothelial dysfunction, myocardial salvage, and thrombosis. It has also demonstrated robust efficacy in animal models of liver disease. Unlike many other anti-inflammatory compounds that increase infections in animals, the active metabolite of XanCor has decreased infection rates in several animal models.
Cardax Pharmaceuticals was spun out from Hawaii Biotech in May 2006.