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Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Joins AesRx Strategic Advisory Board


6/1/2010 2:25:53 PM

Newton, MA, June 1, 2010—AesRx, LLC, a biopharmaceutical company working to develop a treatment for sickle cell disease, announced today that Henry Louis Gates, Jr., has become a member of the company’s Strategic Advisory Board. Professor Gates is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and the Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Studies.

“We are privileged to welcome Professor Gates as a strategic advisor,” said Stephen R. Seiler, Chief Executive Officer of AesRx. “He understands the urgency of fighting sickle cell disease around the world and his insights will greatly help us in our quest to develop an effective treatment."

“Sickle cell disease was the first disease discovered to be of a genetic origin,” commented Professor Gates. “Yet in the six decades since that discovery, not a single drug has been developed specifically for its treatment. While the burden of sickle cell disease in the US falls heavily on African Americans, it can also afflict Hispanic Americans as well as individuals of Portuguese, Spanish, Corsican, Sardinian, Sicilian, Greek and Turkish origin among others. Over 13 million individuals world-wide are affected. I’m pleased to join AesRx in its groundbreaking efforts to develop a treatment for sickle cell."

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and the Director of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. An influential scholar in the field of African American Studies, he is the author of 12 books and has produced and hosted 10 documentaries, including the acclaimed PBS films “Faces of America” and “African American Lives 1 and 2.” His next film, “The Black Americas,” will air on PBS in February 2011. Professor Gates is co-editor, with Professor Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, of the African American National Biography (an eight-volume biographical dictionary published by Oxford University Press in 2008), and his recent work has been instrumental in popularizing African American genealogical research and DNA testing. His book, In Search of Our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary African Americans Reclaimed Their Past, won an NAACP Image Award in 2010. He is the recipient of 50 honorary degrees and many awards, including the MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” and the National Humanities Medal, awarded by President Bill Clinton. He was named to Time magazine’s “25 Most Influential Americans” list in 1997, and to Ebony magazine’s “100 Most Influential Black Americans” list in 2005 and its “Power 150” list in 2009. Professor Gates is the first African American to have his genome fully sequenced, and is also half of the first father-and-son pair to have their genomes fully sequenced.

About AesRx

AesRx is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of treatments for two orphan diseases. The Company’s lead program (Aes-103) is targeted to the treatment of sickle cell disease. Sickle cell disease is a recessive disorder of the hemoglobin which can lead to a wide range of serious, sometimes life-threatening, conditions including: chronic hemolytic anemia, chronic pain and acute painful crisis, stroke, acute chest syndrome, and cumulative damage to tissues and organs. More than 13 million individuals world-wide are afflicted with sickle cell disease. Aes-103 works by increasing the affinity of sickle hemoglobin for oxygen. Because only red blood cells with no bound oxygen will sickle, increasing the ability of the sickle red blood cells to bind oxygen reduces the number of cells that can sickle. AesRx is completing the pre-clinical development program for Aes-103 and expects to begin human clinical trials in 2010. AesRx’s second development program, Aes-210, is targeted to treat certain inflammatory diseases of the lower intestine, including distal ulcerative colitis, pouchitis and radiation induced proctitis.

This press release contains certain statements that may be forward-looking within the meaning of Section 27a of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, including statements relating to the product portfolio, pipeline and clinical programs (collectively the “Products”) of AesRx LLC (the “Company”), the market opportunities for the Products, the potential effectiveness of the Products based on the interpretation of past and/or planned pre-clinical or clinical data and the Company’s goals and objectives. These statements are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties.

Read at BioSpace.com

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