IRVINE, Calif., April 15, 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 John J.P. Kastelein, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine at the Department of Vascular Medicine at the Academic Medical Center and Strategic Chair of Genetics in Cardiovascular Disease at the University of Amsterdam, has joined the Company as a member of the Medical Advisory Board and will be a Co-Principal Investigator in the Company's upcoming clinical trials.
"We are pleased to announce that Dr. Kastelein has joined AtheroNova in this very important advisory role as we continue to expand our scientific and medical teams essential for transition to a clinical stage company," stated Thomas W. Gardner, CEO of AtheroNova. "Dr. Kastelein's leadership in the area of lipidology and his Lipid Research Clinic in Amsterdam has been an integral part of many atherogenesis studies including IDEAL, TNT, CAPTIVATE, ENHANCE, ILLUMINATE, JUPITER and RADIANCE. We feel that adding Dr. Kastelein to the AtheroNova team is significant in its impact on the knowledge he will contribute to our clinical efforts."
"Professor Kastelein is world renowned for his cutting edge clinical care of cardiovascular patients and for his pioneering clinical research activities that have contributed to a very significant reduction in the ravages of cardiovascular disease in this decade," commented Mark K. Wedel, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of AtheroNova. "We are honored that John will be bringing his talents and leadership to AtheroNova's efforts to further improve the plight of cardiovascular patients."
"I was initially attracted to AtheroNova by the team that they are building, including my colleagues Dr. Mark Wedel and Dr. Steve Nicholls," remarked Dr. Kastelein. "AtheroNova's science, though early-stage, has a chance to become an important part of the treatment of cardiovascular disease. I am looking forward to building on the research success of AHRO-001 and the opportunity to evaluate the drug in clinical trials."
Dr. Kastelein is Professor of Medicine at the Department of Vascular Medicine at the Academic Medical Center (AMC) of the University of Amsterdam, where he holds the Strategic Chair of Genetics of Cardiovascular Disease. He founded the Lipid Research Clinic at the Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam in 1989 which has become part of the department of Vascular Medicine. Last year he received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Dutch Heart Foundation and awarded a CVON grant. He was president of the Dutch Atherosclerosis Society (DAS) until 2009 and chairs the National Scientific Committee on Familial Hypercholesterolemia (EHC). He also is a member of the Royal Dutch Society for Medicine & Physics, the Council for Basic Science of the American Heart Association and the European Atherosclerosis Society. He also is a board member of the International Task Force for CHD Prevention and was recently appointed to the Executive Board of the International Atherosclerosis Society (IAS) and Fellow of the European Society of Cardiology.
Dr. Kastelein's current research interests can be found in the etiology, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of hypertriglyceridemia, hypercholesterolemia and low HDL cholesterol, all conditions associated with atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. He has published over 700 research papers in peer reviewed journals, including Nature Genetics, Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA and Circulation.
Besides the scientific programs aimed at the etiology of atherogenesis, Dr. Kastelein also serves on a number of executive and steering committees of large intervention studies, including the IDEAL, TNT, CAPTIVATE, ENHANCE, ILLUMINATE, JUPITER, RADIANCE and numerous others of which TNT (2005), RADIANCE 1 (2007), ENHANCE (2008) and JUPITER (2008) are published in the New England Journal of Medicine, IDEAL (2006) in JAMA and RADIANCE 2 (2007) in Lancet. He also serves as an International Associate Editor of the European Heart Journal.
Dr. Kastelein was also one of the founders of Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics Inc. (AMT), a gene therapy company based on the concept of gene replacement in hereditary lipoprotein disorders. AMT was a successful Initial Public Offering (IPO) at EuroNext in Amsterdam in 2007. The results of the first successful human gene therapy trial were widely publicized in the media and were published in ATVB in 2008. Furthermore, this gene therapy (Glybera) has now been approved by the European commission and constitutes the first approved gene therapy worldwide. Dr. Kastelein also founded Dezima Inc., a company that develops assets for the treatment of dyslipidemia and is currently developing TA-8995, a CETP inhibitor. In 1995, Dr. Kastelein set up a foundation for the active identification of patients with classical familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) in the Netherlands (StoeH), for which he currently holds a position in the board of directors. This program has now been fully institutionalized and is financially supported by the Ministry of Health with a total grant of approximately 30 million Euros. Since its inception, the StoeH has found over 27,000 individuals for whom a molecular diagnosis of FH could be made. The subsequent improvement of the treatment of these FH carriers has saved many lives, as published in Lancet in 2001 and very recently in the British Medical Journal in 2008. In 1997 and 1998 while serving as a visiting Professor at the Center for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, Dr. Kastelein was a co-founder of Xenon Genetics Inc., a drug discovery company (now Xenon Pharmaceuticals Inc.) based in Vancouver, Canada.
He received his medical degree in Amsterdam in 1980 where he subsequently received specialty training in internal medicine. Then, between 1986 and 1988, he was trained in medical genetics, lipidology and molecular biology at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver under the guidance of Prof. Dr. M.R. Hayden.
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.