COLUMBUS, Ohio, Sept. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Ventaira Pharmaceuticals announced today that the Company has formed a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) consisting of a distinguished body of scientists and clinicians. The SAB will advise the Company on the development of inhaled treatments to meet unmet needs of cancer patients such as pain and nausea/emesis.
Ventaira expects to begin their clinical development program with their lead compound late in the fourth quarter of 2007.
"We are privileged to work with this world-renowned group of experts who will advise and guide us on our development decisions and strategies," stated Leslie Williams, President and CEO of Ventaira Pharmaceuticals. "The combined experiences of the advisory board will be invaluable as we embark on our clinical development plan and establish the most efficient program."
Ventaira's Scientific Advisory Board
Edward Ball, M.D., is Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Blood and Bone Marrow Transplantation at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). He is also Co-Program Leader for Hematologic Malignancy at the Rebecca and John Moores Cancer Center of UCSD. Dr. Ball's NIH-funded research has focused on the development and clinical application of monoclonal antibodies for the diagnosis and treatment of leukemia and cancer. Dr. Ball is also an expert in blood and marrow transplantation. Dr. Ball is one of the co-founders of Medarex, a company that uses antibody-based therapies to fight cancer and other debilitating diseases. Dr. Ball's experience in the treatment of cancer and his accomplishments in the discovery and development of products have progressed into the clinic and marketplace. Dr. Ball received his M.D. degree at Case Western Reserve University in 1976, and his Hematology/Oncology fellowship at University Hospital of Cleveland and Dartmouth University Medical Center.
Rudolf Brenneisen, Ph.D., is Professor of Phytochemistry and Pharmacognosy in the Department of Clinical Research at the University of Bern, Switzerland. Dr. Brenneisen's research focuses on the pharmacology and therapeutic potential of cannabinoids and Cannabis and the chemistry, analytical methodology and pharmacology of natural and synthetic psychoactive substances and medicinal plants. He has served as a consultant for the United Nations International Drug Control Program and for the Swiss Doping Commission. Dr. Brenneisen is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Association of Cannabis as Medicine, a member of the Advisory Board of the "Journal of Cannabis as Therapeutics," and is affiliated with the Society for Medicinal Plant Research, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, The International Association of Forensic Toxicologists and the Society of Forensic Toxicologists. Dr. Brenneisen received a M.S. in pharmaceutical sciences and a Ph.D. in phytochemistry and pharmacognosy from the University of Bern.
Steven Childers, Ph.D., is currently a Professor of Physiology/Pharmacology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and Director of a Drug Abuse Center, the Center for the Neurobiological Investigation of Drug Abuse, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. His research interests include the neuropharmacological mechanisms of a variety of drugs of abuse, including cannabinoids, psychostimulants, and opioids, and has a particular interest in understanding the mechanisms of chronic drug actions in brain. He served on the panel of scientific experts that generated the report on Marijuana and Medicine for the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, in 1999. Dr. Childers received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin, and his Ph.D. in physiological chemistry from the University of Wisconsin. He did postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. Solomon Snyder at Johns Hopkins University, during the period when drug abuse research was revitalized by the discoveries of opioid receptors and endogenous opioid peptides.
Anthony Fox, M.D., Ph.D., has been a pharmaceutical physician for 20 years. He has overseen the design and implementation of clinical trials in all phases of development under the oversight of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), European EMEA, United Kingdom MCA, and many other countries' regulatory agencies. Dr. Fox' work has focused on the ethical conduct, safety, and effective contribution to progress in drug development. Currently, Dr. Fox is the president of EBD Consulting (Carlsbad CA and Munich, Germany), and is also a minority Managing Director of FGK Representative Services (Munich, Germany and Zug, Switzerland). Dr. Fox was formerly a Director at Glaxo Inc., leading the US clinical research team responsible for the development of sumatriptan and naratriptan as acute treatments for migraine (including the intranasal formulation), as well as for remifentanil, an opioid analgesic that has also been marketed worldwide. He also served as Vice President, Clinical and Regulatory for Cypros Pharmaceutical Corp, and was a Group Leader at Procter and Gamble Pharmaceuticals in the late 1980s. Widely published in several areas of drug development, Dr. Fox is an editor and major contributor to the textbook, "Practices and Principles of Pharmaceutical Medicine." Dr. Fox received a B.Sc. in pharmacology, and an M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of London.
Marianne Mann, M.D., is a board-certified pulmonologist and worked at the FDA for nine years, from 1994 through 2003. She was the Deputy Director in the Division of Pulmonary and Allergy Drug Products during her last three years at the FDA, and subsequently took on a position as a Branch Chief in NIAID at the National Institutes of Health for a year. Dr. Mann is currently a consultant who advises companies trying to solve various clinical drug development and regulatory challenges, primarily focused in the area of pulmonary medicine.
Cynthia McCormick, M.D., is a private clinical and regulatory consultant to government and pharmaceutical companies who are developing products for CNS disorders. Dr. McCormick served for 11 years at the FDA as the Director of the Division of Anesthetic, Critical Care and Addiction Drug Products where she oversaw the review and approval of anesthetic agents and drugs to treat pain and addiction, and she initiated strategies to ensure that adoption of a standardized approach to the development of drugs for pain. Prior to becoming Division Director, she served as medical reviewer in the Division of Neuropharmacological Drug Products. Dr. McCormick is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the Medical College of Pennsylvania. She received her postgraduate residency training at the University of Michigan, Department of Pediatrics and the University of Pennsylvania, Department of Neurology.
John Morley, M.D., is board certified in internal medicine, endocrinology and geriatrics, and is currently the Dammert Professor of Gerontology and Director, Division of Geriatric Medicine at Saint Louis University Medical Center and Director of the Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center at the St. Louis Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He is also the medical director of two nursing homes. He has published over 1000 papers, with a major research emphasis on the role of neuropeptides in the modulation of hormonal responses and behavior as well as nutrition and hormones in older persons. Dr. Morley has served on the editorial boards of nine journals, and has been invited speaker at numerous national and international meetings. Previously, he was the Associate Editor of the "Journal of American Geriatrics Society" and the Editor of "Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences," and he is currently the Editor for the "Journal of the American Medical Director's Association." Dr. Morley received his M.D. at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.
About Ventaira's Mystic(TM) Inhalation Device
Ventaira's Mystic device is designed to deliver inhaled medications to patients in an efficient and easy-to-use manner. The Mystic device is based on a unique liquid aerosol technology called electro hydrodynamics (EHD) that can deliver respiratory and systemically active drugs to the lung more efficiently and effectively. EHD is an electronic nebulization process in which an electrical field is applied to a conductive liquid leading to the formation of a soft mist droplet aerosol. An electrical field charges the fluid's surface, resulting in the induction of repelling surface charges that overcome liquid surface tension and results in the break up of the fluid into uniform droplets. A subsequent electric field neutralizes the droplets resulting in an expelled soft mist. The particle size characteristics of the aerosol can be controlled by adjusting the physical and chemical characteristics of the formulation and by adjusting the flow rate and electrical field properties. This process allows for the production of soft clouds of uniformly sized particles with very high efficiencies enabling consistent delivery of drug to and through the lungs.
Ventaira is a specialty pharmaceutical company that uses its proprietary pulmonary drug delivery technology, Mystic(TM) (Electrohydrodynamic EHD), and formulation capabilities to deliver respiratory and systemically active drugs more efficiently and effectively. Ventaira is currently developing its own proprietary drugs for the treatment of a wide variety of conditions and also looks to create opportunities for existing drugs that may be more easily delivered via inhalation. Ventaira has an exclusive world wide license on a portfolio of patents for its Mystic technology.
Contacts: Leslie Williams Susan Neath
President & CEO Media & Investor Relations
Ventaira Pharmaceuticals Porter Novelli Life Sciences