NEWARK, DE--(Marketwired - July 16, 2014) - iBio, Inc. (NYSE MKT: IBIO), a leading provider of plant-based biotechnology for developing and manufacturing biological products, has appointed Timothy Blackwell, M.D. to its newly formed clinical advisory board.
Dr. Blackwell is an internationally recognized expert in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and other lung diseases. He will provide iBio with guidance on further development and commercialization of the company's novel drug candidate for IPF and other fibrotic diseases.
"The appointment of Dr. Blackwell as a clinical advisor is important as we advance our fibrosis product into the clinic," said Terence Ryan, Ph.D., iBio's chief scientific officer. "Dr. Blackwell's extensive experience in pulmonary medicine will help us execute an effective approach to achieving early proof of concept in this program."
iBio is developing a novel therapeutic product for IPF and other fibrotic diseases in collaboration with Dr. Feghali-Bostwick at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). Data published in 2012 by Dr. Feghali-Bostwick demonstrate that specific endostatin-derived peptides are useful for both inhibition and reversal of fibrosis in preclinical mouse models of fibrosis as well as in human skin. iBio has produced the active pharmaceutical ingredient using its patented iBioLaunch™ technology and has made the clinical development of this promising product a key priority.
"I am impressed with the discoveries made by Dr. Feghali-Bostwick and the approach iBio is taking," said Dr. Blackwell. "I believe this program could dramatically improve the outlook for patients with IPF and I look forward to contributing to the program's success."
Dr. Blackwell is the Ralph and Lulu Owen Chair in Medicine at Vanderbilt University and Professor of Medicine, Cancer Biology, and Cell and Developmental Biology. He is the director of the division of Allergy, Pulmonary & Critical Care. His laboratory investigates lung inflammation, injury, remodeling, fibrosis and development of lung cancer. He also conducts research on the basic mechanisms that lead to normal lung repair or fibrosis following injury. Dr. Blackwell has published more than 150 peer-reviewed scientific papers.
About Systemic Sclerosis and Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Systemic sclerosis is a disorder that affects connective tissue of skin and internal organs as well as the walls of blood vessels. Early diagnosis and individualized therapy can be helpful, but treatment of systemic sclerosis is limited to symptom management. No currently approved drug has been proven to arrest the underlying process or processes that drive progression of the disease.
Organ fibrosis is responsible for health care costs exceeding $10 billion per year, and the number of deaths due to fibrosis is estimated to be double those due to cancer. Organ fibrosis is responsible for nearly half of deaths in developed countries and results in significant physical, emotional, and financial burdens as well.
IPF is a life-shortening lung disease with a rapidly progressing negative impact on quality of life leading to death within an average of three to five years after diagnosis. IPF has a worse survival rate than most cancers except for pancreatic cancer and certain lung cancers.
According to GlobalData, the market in the U.S. and European Union for already existing IPF therapies is expected to grow from $49 million in 2012 to more than $1.1 billion by 2017.
About iBio, Inc.
iBio develops and offers proprietary products and product licenses, based on its proprietary iBioLaunch and iBioModulator™ platforms, providing collaborators full support for turn-key implementation of its technology for protein therapeutics and vaccines. In Brazil, iBio has been collaborating with Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) and Fraunhofer Center for Molecular Biotechnology since 2011 to develop a recombinant yellow fever vaccine based upon iBio technology.
The iBioLaunch platform is a proprietary, transformative technology for development and production of biologics using transient gene expression in unmodified green plants. The iBioModulator platform is complementary to the iBioLaunch platform and designed to significantly improve vaccine products with both higher potency and greater duration of effect. The iBioModulator platform can be used with any recombinant expression technology for vaccine development and production. Further information is available at: www.ibioinc.com.
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