BrainStorm Announces Formation of Scientific Advisory Board and Appoints Neuroscientist Jerold Chun, M.D., Ph.D., to Chair
HACKENSACK, N.J. and PETACH TIKVAH, Israel, March 12, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: BCLI), a leading developer of adult stem cell therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases, announced today the formation of its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and the appointment of Jerold Chun, M.D., Ph.D., to Chair. Chun is an acclaimed neuroscientist and professor at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute with decades of expertise in degenerative disease research and neuroscience drug development.
The SAB at BrainStorm will be composed of renowned scientists and clinical experts and will advise BrainStorm's management team on scientific matters such as research, clinical trials and drug development.
"We are establishing a Scientific Advisory Board to serve as a key strategic resource to BrainStorm that will provide scientific expertise and guidance as we execute on the ongoing Phase 3 trial of NurOwn® in ALS and continue to assess new product development opportunities from our technology," said Chaim Lebovits, president and chief executive officer of BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics. "We plan to build out the board with additional thought leaders in neuroscience and regenerative medicine in our mission to bring new treatments to patients afflicted with neurodegenerative diseases."
"To have Dr. Chun, a world-renowned neuroscientist, lead our scientific advisory board will enrich and focus our R&D efforts to bring solutions to neurology patients with high unmet need," said Ralph Kern, MD., MHSc, Chief Operating and Chief Medical Officer of BrainStorm. "With his extensive involvement in neuroscience research and drug discovery, he is exceptionally well qualified to provide scientific guidance and mentoring."
"I am honored to be appointed as chair of BrainStorm's SAB at this exciting time for the company and look forward to contributing to the ongoing development of novel and meaningful therapeutics through NurOwn and the company's pipeline in regenerative medicine," said Dr. Chun.
Dr. Chun is currently professor and the senior vice president of Neuroscience Drug Discovery at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, with over 27 years of experience in academia and industry. He currently leads a team of 25 researchers in the study of genomic mosaicism (DNA sequence variation in brain cells) and lysophospholipid receptor signaling to understand and develop drug treatments for brain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis, and hydrocephalus. Dr. Chun previously held professorships at The Scripps Research Institute, the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, and also headed the Department of Molecular Neuroscience at Merck Research Laboratories. Among his achievements, he identified the first lysophospholipid receptor (1996), was first to demonstrate genomic mosaicism in the brain (2001) and its alteration in Alzheimer's disease (2015). Dr. Chun is a recipient of over a dozen awards, has published ~300 scientific articles and three patents. He received M.D. and Ph.D. (Neuroscience) degrees through the Medical Scientist Training Program at Stanford University School of Medicine, and was a Helen Hay Whitney Fellow at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research/MIT.
NurOwn® utilizes a patient's own cells which have been engineered outside the body, to produce and secrete factors known to promote neuronal survival. NurOwn® has the potential to be the first ALS treatment to improve patient functioning as a regenerative medicine. Regenerative medicine solutions are desperately needed in the field of neurodegenerative diseases as current therapies have limited efficacy, only slow progression and do not maintain or restore function. NurOwn® is currently being tested in a multi-site Phase 3 clinical trial in the U.S. and, if successful, the results from this trial will submitted to the FDA and other regulatory authorities around the world with the goal of obtaining marketing approval. BrainStorm has completed two single arm clinical trials which established the safety profile of NurOwn® and provided indications of a treatment benefit. Additionally, the company has completed a double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 study at three prestigious academic medical centers in the US. In this study, clinically meaningful changes in functioning were observed in patients receiving NurOwn®.