CalAsia Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Announces Continuation Of Funding Of NIH SBIR Phase I Grant And Key Appointments To Management And Scientific Advisory Board

CalAsia Pharmaceuticals is pleased to announce the continued funding of $300,000 for its NIH SBIR Phase I grant to find treatments for Dengue and West Nile Virus. The company additionally announces two key appointments: Theresa M. Williams, PhD and Santosh Kesari, MD, PhD. Dr. Williams will join the company as an executive consultant, Medicinal Chemistry, and Dr. Kesari has joined as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Williams has nearly 30 years of experience that include Distinguished Senior Investigator and Director in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at Merck and Co, Inc. She has led multiple small molecule drug discovery programs, highlighted by discovery and development of Telcagepant, the first orally active GPCR receptor antagonist for treatment of acute migraine that has advanced into Phase III clinical trials. Dr. Williams received her PhD from Michigan State University and Postdoctoral training from Stanford University.

Dr. Kesari is currently Chair, Department of Translational Neuro-Oncology and Neurotherapeutics, John Wayne Cancer Institute, Los Angeles, California. He is Director of Neuro-Oncology, Providence Saint John’s Health Center, Member, Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute and Director of the Translational Neuro-Oncology Laboratories at the Moores Cancer Center and Professor of Neurosciences at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. He completed a residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital/Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a fellowship at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He earned a Ph.D. degree in molecular biology and a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine.

Dr. Williams stated that: CalAsia’s platform technology, which combines functional fragment screening with structure-based lead discovery is an efficient approach to rapidly discover blood brain barrier-crossing CNS “drug-like” lead compounds.” CalAsia’s goal is to identify compounds for advancement into preclinical and clinical development to find cures for challenging and underserved medical needs with respect to CNS diseases. Dr. Kesari added “among practicing neuro-oncologists, we are aware that there is a significant and urgent unmet medical need for effective treatments for neurological disorders and brain tumors, and the drug discovery programs being pursued by CalAsia Pharmaceuticals will have a significant impact in identifying treatments for these indications.” “We are delighted to have Drs. Williams and Kesari join CalAsia,” said Dr. Allan E. Rubenstein, MD, Chairman. “Their combined experience in drug discovery and development, translational research and clinical expertise will greatly accelerate CalAsia’s goal toward advancing our early stage drug discovery programs into identification of preclinical and clinical candidates as treatments for neurological disorders and CNS tumors.”

About CalAsia Pharmaceuticals:

CalAsia Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a privately held early stage pharmaceutical company focused on rapid discovery of drug-like small molecules by utilizing its core technologies. CalAsia core technologies combine functional fragment screening with X-ray crystallography cocrystallization to rationally design and synthesize New Chemical Entities (NCEs) with drug-like properties. By differential fragment screening of closely related isotypes, CalAsia also develops selective NCEs early in the drug discovery process, thereby increasing the quality of potential drug candidates. Currently, CalAsia has several ongoing drug discovery programs to address unmet medical needs through development of treatments for neurological disorders, CNS refractory tumors and infectious diseases. Of note, the CalAsia team has amassed decades of drug discovery experience and has participated in numerous drug discovery programs which have resulted in multiple clinical candidates, including one marketed drug.

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