Dr. William F. DeGrado, a Discoverer of Brilacidin, Joins Innovation Pharmaceuticals as Scientific Advisor
WAKEFIELD, Mass., Aug. 26, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Innovation Pharmaceuticals (OTCQB:IPIX) (“the Company”), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, announces today that Dr. William F. DeGrado has joined the Company as a Scientific Advisor. In this role, he will help guide the continuing clinical development of Brilacidin, the Company’s defensin-mimetic drug candidate, including against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).
“I am excited to be involved again with Brilacidin, a unique biomimetic drug candidate that has been properly advanced clinically by Innovation across multiple indications,” said William F. DeGrado, PhD, Professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at University of California San Francisco (UCSF). “I look forward to collaborating with the Innovation team—most urgently, toward developing Brilacidin as a promising therapeutic to treat the novel coronavirus and possibly other viruses. Brilacidin already has exhibited intriguing anti-SARS-CoV-2 in vitro inhibitory efficacy at clinically-achievable concentrations based on Brilacidin pharmacokinetics seen in earlier clinical testing. The world is in dire need of new antiviral treatments and Brilacidin is well-positioned potentially to emerge as one.”
DeGrado continued: “Although some defensins and other types of host defense peptides have been reported to be active against SARS-CoV-2, Brilacidin has the advantage of being a non-peptide—a synthetic, small molecule designed to be much more stable in the human body and its therapeutic properties optimized. Additionally, Brilacidin has progressed through Phase 2 clinical trials, including one in which it was administered orally for the treatment of Oral Mucositis. I am happy to advise Innovation Pharmaceuticals on the continuing development of Brilacidin for this indication, COVID-19, and other ongoing clinical applications.”
“Dr. DeGrado and his scientific peers were ahead of the times when they created Brilacidin nearly two decades ago,” said Leo Ehrlich, Chief Executive Officer of Innovation Pharmaceuticals. “The underlying science behind Brilacidin’s biomimetic design was pioneering. The Innovation team looks forward to working closely with Dr. DeGrado to bring this technology to patients suffering from serious illness and disease.”
Dr. DeGrado, one of the scientific co-discoverers of Brilacidin while a professor at the University of Pennsylvania, is a renowned medicinal chemist and current faculty member at UCSF in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry. His laboratory at UCSF (https://pharm.ucsf.edu/degrado) focuses on small molecule and protein design. Dr. DeGrado has authored over 400 academic publications, holds more than 25 patents, and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Inventors, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is also past President of the Protein Society. Among his scientific honors and achievements, in 2003, he received the Merrifield Award by the American Peptide Society, and he was presented, in 2015, with The Protein Society’s Stein and Moore Award.
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About Innovation Pharmaceuticals
Innovation Pharmaceuticals Inc. (IPIX) is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing a world-class portfolio of innovative therapies addressing multiple areas of unmet medical need, including inflammatory diseases, cancer, infectious disease, and dermatologic diseases. Brilacidin, a versatile compound with broad therapeutic potential, is in a new chemical class called defensin-mimetics. A Phase 2 trial of Brilacidin as an oral rinse for the prevention of Severe Oral Mucositis (SOM) in patients with Head and Neck Cancer, met its primary and secondary endpoints, including reducing the incidence of SOM. The Company plans to advance Brilacidin oral rinse into Phase 3 development, subject to available financial resources. Positive results were also observed in a Phase 2 Proof-of-Concept trial treating patients locally with Brilacidin for Ulcerative Proctitis/Ulcerative Proctosigmoiditis (UP/UPS). Brilacidin for UP/UPS was licensed to Alfasigma S.p.A. in July 2019. A Phase 2b trial of Brilacidin showed a single intravenous dose of the drug delivered comparable outcomes to a seven-day dosing regimen of the FDA-approved blockbuster daptomycin in treating Acute Bacterial Skin and Skin Structure Infection. Brilacidin, based on promising in vitro antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2, is being evaluated as a potential treatment for COVID-19. Kevetrin is a novel anti-cancer drug shown to modulate p53, often referred to as the “Guardian Angel Gene” due to its crucial role in controlling cell mutations and has successfully completed a Phase 2 trial in Ovarian Cancer. More information is available on the Company website at www.IPharmInc.com.
Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 including statements concerning the future execution of a definitive agreement with a global pharmaceutical company and the anticipated terms thereof, our future drug development plans, statements regarding the antiviral capabilities and therapeutic potential of Brilacidin and its impact on SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and other coronaviruses; no assurances also are made or implied that any grant submissions will be successful. Other statements regarding future product developments, and markets, including with respect to specific indications, and any other statements which are other than statements of historical fact. These statements involve risks but not limited to risks related to conducting pre-clinical studies and seeking IND regulatory approval for Brilacidin clinical trials; that prior test results may not be replicated in future studies and trials, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause the Company’s actual results and experience to differ materially from anticipated results and expectations expressed in these forward-looking statements. The Company has in some cases identified forward-looking statements by using words such as “anticipates,” “believes,” “hopes,” “estimates,” “looks,” “expects,” “plans,” “intends,” “goal,” “potential,” “may,” “suggest,” and similar expressions. Among other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements are the Company’s need for, and the availability of, substantial capital in the future to fund its operations and research and development; including the amount and timing of the sale of shares of common stock under securities purchase agreements; the fact that the Company’s licensee(s) may not successfully complete pre-clinical or clinical testing and the Company will not receive milestone payments, or the fact that the Company’s compounds may not successfully complete pre-clinical or clinical testing, or be granted regulatory approval to be sold and marketed in the United States or elsewhere. A more complete description of these risk factors is included in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to release publicly the results of any revisions to any such forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by applicable law or regulation.
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