ProMIS Forms Key Advisory Boards to Advance Its ALS, Alzheimer’s Therapies
ProMIS Neurosciences announced that it has established Business (BAB) and Scientific (SAB) advisory boards to advance the company’s work. ProMIS is developing its first products focused on more effective treatments of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).
“Our number one goal is to create the appropriate precision therapeutics and companion diagnostics to address the scourge of AD. We are delighted and encouraged by the outstanding quality and expertise of our two advisory boards and look forward to their insights and guidance,” Elliot Goldstein, ProMIS’ president and CEO, said in a press release.
ProMIS Neurosciences aims to apply its thermodynamic, computational discovery platform — ProMIS and Collective Coordinates – to predict novel targets, also known as Disease Specific Epitopes (DSEs), on the molecular surface of misfolded proteins, responsible for the amyloid fibrils thought to lead to neurodegenerative diseases. The company intends to develop new antibody therapeutics and specific companion diagnostics for both Alzheimer’s and ALS.
Members of the new Business Advisory Board, specialists in business management and biotechnology, monoclonal antibody design and manufacture, and diagnostic product development, are:
- Michael Higgins, MBA, is an entrepreneur-in-residence at Polaris Partners, director of Voyager Therapeutics, and Ironwood’s previous COO and CFO. He was also vice president of corporate finance and business development at Genzyme. Higgins has experience in business units including orphan diseases, and gene and cell therapy.
- Nigel Burns, PhD, has over two decades of biotech experience, particularly in the field of monoclonal antibodies for the treatment of chronic disease. Burns was Cambridge Antibody Technology’s previous senior vice president, and is the founder and CEO of Sweet Spot Therapeutics Ltd.
- Mara G. Aspinall, MBA, a diagnostic industry pioneer and GenePeeks’ executive chairwoman, was the former president and CEO of Ventana Medical Systems. She has wide experience in personalized medicine, computational genomics, and tissue-based cancer diagnostics.
“Precision medicine is leading to significantly improved outcomes in multiple cancers. I expect that the next area to see improvements in therapy due to precision medicine is neurodegenerative disease. ProMIS’ work to identify meaningful patient subsets in Alzheimer’s and ALS may be transformational to our understanding of how these diseases can be diagnosed and treated,” Aspinall said.
ProMIS’ Scientific Advisory Board members, a group of multidisciplinary experts in Alzheimer’s and ALS and specialists in prion-like misfolded proteins, are:
- Lary C. Walker, PhD, is Emory University Yerkes National Primate Research Center’s associate and research professor of Neurology. Walker’s research has focused on understanding the mechanisms by which AD-associated proteins, amyloid beta and tau, lead to pathogenic assemblies in vivo and how these interact with the brain.
- Neil R. Cashman, MD, is ProMIS Neurosciences’ CSO and a University of British Columbia professor of Medicine. A pioneer in the field of prion-like misfolded proteins, Cashman holds the Canada Research Chair in Neurodegeneration and Protein Misfolding Diseases and is UBC ALS Centre’s director. Cashman is an SAB co-chair.
- Todd E. Golde, MD, Ph., is director of the University of Florida’s Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease, where he runs a scientific discovery program to translate basic discoveries in neurodegenerative diseases into diagnostics and treatments. Golde also co-chairs the SAB.
ProMIS has also developed two proprietary technologies capable of identifying very low levels of misfolded proteins in a biological sample. It also owns exclusive rights to the genus patent relating to misfolded SOD1 in ALS, and currently has a preclinical monoclonal antibody therapeutic against this target.