Amylon appoints Art Levin to supervisory board; expands scientific advisory board
Cambridge, Massachusetts, January 17th 2019 – Amylon Therapeutics, a biotechnology company using RNA modulation to target neurological disorders, announces the appointment of Art Levin as its new supervisory board member, as well as the expansion of its scientific advisory board with the appointment of Benny Sorensen and Matthew During.
Amylon is pleased to announce the appointment of Art Levin, PhD, to the supervisory board. Dr. Levin is considered one of the most influential thinkers in the area of antisense oligonucleotide therapeutics. He has more than two decades of experience in RNA drug development from discovery through drug registration, both in large pharma and biotech companies. He has been key to the development of numerous oligonucleotide drug candidates, including the first approved antisense medicines, and the first microRNA-targeted therapeutic in clinical trials. Dr. Levin currently serves as Executive Vice President, Research and Development at Avidity Biosciences; previously he held that position at miRagen Therapeutics. Prior to that he held senior drug development roles at Ionis Pharmaceuticals and Santaris Pharma. Dr. Levin received a doctorate in toxicology from the University of Rochester and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Muhlenberg College.
“The recent successes in RNA therapeutics have shown us the true potential of this technology and it is our obligation to pursue this to its full extent,” said Thomas de Vlaam, Founder and CEO of Amylon. “If we want to take on the CNS challenge and really make a difference for patients, we need experienced visionaries by our side who can guide us. Having Art join the board, as well as Benny and Matt as scientific advisors, will allow us to push the boundaries of our technology and enter a new era of CNS therapeutics.”
Amylon is currently developing a candidate drug to treat Katwijk’s disease, officially known as Hereditary Cerebral Hemorrhage with Amyloidosis of the Dutch type (HCHWA-D). Katwijk’s disease is a rare form of hemorrhagic stroke that causes fatal brain bleeds at middle age and is currently untreatable. It is the genetic subtype of Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy (CAA), which is considered the largest cause of brain bleeds in the elderly.
Scientific Advisory Board
Amylon’s SAB will be expanded with the addition of Benny Sorensen and Matthew During. They will join current board members Dr. Thomas Wisniewski and Dr. Philip Scheltens and assist Amylon’s pipeline development with a broad range of experience in industry, academia, and clinical development. With the addition of the two new members, Amylon’s SAB now exists of:
Benny Sorensen MD, PhD, has more than 15 years of experience in clinical and translational research and management, having fulfilled senior roles at Alnylam and Baxter as well as being an Honorary Lecturer at Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital & King’s College London School of Medicine, where he led basic translational research and advancement of several clinical trials across Phases I, II, and III. He currently serves as Vice President and Head of Clinical Development at Codiak Biosciences.
Matthew During, M.D., D.Sc., is President, CSO and founder at Ovid Therapeutics. He is a MIT, Harvard and Yale-trained MD/PhD neuroscientist. Dr. During pioneered the use of viral vectors for neurological disorders and was the first to carry out gene transfer into the brain of a pediatric patient. He was the Principal Investigator and the FDA sponsor for two pioneering gene therapy studies, including the first and only successful Phase 2 trial of a biological therapy for Parkinson’s disease. He has published over 225 articles, with many in the world’s most prestigious journals including Nature, Science, Cell, Nature Medicine, Nature Genetics, the Lancet and Science Translational Medicine. He is the inventor on over 50 patents and patent applications. He previously co-founded Merlin Pharmaceuticals, Neurologix and NightstaRx.
Thomas Wisniewski MD is the director of Alzheimer’s disease Center at NYU School of medicine. Dr. Wisniewski obtained his medical degree at Kings College School of Medicine in the UK. He did his Neurology and Neuropathology Residencies at NYU and Columbia-Presbyterian, respectively. He is a board-certified Neurologist and Neuropathologist, who runs an active research laboratory focusing on neurodegenerative disorders, in particular the mechanisms which drive Amyloid deposition in Alzheimer’s and prion related diseases.
Philip Scheltens MD, PhD, is director and founder of the Alzheimer Center VUmc Amsterdam. In 2011 he was also appointed scientific director at ‘Pearlstring Institute’ (Parelsnoer Instituut) and appointed member of ‘Royal Academy of Arts and Sciences’ (Koninklijke Academie van Kunsten en Wetenschappen). Under his supervision more than 50 theses appeared and there are more than 665 publications to his name. He is active in many fields and is the initiator of the ‘Deltaplan Dementia’ (Deltaplan Dementie).
Amylon Therapeutics is a platform biopharmaceutical company, based in Cambridge, MA and the Netherlands, that uses RNA Modulation Technology to target orphan disorders of the Central Nervous System (CNS). RNA Modulation Technology prevents or alters toxic protein formation by targeting splicing of the pre-mRNA. Amylon is led by founder, Thomas de Vlaam, complemented by a scientific board of experienced scientists and biotech veterans. As a spin-off from the publicly-traded ProQR Therapeutics, Amylon enjoys a wealth of knowledge and experience through its shareholders and network.
AT-010 is a first-in-class RNA-based oligonucleotide that induces splicing modulation in the mature Amyloid Precursor Protein mRNA resulting in a protein that lacks the aggregation prone Beta-amyloid peptide.
About Katwijk’s disease/HCHWA-D
Hereditary Cerebral Hemorrhage with Amyloidosis of the Dutch type (HCHWA-D), more commonly known as Katwijk’s disease, is the genetic subtype of CAA, in which a point mutation leads to the accelerated onset of disease. The condition is characterized by a progressive loss of intellectual function (dementia), stroke, and other neurological problems starting in mid-adulthood. Most affected individuals die within a decade after signs and symptoms first appear, and after the onset the quality of life diminishes quickly and severely. There is currently no intervention available nor in development to battle the cause and/or symptoms of HCHWA-D.
ProQR Therapeutics N.V. (Nasdaq: PRQR) is dedicated to changing lives through the creation of transformative RNA medicines for the treatment of severe genetic rare diseases such as Leber’s congenital amaurosis 10, Usher syndrome type 2, and dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. Since its inception in 2012, ProQR has invested significantly in developing innovative RNA therapies that has led to an extensive pipeline in multiple therapeutic areas. In 2017, one of these programs focused on CNS disorders was spun out into Amylon Therapeutics. For more information about ProQR, please visit the company’s website.