Shojaei brings over two and a half decades of experience in clinical pharmaceutical development
BALTIMORE, MD, October 8, 2021 – AsclepiX Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company using computational biology to identify potent peptide regulators of vascular and cellular homeostasis for the treatment of retinal and oncologic diseases, today announced the appointment of Dr. Amir Shojaei as Chief Scientific Officer, Executive Vice President, Clinical Development. Amir has built a career in life sciences as a leader with over two and a half decades of drug development experience, focused on the clinical development, registration and commercialization of biopharmaceuticals and biologics in multiple therapeutic areas.
“Integrins and recognition molecules play a significant role in normal human biology,” Dr. Shojaei said. “AsclepiX has identified numerous families of peptides that act as integrin regulators such as that in AXT107 (gersizangitide) with the potential to treat retinal diseases. I’m honored to be working with the AsclepiX team as we progress through phase 1/2a clinical studies in nAMD and DME and in expanding our development pipeline in ophthalmology and beyond.”
AsclepiX CEO, Robert Dempsey, said “I am truly excited to have Amir join AsclepiX given his unparalleled success advancing clinical development programs in ophthalmology.”
Prior to joining, Dr. Shojaei served as the CEO for TherOptix and Chief Development Officer overseeing clinical development and regulatory affairs at TearClear. Amir was Therapeutic Area Head of Ophthalmology at Shire/Takeda. He oversaw all aspects of clinical stage ophthalmic pipeline assets bringing Xiidra® from development to approval in the U.S. and in Canada, Mexico, Australia, Switzerland, South Korea, and the Gulf countries.
The lead clinical candidate, integrin regulating peptide AXT107 (gersizangitide), has a novel mechanism of action that inhibits neovascularization, reduces vascular permeability and suppresses inflammation.
AXT107 inhibits pro-angiogenic vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) and activates the vessel stabilizing receptor tyrosine kinase (Tie2), the two validated pathways for the treatment of retinal vascular diseases. Both pathways are mediated by the interaction of AXT107 interaction with VEGF co-receptors, integrin v3 and integrin 51. AXT107 self-assembles into a gel-like depot residing below the visual axis after intravitreal injection while releasing the active drug gradually over time.
The Tie2 effects of AXT107 complement those of the anti-VEGF action, potentially offering greater improvement in vision gains as well as reduction of vascular permeability and suppression of inflammation. Due to its long half-life and unique intravitreal self-assembling gel depot formation, AXT107 can potentially be a durable intravitreal injection, which could dramatically reduce the treatment burden associated with standard therapies. The IND for AXT107 was submitted in November 2020 and was cleared by the FDA in December 2020 triggering enrollment in two Phase 1/2a studies (AXT107-CS101, AXT107-CS102).
About AsclepiX Therapeutics, Inc.
AsclepiX Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company using computational biology to identify potent peptide regulators of vascular homeostasis with the lead candidate, AXT107, in retinal diseases. AsclepiX was founded by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine researchers, initially licensing their groundbreaking portfolio of vascular homeostatic peptides and technologies. AsclepiX has grown and matured over the years and is now led by a world-class team of experienced biomedical and pharmaceutical executives who are dedicated to advancing the clinical development of these novel therapeutics, that are poised to significantly extend their utility well beyond the capabilities of today’s therapies. For more information, please visit: www.asclepix.com
SOURCE: AsclepiX Therapeutics, Inc