ProMIS Neurosciences appoints renowned neuroscientist, Dr. Rudolph Tanzi, as Chair of Scientific Advisory Board
TORONTO and CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 12, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ProMIS Neurosciences, Inc. (TSX: PMN); (OTCQB: ARFXF), a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of antibody therapeutics selectively targeting toxic oligomers implicated in the development of neurodegenerative diseases, today announced the appointment of Rudolph Tanzi, Ph.D, as Chair of the Company’s scientific advisory board (SAB). Dr. Tanzi is the Joseph P. and Rose F. Kennedy Professor of Neurology at Harvard University and Vice-Chair of Neurology, Director of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit, and Co-Director of the Henry and Allison McCance Center for Brain Health at Massachusetts General Hospital.
“Dr. Rudy Tanzi has been a valuable member of our scientific advisory board for years, and we are thrilled that he has agreed to accept the Chairman’s role as we work to expand our portfolio of potential best in class products,” stated Eugene Williams, ProMIS Executive Chairman. “As an expert neuroscientist in the field of neurodegenerative disorders, with over three decades of outstanding research accomplishments in Alzheimer’s, ALS, and other diseases, Dr. Tanzi can help us fully develop the potential of our portfolio, capitalizing on the recent strong financial support from a Boston-based group of investors.”
Commenting on the appointment, Dr. Tanzi stated: “I am delighted to take on this new role with the ProMIS SAB. I have been impressed with the progress of the scientific portfolio, based on ProMIS’ unique technology platform, that continues to create potential antibody therapies highly selective for the toxic forms of proteins. I look forward to advising ProMIS Neurosciences as the Company progresses its innovative programs into the clinic, including PMN310 in Alzheimer’s disease.”
Dr. Rudolph Tanzi is a neuroscientist and geneticist with scientific expertise in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and brain health. He is one of the world’s leading scientists in research aimed at preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease. His research studies and books have also focused on preserving and promoting brain health. In his research achievements, Dr. Tanzi served on the team that was the first to find a disease gene (Huntington’s disease) using human genetic markers, helping to launch the field of neurogenetics. Dr. Tanzi went on to identify all three early-onset familial AD genes: the amyloid precursor protein and presenilins 1 and 2. As leader of the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund Alzheimer’s Genome Project, he has identified several other AD-related genes, including the first shown to causing neuroinflammation in AD (CD33). Dr. Tanzi also uncovered the Wilson’s disease gene and several other neurological disease-related genes.
Dr. Tanzi and his team have used AD genes and human stem cells to create “Alzheimer’s-in-a-Dish” - a three-dimensional human stem cell-derived neural culture system that was the first to recapitulate both pathological hallmarks of AD: plaques and tangles. This model has made drug screening for AD considerably faster and more efficient. Using this system, Dr. Tanzi has developed several promising therapeutic candidates for AD including gamma secretase modulators aimed at beta-amyloid pathology. Most recently, Dr. Tanzi and his team have discovered that beta-amyloid may play a role in the innate immune system of the brain operating as an anti-microbial peptide, suggesting a possible role for infection in the etiology and pathogenesis of AD.
Dr. Tanzi has published over 600 research papers and has received the highest awards in his field, including the Metropolitan Life Foundation Award, Potamkin Prize, Ronald Reagan Award, Silver Innovator Award, and the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award, the top national award for invention and innovation. He serves on dozens of editorial boards and scientific advisory boards and was named to TIME magazine’s list of TIME100 Most Influential People in the World. He also co-authored the books Decoding Darkness, and the three international bestsellers, Super Brain, Super Genes, and The Healing Self. Dr. Tanzi is also a musician who professionally records and performs (keyboards), most recently with Joe Perry and Aerosmith.
About the ProMIS Scientific Advisory Board
The ProMIS SAB brings together a multidisciplinary group of specialists in Alzheimer's disease and neurodegenerative disease along with experts in neurotoxic, prion-like misfolded proteins. In addition to Dr. Tanzi, the current members of the Company’s SAB include:
- Neil R. Cashman, MD is Chief Science Officer at ProMIS Neurosciences and Professor of Medicine at the University of British Columbia, where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Neurodegeneration and Protein Misfolding Diseases and serves as the Director of the UBC ALS Centre. Dr. Cashman is recognized as a pioneer in the field of prion-like misfolded proteins and their role in development of neurodegenerative diseases, in particular ALS and AD. Neil Cashman is co-chair of the SAB;
- Sharon Cohen, MD is a trained behavioral neurologist and former speech language pathologist. Her memory clinic and dementia clinical trials program at Toronto Memory Programme are the largest and most active in Canada and have contributed substantially to patient care and to global clinical trial cohorts. Through her commitment to knowledge translation and her passion for clinically meaningful outcomes, Dr. Cohen provides a valuable perspective which places the patient at the center of Alzheimer’s drug development programs;
- Hans Frykman MD, PhD, is the CEO and medical director of BC Neuroimmunology Lab and Neurocode Labs. BC Neuroimmunology lab has a 35-year history of delivering highly specific clinical neuroimmunology testing to the North American marketplace. The lab is a technology leader and is academically collaborating with several leading centers in Europe and USA. Neurocode labs is Canada’s first and only clinical whole exome sequencing facility. It has a particular focus in seizure disorder, cardiac sequencing and sequencing of the neonate. Dr. Frykman is a clinical assistant professor of medicine at University of British Columbia. Dr. Frykman received his postgraduate medical training at Karolinska University Hospital, Mayo Clinic, University of Minnesota, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and University of British Columbia. Dr Frykman received his medical degree from Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, PhD in Bio-organic chemistry from Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and MSc in Chemical Engineering from Chalmers University in Gothenburg;
- Michelle L. Hastings, PhD is Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy and Director of the Center for Genetic Diseases at the Chicago Medical School, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science. Dr. Hastings’ expertise is in RNA biology and antisense technology. Her lab is leading advances in the field of RNA splicing and how the process can be harnessed to treat disease. Dr. Hastings has utilized small molecules and antisense oligonucleotides to modulate aberrant splicing associated with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), Usher syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Batten disease and cystic fibrosis. She received her Ph.D. at Marquette University and was a post-doctoral fellow at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory;
- William C. Mobley, MD, PhD is Associate Dean for Neurosciences Initiatives, Distinguished Professor of Neurosciences, Florence Riford Chair for Alzheimer Disease at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and the university’s Executive Director of the Down Syndrome Center for Research and Treatment. Dr. Mobley’s research focuses on the neurobiology of neuronal dysfunction in developmental and age-related disorders of the nervous system;
- C. Warren Olanow, MD has authored more than 300 publications primarily related to Parkinson’s disease and neurodegeneration. He is the previous Henry P. and Georgette Goldschmidt Professor and Chairman of the Department of Neurology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and is presently Professor Emeritus in the Department of Neurology and in the Department of Neuroscience. He also serves as Chief Executive Officer of CLINTREX, a pharmaceutical advisory firm that has designed numerous clinical trials in neurodegenerative disease for the pharmaceutical industry;
- Andre Strydom, MD, PhD, is a professor in the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, and Honorary Consultant psychiatrist, South London and the Maudsley NHS Trust. His current projects and collaborations include the LonDownS consortium, funded by the Wellcome Trust/ MRC, to study the neurobiology of Alzheimer’s Disease in Down syndrome to understand the underlying factors that may influence variation in age of onset of symptoms. His research in Down syndrome includes investigation of biomarkers of cognitive decline including those related to excess amyloid production, oxidative stress, and neurodegeneration. His group also conducts neuroimaging studies using high-density EEG, MRI and fNIRS. He has been an investigator on clinical trials of new drug treatment options in Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome and autism;
- Dr. David Wishart is a Distinguished University Professor in the Departments of Biological Sciences and Computing Science at the University of Alberta. He also holds adjunct appointments with the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences and with the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. He has been with the University of Alberta since 1995. Dr. Wishart has been studying protein folding and misfolding for more than 30 years using a combination of computational and experimental approaches. These experimental approaches include NMR spectroscopy, circular dichroism, fluorescence spectroscopy, electron microscopy, protein engineering and molecular biology. The computational methods include molecular dynamics, agent-based modeling, bioinformatics and machine learning. Over the course of his career, Dr. Wishart has published more than 430 scientific papers covering many areas of protein science including structural biology, protein metabolism and computational biochemistry. These papers have been cited more than 78,000 times. Dr. Wishart has been awarded research grants totaling more than $130 million from a number of funding agencies including CIHR, NSERC, NIH, Genome Canada, CFI, NRC, APRI, PrioNET, PENCE and Compute Canada. Dr. Wishart currently co-directs The Metabolomics Innovation Centre (TMIC), Canada’s national metabolomics laboratory. Dr. Wishart was awarded a Lifetime Honorary Fellowship by the Metabolomics Society in 2014 and elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2017. Dr. Wishart has been identified as one of the world’s most highly cited scientists for each of the past 7 years.
About ProMIS Neurosciences, Inc.
ProMIS Neurosciences, Inc. is a development stage biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing antibody therapeutics selectively targeting toxic oligomers implicated in the development and progression of neurodegenerative diseases, in particular Alzheimer’s disease (AD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Parkinson’s disease (PD). The Company’s proprietary target discovery engine is based on the use of two complementary techniques. The Company applies its thermodynamic, computational discovery platform -ProMIS™ and Collective Coordinates - to predict novel targets known as Disease Specific Epitopes on the molecular surface of misfolded proteins. Using this unique approach, the Company is developing novel antibody therapeutics for AD, ALS and PD. ProMIS is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, with offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts. ProMIS is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol PMN, and on the OTCQB Venture Market under the symbol ARFXF.
For further information about ProMIS Neurosciences, please consult the Company’s website at: www.promisneurosciences.com
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The TSX has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. This information release contains certain forward-looking information. Such information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those implied by statements herein, and therefore these statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results. All forward-looking statements are based on the Company's current beliefs as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to it as well as other factors. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Due to risks and uncertainties, including the risks and uncertainties identified by the Company in its public securities filings, actual events may differ materially from current expectations. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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Released May 12, 2021