Pulmatrix Adds Two Top Fungal Infection Experts to its Scientific Advisory Board
The world-leading experts will help accelerate the development of PUR1900, Pulmatrix's innovative inhaled drug for fungal infections in the lungs
LEXINGTON, Mass., March 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Pulmatrix, Inc. (NASDAQ: PULM), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative inhaled therapies to address serious pulmonary diseases, today announced that it has added two experts in the fields of allergic fungal disease, cystic fibrosis and asthma to its Scientific Advisory Board.
The two experts are:
"With our two new Scientific Advisory Board members, we've added two leading experts in fungal infections who both have significant experience developing therapeutic agents for these infections. Drs. Moss and Denning will be able to provide real time guidance on patients and clinical trial designs, allowing us to push one of our top drug candidates, PUR1900, through clinical development," said Pulmatrix's Chief Executive Officer, Robert W. Clarke, Ph.D.
"We believe Drs. Moss and Denning will be enormously helpful in accelerating the development of PUR1900," said Richard Boucher, MD, a current Scientific Advisory Board Member and Professor of Medicine and Director of the Cystic Fibrosis and Pulmonary Diseases Research and Treatment Center at the University of North Carolina (Marisco Lung Institute). "PUR1900 would be the first treatment that delivers an anti-fungal drug directly to the lungs, and should offer major benefits to cystic fibrosis patients and others with fungal lung infections."
Currently, many CF and asthma patients experience allergic reactions when their lungs become infected with Aspergillus fungus, which Dr. Denning has studied extensively and has founded a comprehensive online resource to track developments in the field. Doctors now try to treat those infections with an oral drug, itraconazole. But in more than half the patients, absorption from the gut is so low that not enough of the antifungal drug gets to the lungs through the bloodstream to fight the fungus. Systemic side effects are also a major problem.
"Pulmatrix is seeking to solve this problem by combining itraconazole with its dry powder iSPERSE technology," explained Dr. Denning. "That makes it possible for patients to easily inhale the drug into their lungs where it's needed—and to offer new hope to patients now suffering from serious Aspergillus infections. There are no inhaled antifungals on the market, and they are sorely needed. That's why so I'm excited about joining Pulmatrix's Scientific Advisory Board to help bring this important drug to the market."
Pulmatrix already has received both orphan drug status and a "Qualified Infectious Disease Product" (QIDP) designation for PUR1900 from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Now, the company is moving ahead with non-clinical safety testing and a Phase I trial of PUR1900 that we expect will lead to future clinical trials in patients with cystic fibrosis and severe asthma. "Based on my own experience with cystic fibrosis patients and severe asthmatics who suffer from allergic reactions to fungal infections, Pulmatrix's drug could make a real difference in people's lives," said Dr. Moss.
In addition to his research at the University of Manchester and his physician's practice at Manchester's University Hospitals, Dr. Denning has consulted with many pharmaceutical companies on antifungal drug discovery, including Merck, Pfizer, and Schering Plough. He has also founded two companies: F2G Ltd, an antifungal drug discovery company that spun out from Manchester University; and Myconostica, which develops molecular diagnostics for fungal disease.
Dr. Moss has consulted for the National Institutes of Health, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and a number of biopharmaceutical companies. At Stanford, his research group studied everything from the treatment of chronic airway diseases to allergic fungal lung disease, and he has published extensively in the areas of allergic fungal disease and cystic fibrosis.
William Duke, CFO
SOURCE Pulmatrix, Inc.