Pneumagen Announces Scientific Advisory Board and Development Team Appointments
Leading Virology Experts Support Development of Neumifil for Viral Infections, Including COVID-19
16 Sept 2020 – St Andrews, Scotland – Pneumagen Ltd, focused on treating infectious diseases by targeting the human glycome, today announced completion of its new Scientific Advisory Board, with the addition of Dr Richard J. Webby at the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, USA, and Professor Jürgen Haas at the Edinburgh Medical School, UK.
The company also announces that Dr David Howat has been appointed as Development Director. Dr. Howat has run drug development in many small biotech/pharmaceutical companies, most recently at Haoma Medica Ltd and previously at Evgen Plc. During these projects he managed CMC, safety toxicology, regulatory, and clinical trial activities.
Neumifil is a first-in-class Carbohydrate Binding Modules (mCBMs), generated using the Company’s proprietary GlycoTarge™ platform. This unique modality binds to receptors that are used by pathogens to enter the respiratory airways, thereby preventing infection and avoiding resistance. It is being developed for the universal treatment of respiratory tract infections (RTIs) caused by Influenza Virus and Respiratory Syncytial Virus, as well as SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19.
Douglas Thomson, CEO of Pneumagen, said: “I am delighted that Richard and Jürgen have joined our Scientific Advisory Board, bringing a wealth of experience to support our ambitious development programme to test the safety and efficacy of Neumifil as a universal treatment for RTIs in humans, including COVID-19. I also welcome David to the team and thank Professor David Harrison for his sterling service supporting the company to date.”
Dr Webby said, “I have long been fascinated by influenza virus ecology, vaccination, and pathogenicity, and am excited to use my knowledge to help progress the outstanding science underpinning the development of Pneumagen’s portfolio in respiratory tract infections. This approach with Neumifil could provide particular benefit in high risk groups as a potential pan-viral treatment for RTIs including pandemic viruses, including COVID-19.”
Professor Haas, Head of Infection Medicine, and Professor of Viral Genomics, at Edinburgh Medical School said, “In my lab we focus on the viral host factors determining pathogenicity and susceptibility. The development of a range of effective treatments to combat coronaviruses is crucial. I am looking forward to working with Douglas and his team to develop Neumifil into a drug that could protect people against respiratory pathogens including emerging viruses with pandemic potential.”
The complete Pneumagen SAB now comprises Dr Webby, Professor Haas, Professor Moira Whyte at the University of Edinburgh, Professor Paul Crocker at the University of Dundee, and Sir John Skehel of the Royal Society and The Francis Crick Institute. The SAB is chaired by Professor Garry Taylor, recent Master of the University of St. Andrews. Professor David Harrison at the University of St Andrews, steps down from the SAB.