TORONTO, Feb. 23, 2012 /CNW/ - Amorfix Life Sciences, a product development company focused on diagnostics and therapeutics for misfolded protein diseases, today announced the Company has appointed Lynda Covello as Vice President of Strategic Alliances. Ms. Covello is a seasoned executive with more than 20 years experience in the biotech and biopharma sector where she has acted as consultant, counsel and senior executive. She is a recognized expert in managing intellectual property and licensing technology globally. Ms. Covello is a member of the Licensing Executives Society International (LESI) where she has held many portfolios, most recently that of chair of the LESI Standard Licensing Agreements Committee. She is a member of the National Knowledge and Intellectual Property Management Task Force in the U.S., and an instructor in its Executive IP Education programs. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto where she specialized in International Relations. She obtained her LL.B. and LL.M. from Osgoode Hall Law School.
"I am very pleased to have Lynda as a part of the management team to lead our efforts to establish strategic alliances and partnerships as we advance our preclinical pipeline of novel therapeutics and diagnostics," said Dr. Robert Gundel, Amorfix President and Chief Executive Officer. "Ms. Covello is perfectly suited to execute Amorfix's strategy to partner its technology with companies that have complimentary capabilities, expertise and resources that will allow the Company to advance many more programs in parallel and maximize the potential of successfully bringing new products to market."
About Amorfix's Diagnostic Programs:
The Company has developed a diagnostic test that measures aggregated Abeta, a recognized biomarker for Alzheimer's disease, in human cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The test can detect and measure aggregated Abeta in human CSF at early stages of the disease and this creates opportunities for more efficient screening of clinical trial patients and more effective trials.
Amorfix is seeking a partner with the capability to commercialize the diagnostic as a clinical screening tool and to provide assistance with further clinical development and eventual regulatory approval as a stand-alone or companion diagnostic for Alzheimer's disease.
The Company has initiated the development of a blood test to be used as a diagnostic tool for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) based on the work of Amorfix Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Neil Cashman and colleagues at the University of British Columbia demonstrating that misfolded SOD1 is present in the blood of ALS patients. The availability of a reliable blood test would represent an important advance in the management of this devastating disease, which currently lacks an unambiguous diagnostic.
About Amorfix's Therapeutic Programs:
The Company's cancer therapeutic program is aimed at developing antibodies against targets that are present only on cancer cells and thereby leave healthy cells alone. The Company currently has three active projects for the following targets: PrP, Fas and CD38 and expects to initiate in vivo proof of concept studies for the PrP target in the second quarter of 2012. The company has identified other targets that are associated with different forms of cancer and is interested in collaborating with partners to validate these targets.
The Company's ALS therapeutics program was partnered with Biogen Idec during Fiscal 2011. Biogen is now responsible for all future costs of development.
Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd. (TSX:AMF) is a product development company developing therapeutic products and diagnostic devices targeting misfolded protein diseases including Alzheimer's Disease (AD), cancers, and ALS. Amorfix utilizes its computational discovery platform, ProMIS™, to predict novel Disease Specific Epitopes ("DSEs") on the molecular surface of misfolded proteins. Cancer immunotherapies have in the past been directed against targets which are also present on normal cells, whereas Amorfix's innovative ProMIS platform identifies targets present only on cancer cells, retaining efficacy with improved safety. Amorfix's lead programs include therapeutics and companion diagnostics for cancers, antibodies and vaccines to DSEs in ALS, as well as AD and ALS diagnostic tests. Amorfix's proprietary Epitope Protection™ technology enables it to specifically identify very low levels of misfolded proteins in a biological sample. The Company's diagnostic programs include an ultrasensitive method for the detection of aggregated beta-Amyloid in brain tissue, CSF and blood from animal models of AD, months prior to observable amyloid formation and the development of a human screening test for AD and a blood test to diagnose ALS. For more information about Amorfix, visit www.amorfix.com.
The TSX has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. This information release may contain 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.
For further information:
Dr. Robert Gundel
President and Chief Executive Officer
Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd.
Tel: (416) 847-6957
Fax: (416) 847-6899
Acting Chief Financial Officer
Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd.
Tel: (416) 847-6926
Fax: (416) 847-6899