Maastricht, The Netherlands, 22 May, 2014 – Cristal Therapeutics, today announced the appointments of Prof. Dr. Rob Liskamp, Prof. Dr. Twan Lammers, Prof. Dr. Alberto Gabizon, Dr. Maninder Hora and Dr. William Zamboni to its new Scientific Advisory Board. Cristal Therapeutics is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics against cancer and other diseases, such as chronic inflammatory disorders, by using its patented CriPec® platform.
Prof. Dr. Rob Liskamp is professor and chair of Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Glasgow (Scotland), while maintaining a part-time appointment at Utrecht University as professor of Molecular Medicinal Chemistry. His research interests include synthesis of biologically active peptides and peptide mimics as well as development of protein mimics toward construction of synthetic vaccines and synthetic antibodies.
Prof. Dr. Twan Lammers is professor and head of the department of Nanomedicine and Theranostics at the Institute for Experimental Molecular Imaging at RWTH Aachen University (Germany) and at the Helmholtz Institute for Biomedical Engineering. Since 2012, he has also been appointed at the Department of Targeted Therapeutics at the University of Twente. His primary research interests are drug targeting to tumours, innovative image-guided drug monitoring and tumour-targeted combination therapies. Secondary areas of interest include drug targeting to inflammatory lesions and to the brain, and anatomical, functional and molecular imaging of tumour angiogenesis and metastasis.
Prof. Dr. Alberto Gabizon, is Professor of Oncology (Shaare Zedek Medical Center, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem), President and founder of LipoMedix Pharmaceuticals and a renowned scientist and clinician in the field of nanomedicine and cancer therapy. His clinical and research contributions in the field of liposomes and targeting therapy of cancers have been recognized by various awards. As co-inventor and co-developer of Doxil®, a smart chemotherapy “drug carrier” with tumor-targeting properties and important safety advantages, Prof. Gabizon is one of the few scientists intimately familiar with the successful development and the clinical implementation of nanomedicinal drugs.
Dr. Maninder Hora, is Senior Vice President, Pharmaceutical Development & Manufacturing Operations of Nektar Therapeutics, headquartered in San Francisco, California, and Board Member of Nektar India, located in Hyderabad. He is proficient in biologics, small molecules, drug delivery systems and drug-device combination products. He is a key player in the successful registration of 10 drugs and vaccines with the FDA or EMA, and in filing of applications for over 50 unique clinical programs. He has 25+ years of experience in biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry in positions of leadership in research, technical development and corporate governance.
Dr. William Zamboni is associate professor at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy and Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He is also the Director of the Translational Oncology and Nanoparticle Drug Development Initiative Lab. His research interests focus on the application of pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, and pharmacogenetic principles in the optimisation of the nanoparticulate chemotherapeutic treatment of cancer, including translational development and patient stratification scenarios.
“We welcome the unparalleled clinical and research experience that professors Liskamp, Lammers, Gabizon, Hora and Zamboni bring to the Cristal Therapeutics’ Scientific Advisory Board. Together they represent a major information resource for Cristal Therapeutics, that will play an important role in both our development programs and our plans related to product commercialization as well as licensing and partnership opportunities,” said Cristianne Rijcken, CSO of Cristal Therapeutics.
Recent financing round
In December 2014, Cristal Therapeutics completed a financing round of over €6 million which includes investments from new and existing investors and a national innovation fund. Venture capital investor Chemelot Ventures joins as a new shareholder and existing investors Thuja Capital, BioGeneration Ventures, Nedermaas, Utrecht University Holding and Beheer Innovatiefonds Provincie Limburg also contributed. The financing is used to launch the first clinical study of Cristal Therapeutics’ most advanced therapy, CriPec docetaxel, to be initiated in Q2 2015. If successful, this will enable chemotherapy to proceed more selectively and effectively, with fewer side effects.