SAN MATEO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Afferent Pharmaceuticals, a leader in the development of small molecule compounds for the treatment of poorly managed and common neurogenic disorders, today announced the appointments of Prabha N. Ibrahim, Ph.D., as chief technology officer and Michelle Carpenter, J.D., RAC, as vice president of regulatory affairs and project management. The Company is expanding its executive team as it advances its lead program and first-in-class drug candidate, AF-219, to late-stage clinical development and potential registration. AF-219 is a selective, non-narcotic, and orally administered P2X3 antagonist that targets the mechanism by which certain nerve fibers become hyper-sensitized and can lead to chronic and debilitating symptoms.
"We are delighted to welcome Prabha and Michelle to our team. Each of these individuals is highly accomplished in their respective areas of expertise, having made key contributions to product development programs resulting in regulatory approvals and market introduction of innovative medicines," said Kathleen Sereda Glaub, chief executive officer of Afferent Pharmaceuticals. "Their experience will be invaluable to Afferent as we continue to accelerate our lead development program and further leverage our industry-leading platform for P2X3 antagonists.”
Dr. Ibrahim will be responsible for directing manufacturing of drug supplies, from initial scale up to registration and commercial supplies, as well as management of Afferent’s intellectual property portfolio, while Ms. Carpenter will be responsible for global regulatory affairs as well as project management for the Company’s development stage programs.
Afferent is currently conducting a Phase 2b lower-dose escalation study with AF-219 in chronic cough patients. Top-line data from this study are expected in the first quarter of 2016. Additionally, a 12-week Phase 2b trial with AF-219 in chronic cough in the United States and United Kingdom is planned. Further, the Company recently announced initiation of a Phase 2 clinical trial with AF-219 in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients (IPF) with cough.
Dr. Ibrahim brings more than 23 years of experience in drug discovery and development, having served in a number of senior leadership positions at Plexxikon Inc., most recently as senior vice president of chemistry and non-clinical development. During her tenure, Dr. Ibrahim played a key role in Plexxikon’s scaffold-based drug discovery efforts for a variety of protein family targets. She was instrumental in the discovery and development of Zelboraf®, the company’s first oncology drug approved for metastatic melanoma, and pexidartinib, which is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials for pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS).
Earlier in her career, Dr. Ibrahim held the positions of senior research scientist and group leader at CV Therapeutics, Inc., and research scientist at Amgen. She earned her Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry from the University of Victoria and was a Welch Foundation Fellow at Rice University. She received her M. Sc. Degree from The American College, Madurai, India, and her B.Sc. degree from RDM College, Sivaganga, India.
Ms. Carpenter brings 25 years of biopharmaceutical experience in regulatory strategy and operations in support of drug development and commercialization. She possesses a proven track record for obtaining global regulatory approvals, particularly in the respiratory field. Throughout her career, she has had responsibility for regulatory affairs, quality assurance, project management, product launch teams and clinical operations.
Prior to joining Afferent, Ms. Carpenter held senior positions at Acucela, a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing novel treatments for ophthalmic diseases, Dey Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Merck KGaA, Dow Pharmaceuticals and Oculus Innovative Sciences. She is an instructor for the University of California, Santa Cruz Bioscience Program. Ms. Carpenter earned her J.D. degree from Golden Gate University School of Law and her B.A. degree from University of California, Santa Barbara.
About Afferent Pharmaceuticals
Afferent Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage biotechnology company and leader in the development of novel drugs for the treatment of a range of neurogenic disorders. These disorders affect millions of patients who suffer from chronic respiratory and urologic sensory pathologies as well as chronic pain and cardiovascular disorders, and who have limited, if any, treatment options. These chronic pathologies arise when certain nerves become hyper-sensitized as a result of inflammation, distress, infection or tissue injury, which may remain chronically sensitized for months and even years.
Afferent is developing a portfolio of compounds that selectively block P2X3, which plays a key role in the sensitization of these nerves. Afferent’s lead molecule, AF-219, is in Phase 2 clinical development for the treatment of chronic cough. For more information on the company, please visit Afferent’s website at www.afferentpharma.com.