SAN ANTONIO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Phoenix Biotechnology Inc. has announced the formation of a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) comprised of eminent scientists whose collective expertise is oriented to drug development for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
The SAB advises the company on key research and development findings and opportunities.
Phoenix Biotech was formed in 2003 to develop promising agents with minimal or no side effects for targeted therapy of malignant tumor growth. The company has developed its PBI-05204 drug with a key ingredient being a patented supercritical carbon dioxide extract of Nerium oleander (the common oleander plant). A recently completed USFDA Open Label Phase I Trial of PBI-05204 in advanced cancer patients at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center has demonstrated that the drug binds to selected specific cellular tumor cell targets causing cellular downstream changes to certain signal transduction pathways and not to healthy cells.
Further, studies funded by Phoenix Biotech at Duke University have provided evidence that the neuroprotective activity of PBI-05204 shows directly that both oleandrin and the protective activity of PBI-05204 are blood brain barrier penetrant in a novel model for in vivo neuroprotection. The findings suggest clinical potential for the drug in the treatment of ischemic stroke and prevention of associated neuronal death.
Robert A. Newman, Ph.D., President and Chief Science Officer of Phoenix Biotech, and also serving as Chairman of the SAB, said, “We are honored that each of these extraordinarily distinguished research scientists has agreed to serve on our Scientific Advisory Board. Their involvement in and support of Phoenix Biotech’s drug development efforts are a strong vote of confidence in the direction we are taking and its potential.”
In addition to Dr. Newman, members of the SAB are: Donald C. Lo, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Drug Discovery and Associate Professor of Neurobiology at Duke University Medical Center; George Perry, Ph.D., Dean of the Colleges of Sciences, professor of biology and holder of the Semmes Foundation Distinguished University Chair in Neurobiology at the University of Texas at San Antonio; Jagan Sastry, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Immunology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center; and Peiying Yang, Ph.D., Associate Professor in the Department of Palliative, Rehabilitation and Integrative Medicine at M.D. Anderson.
Dr. Newman obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Connecticut and then served in postdoctoral positions at the Medical School of the University of Georgia as well as the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Vermont. The bulk of his career – 24 years – was spent at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC) in Houston, where he held the D. B. Lane Distinguished Professorship Chair. At MDACC he served as the founder and Co-Director of the Pharmaceutical Development Center and the institution's Analytical Center. He has published over 320 articles dealing with the preclinical and clinical pharmacology, toxicology and development of therapies for the prevention and treatment of malignant diseases.
Dr. Lo received his B.S. degree from the California Institute of Technology, his Ph.D. degree from Yale University and additional postdoctoral research training at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at University College London. He joined the Duke faculty in 1992, and in 1998 co-founded a biotech company, Cogent Neuroscience, Inc., focused on developing new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases of the brain including Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and stroke. Dr. Lo returned to Duke in 2002 to establish the Center for Drug Discovery, and has been engaged in basic science and drug discovery research for neurological diseases and brain cancer for over 25 years, with numerous past and ongoing collaborations with biotech companies and major pharmaceutical firms.
Dr. Perry is recognized in the field of Alzheimer disease research, where he has studied essentially every aspect of the disease, including amyloidosis, oxidative stress, cytoskeleton, metal homeostasis, cell cycle reentry, and mitochondria. For almost 20 years, Dr. Perry has been a strong advocate for greater diversity in ideas to move the field forward. He is distinguished as the top Alzheimer’s disease researcher by Expertscape with over 1,000 publications, one of the top 100 most-cited scientists in neuroscience and behavior, and one of the top 25 scientists in free radical research. Dr. Perry has been cited over 71,000 (H=132) times and is recognized as a Thompson-Reuters highly cited researcher. He is editor for numerous journals and is editor-in-chief for the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, the most cited and prolific journal in Alzheimer research.
With a personal focus on virology, Dr. Sastry and his research group at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center work in the broad areas of viral oncology and immunology with a concentration on understanding the biology, pathology and genetics of two viral diseases impacting human health: HPV-associated cancers and HIV-induced AIDS. He is contributing vital information to PBI’s understanding of the breadth and importance of PBI-05204 as a novel antiviral therapy. Dr. Sastry’s group has been testing the anti-HIV activity of various proprietary compounds from the oleander plant extract and showed for the first time anti-HIV activity of the Nerium oleander plant extract and demonstrated that this activity is related to the cardiac glycoside oleandrin with a unique mechanism of anti-HIV activity. He serves regularly as a review for federal grant applications at NIH.
Dr. Yang received her undergraduate and masters degrees in Pharmacy from the Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Following 18 months of study in the Department of Pharmaceutical Science at the University of Kentucky’s College of Pharmacy, she completed her Doctor degree in Nutritional Science from the University of Maine. Over the past several years, Dr. Yang has been engaged in translational research of traditional Chinese medicine, natural products (oleander, toad skin, sweet gum, sweet leaf tea), and bioactive lipids (omega-3 and omega-6 metabolism) in cancer treatment and prevention through both preclinical and clinical evaluations. Additionally, more recently her laboratory has engaged in understanding the molecular mechanisms of added sugar in breast tumorigenesis. She has published more than 100 peer reviewed articles.