HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aravive Biologics, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on development of treatments for cancer and fibrotic diseases, today announced two new appointments to the company’s scientific advisory board. Kimberly L. Blackwell, M.D., Vice President, Early Phase Oncology and Immuno-Oncology at Eli Lilly Corporation, and Greg Lemke, Ph.D., Franҫoise Gilot-Salk Professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, will join Albert C. Koong, M.D., Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology and the Dallas/Fort Worth Living Legend Endowed Professorship at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center as scientific and clinical advisors to Aravive.
“Each of these individuals offer considerable research and drug development expertise that will benefit Aravive as we move forward to explore the potential clinical benefit of our novel GAS6-AXL pathway inhibitor, AVB-S6-500, in a variety of tumor types including ovarian, breast, and pancreatic cancers,” said Ray Tabibiazar, M.D., Chairman of Aravive Biologics. “Dr. Lemke is a noted expert on GAS6 and AXL and the role they play in immune regulation, cancer, and virus infection, and Dr. Koong brings scientific expertise with respect to cancer therapies that address the tumor microenvironment and on the development of biomarkers that are predictive of clinical outcomes. Dr. Blackwell brings considerable oncology drug development expertise and is one of the nation’s leading experts on breast cancer. We are very pleased to welcome all three of these outstanding experts to the Aravive Scientific Advisory Board.”
Kimberly L. Blackwell, M.D.
Dr. Blackwell is Vice President, Early Phase Oncology and Immuno-Oncology at Eli Lilly Corporation, and Adjunct Professor of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center. One of the nation’s leading breast cancer researchers, Dr. Blackwell has played a major role in developing therapies that represent revolutionary non-chemotherapy based approaches for treating breast cancer. This work led to Dr. Blackwell’s inclusion on TIME magazine’s 2013 list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Her work contributed to the development of lapatinib and T-DM1 for the treatment of HER2+ breast cancer. Her recent research interests include triple negative breast cancer and cancer that has spread to the brain. Dr. Blackwell has served as the principal or co-principal investigator for over 50 cancer clinical trials, including two registration studies for biosimilar G-CSF. After 24 years at Duke Cancer Institute, she transitioned to the role of Vice President of Early Phase Oncology and Immuno-Oncology at Eli Lilly where she oversees the clinical development teams for promising early stage therapeutics.
Greg Lemke, Ph.D.
Dr. Lemke is Françoise Gilot-Salk Professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, where he is a member of the Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory and Co-Director of the Immunobiology and Microbial Pathogenesis Laboratory. He is also Adjunct Professor of Neurosciences, and Biomedical Sciences, at the University of California San Diego. He joined the Salk Institute in 1985, where he has served as Chair of the Faculty on three occasions. Among his awards, he is a former Pew Scholar and Rita Allen scholar, a Javits awardee of the NINDS/NIH, and an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His lab has made major contributions to science’s understanding of the role that receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) and their ligands, including AXL and GAS6, play in mammalian development and physiology. His laboratory currently studies how this family functions in immune regulation, virus infection, and cancer.
Albert C. Koong, M.D., Ph.D.
Dr. Koong is the Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology and holds the Dallas/Fort Worth Living Legend Endowed Professorship at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. He is a Fellow of the American College of Radiology (FACR) and a Fellow of ASTRO (FASTRO). His clinical research interests are focused on the application of highly targeted radiotherapy techniques for gastrointestinal malignancies, particularly on the use of stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT)/stereotactic ablative radiotherapy (SABR) for pancreatic and liver cancer. His NIH/NCI funded laboratory studies the role of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in tumor growth and metastases. His major laboratory research focus is to develop therapies that target signaling pathways regulated by the tumor microenvironment and to develop biomarkers that are predictive of clinical outcomes.
About Aravive Biologics
Aravive Biologics is a privately held biopharmaceutical company developing novel, highly selective therapies designed to treat serious cancers and certain fibrotic diseases. The company’s lead program is focused on the GAS6-AXL pathway. Aravive Biologics has generated strong preclinical data for its lead drug candidate in a variety of cancer models. The company is based in Houston, Texas, and receives support from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). For more information, please visit our website at http://www.aravive.com.
Forward Looking Statement
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements contained in this press release include, without limitation, statements regarding the contributions to be derived from Drs. Blackwell, Lemke and Koong. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve a number of unknown risks, assumptions, uncertainties and factors that are beyond Aravive Biologics’ control, including the ability of the Phase 1 study to demonstrate proof-of-mechanism for the company’s lead drug candidate, the potential of the inhibition of the GAS6-AXL signaling pathway to overcome tumor resistance and increase the efficacy of a variety of anticancer agents, the potential of GAS6/AXL inhibition as a strategy for the treatment of certain fibrotic diseases, the potential of AVB-S6-500 in a variety of solid tumors and acute myeloid leukemia, the ability of AVB-S6-500 to treat cancer, the ability of AVB-S6-500 to demonstrate safety and efficacy, as well as clinical results that are consistent with prior in vitro results, the ability to enroll patients and complete clinical trials on time and achieve desired results and benefits, our ability to obtain regulatory approvals for commercialization of product candidates or to comply with ongoing regulatory requirements, regulatory limitations relating to our ability to promote or commercialize our product candidates for specific indications, acceptance of our product candidates in the marketplace and the successful development, marketing or sale of products, our ability to maintain our license agreements, the continued maintenance and growth of our patent estate, our ability to establish and maintain collaborations, our ability to obtain or maintain the capital or grants necessary to fund our research and development activities, and our ability to retain our key scientists or management personnel. All forward-looking statements are based on Aravive Biologics’ expectations and assumptions as of the date of this press release. Actual results may differ materially from these forward-looking statements. Except as required by law, Aravive Biologics expressly disclaims any responsibility to update any forward-looking statement contained herein, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.