Ascentage Pharma, a global clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing apoptosis-targeted therapies for cancers and other diseases, today announced the formation of a Clinical Advisory Board (CAB) to provide strategic guidance to the Company as it advances its pipeline of novel, apoptosis-targeted therapies and next-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
The newly formed board will be chaired by the former CEO of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), Dr. Allen Lichter, who is joined by Dr. Shaomeng Wang, Ascentage's Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer, and the Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor in Medicine at the University of Michigan, among other internationally recognized clinical oncology researchers and specialists.
"I am pleased to welcome this group of highly respected industry leaders whose work has deeply influenced the treatment and management of cancer," said Dr. Wang, CSO of Ascentage. "Their expertise will be invaluable as we continue to advance our pipeline of clinical candidates aimed at targeting challenging but promising pathways such as Bcl-2/Bcl-xL, IAP and MDM2-p53."
Commented Dr. Lichter, Chairman of the CAB: "Since its founding, Ascentage has been pioneering the development of small molecule therapeutics for difficult-to-target protein-protein interactions with the goal of addressing a wide range of refractory or resistant cancers. I am looking forward to working closely with the management team and my esteemed colleagues on the CAB to realize the full potential of the Company's product portfolio and help bring meaningful treatments to cancer patients who are in need of new therapeutic options."
The CAB includes:
- AllenS. Lichter, M.D., FASCO, is a prominent leader in the field of oncology, having served as CEO of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) and the Conquer Cancer Foundation of ASCO from 2006-2016. He has been an ASCO member since 1980 and has held many prominent roles in the Society, including President and founding Chair of the Board of Governors of CancerLinQ—ASCO's health information technology platform. Prior to his tenure at ASCO, Dr. Lichter was dean of the University of Michigan Medical School (1998-2006) and the Chair and Professor of Radiation Oncology (1984-1998). At the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, he also served as Director of the Breast Oncology Program (1984 to 1991), and was the first Isadore Lampe Professor of Radiation Oncology, an endowed chair, and the Newman Family Professor of Radiation Oncology. Earlier in his career, Dr. Lichter served as Director of the Radiation Therapy Section of the National Cancer Institute's Radiation Oncology Branch. Dr. Lichter's research and development of three-dimensional treatment planning led to a Gold Medal from the American Society for Radiation Oncology, and he is an elected member of the National Academies of Medicine (NAM).
- Shaomeng Wang, Ph.D., is a Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Ascentage, and an esteemed Warner-Lambert/Parke-Davis Professor in Medicine at the University of Michigan. He is also a Co-founder of Ascenta Therapeutics. His pioneering research in drug design, synthesis, apoptosis, protein-protein interactions, and new computational methods for protein-drug interaction has enabled the development of Ascentage's pipeline of novel small molecule apoptosis-targeted compounds. Over the course of his career, Dr. Wang has published more than 200 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and more than 100 meeting abstracts, and is an inventor on more than 40 patents and patent applications. He also serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, and is on the editorial board for several other international journals.
- Paul A. Bunn, Jr., M.D., is the James Dudley Professor of Lung Cancer Research at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver and a founding director of the University of ColoradoCancer Center. He has over 30 years of experience in oncology research, and his studies in lung cancer have been instrumental in the treatment of the disease—specifically in identifying biomarkers of prognosis and therapy selection. Throughout his career, Dr. Bunn has been President of ASCO, IASLC, and AACI, chairman of the FDA Oncology Drug Advisory Committee, and Executive Director of the IASLC. He is the author of more than 300 articles in peer-reviewed journals, over 122 reviews and editorials, and 90 book chapters on lung cancer as well as Principal Investigator on numerous national and local therapeutic trials and for the prestigious SPORE grant in lung cancer.
- James O. Armitage, M.D., is the Joe Shapiro Chair for the Study of Oncology and Clinical Research at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in Omaha. An internationally recognized leading expert in non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Dr. Armitage played a critical role in advancing the field of bone marrow transplantation, launching one of the most successful transplant programs in the world for the treatment of blood cancers at UNMC. There, he held many leadership roles including Vice Chairman of the Department of Medicine, the Henry J. Lehnhoff Chairman in the Department of Internal Medicine, and Dean of the College of Medicine. Dr. Armitage formerly served as President of ASCO and as President of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (ASBMT). Dr. Armitage is board-certified in internal medicine, medical oncology, and hematology. He is a fellow of both the American and Royal Colleges of Physicians, a member of the National Cancer Advisory Board. He has authored or co-authored numerous articles, book chapters and abstracts, and currently serves on the editorial boards of several peer-reviewed journals.
- Arul Chinnaiyan, M.D., Ph.D., is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, the S.P. Hicks Endowed Professor of Pathology and Professor of Pathology and Urology at the University of Michigan Medical School, and a member of the Comprehensive Cancer Center and Bioinformatics Program. He is a board certified Clinical Pathologist and currently serves as Director of the Division of Pathology Research Informatics and Director of Cancer Bioinformatics. Throughout his career, he has made significant contributions to the scientific community's understanding of the molecular mechanisms of apoptosis. His seminal research in functional genomic, proteomic and bioinformatics approaches to studying cancer has validated several important biomarkers of prostate cancer and been instrumental in redefining the molecular basis of prostate and other common epithelial cancers. Dr. Chinnaiyan is the recipient of several prestigious awards including the Basic Science Research Award awarded by the University of Michigan Medical School Dean's Office and the AMGEN Outstanding Investigator Award and is also an elected member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians. Dr. Chinnaiyan is a member of the National Academies of Medicine (NAM).
About Ascentage Pharma Ascentage Pharma is a globally-focused, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel small molecule therapies for cancers, hepatitis B and age-related diseases. Based on breakthrough technology from the University of Michigan, the Company's expertise is in designing therapeutics that inhibit protein-protein interactions to restore apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in cancers. Ascentage has built a rich pipeline of six clinical candidates, including a novel, highly potent Bcl-2/Bcl-xL inhibitor, APG-1252, as well as candidates aimed at IAP and MDM2-p53 pathways, and next-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors. For more information, please visit www.ascentagepharma.com.