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KENSINGTON, Md. and SHORASHIM, Israel, May 06, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Galimedix Therapeutics, which is developing new solutions for ophthalmic and neurodegenerative diseases, today announces the appointment of Thomas Hohman, Ph.D., an established industry leader who oversaw the development of multiple ophthalmology therapies for more than 30 years, to its Board of Directors.
“We are both enthusiastic and honored that Dr. Hohman has chosen to join our Board of Directors, bringing with him an unparalleled wealth of industry experience that we anticipate he will leverage into guiding us to creating new and lasting relationships within the ophthalmology community that will ultimately benefit patients suffering from glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, as well as other neurodegenerative conditions,” commented Dr. Andrew Pearlman, CEO of Galimedix.
Thomas Hohman, Ph.D. was formerly head of Retina Discovery and vice president of Retina Translation Medicine at Allergan, where he was responsible for discovering and advancing new treatments for retinal diseases. Prior to retiring, his efforts at Allergan focused on identifying biomarkers and methods quantifying retina functional changes that predict disease progression. These efforts formed the basis for clinical interventional studies of novel treatments for exudative age-related macular degeneration and geographic atrophy. Prior to his tenure at Allergan, Dr. Hohman held leadership positions at Alcon Research as vice president of Retinal Research and Development, and at Novartis as disease area section head for Ophthalmology Clinical Research and Development.
“Striving to preserve vision in degenerative retinal diseases has been my passion for decades. I am extremely pleased to join the Galimedix team in their effort to develop a groundbreaking new class of therapeutics that will help people whose vision is at risk,” added Dr. Hohman.
GAL-101 is a proprietary compound designed to prevent the formation of all forms of toxic amyloid beta oligomers, by binding with high affinity to the misfolded amyloid beta monomers before they can form toxic soluble oligomers. These then rapidly conglomerate into amorphous, non-beta-sheet formations, which we call “clusters.” These “clusters” are innocuous. Interestingly, once formed, the “clusters” have shown the capacity to collect additional misfolded amyloid beta monomers even in the absence of additional MRZ-99030 molecules, through a self-propagation mechanism. This novel “trigger effect,” protected by Galimedix’s patent portfolio, results in a sustained action effect lasting far longer than the time a single administration of the drug remains at therapeutic levels in the retina, potentially allowing for a convenient sustained inter-treatment interval application regimen for patients. Thus GAL-101 drops may potentially provide sustained prevention of formation of toxic amyloid beta oligomers, clearing the system of these pathological factors, which has been shown in animal studies to lead to gradual removal of toxic beta amyloid deposits.
Based in the United States and Israel, Galimedix is a Phase 2 ophthalmic pharmaceutical company with a novel, patented small molecule drug with a novel MOA addressing glaucoma and dry AMD utilizing an eye drops delivery platform, which may offer significant safety and compliance advantages over commonly used direct ocular injections. Eye drops are often used to deliver steroids and other small molecules, like GAL-101, in retinal disease, and studies with Galimedix’s eye drops in monkeys have demonstrated more than 30 times predicted therapeutic levels quickly reaching the retina of the closest model to humans. Compelling efficacy data from GAL-101 eye drops in relevant animal models have demonstrated more than 90 percent neuroprotection, and the compound is supported by several leading experts in glaucoma and in dry AMD who also support the design of the company’s proposed Phase 2 studies.
Galimedix has exclusive worldwide license from Tel Aviv University, following return of license by a German pharma (Merz) due to management change and strategic pivot away from neuroscience. In the meantime, key members of the Merz Pharma team that developed the compound are now working with or for the company. The license also includes a next generation, potentially superior version, intended for oral delivery, with potential to treat retinal and other CNS diseases.