WAYNE, Pa., May 11, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Paul Changelian, Ph.D., Vice President, Biology, Aclaris Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACRS), will speak at the 2018 American Hair Research Summit on “Preclinical to Clinical Translation of JAK Kinase Inhibitors" on May 15. The meeting is organized by the American Hair Research Society (AHRS) and will take place May 14-16 in Orlando, Florida.
Dr. Changelian will review the history of drug discovery targeting Janus kinase (JAK) enzymes. JAK inhibitors initially were conceived as drugs to reduce organ transplant rejection but gradually were found to have utility in autoimmune diseases and oncology. Harnessing the benefits of JAK inhibition for dermatological conditions will require minimizing the potential for over suppression of the immune system and subsequent infections, through strategies such as identifying molecules highly selective for JAK1 and JAK3 inhibition or developing topical formulations with high skin permeability while minimizing systemic absorption. Current efforts to expand the range of diseases that could be targeted with JAK inhibitors will be discussed with emphasis on hair disorders, including alopecia areata and androgenetic alopecia.
Dr. Changelian is known for his key role in the discovery and development of tofacitinib, a pan-JAK inhibitor, while working as a scientist at Pfizer. In 1993, he first heard about the National Institutes of Health’s discovery of an enzyme in the Janus family of kinases involving the immune function. Seven years after initiating the discovery program, Dr. Changelian and the Pfizer immunology team selected tofacitinib for clinical development. Tofacitinib became the first JAK inhibitor approved by the FDA for an autoimmune disease. Dr. Changelian joined Aclaris in 2017 when Aclaris acquired Confluence Life Sciences, Inc., a company founded by former Pfizer scientists.
About Aclaris Therapeutics, Inc.
Aclaris Therapeutics, Inc. is a dermatologist-led biopharmaceutical company committed to identifying, developing, and commercializing innovative therapies to address significant unmet needs in dermatology, both aesthetic and medical, and immunology. Aclaris’ focus on market segments with no FDA-approved medications or where treatment gaps exist has resulted in the first FDA-approved treatment for raised seborrheic keratoses and several clinical programs to develop medications for the potential treatment of common warts, alopecia areata, androgenetic alopecia, and vitiligo. For additional information, please visit www.aclaristx.com and follow Aclaris on LinkedIn.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Any statements contained in this press release that do not describe historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements may be identified by words such as "believe", "expect", "may", "plan," "potential," "will," and similar expressions, and are based on Aclaris' current beliefs and expectations. These forward-looking statements include expectations regarding Aclaris’ clinical development of its JAK inhibitor drug candidates. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected in such statements. Risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially include uncertainties inherent in the conduct of clinical trials, Aclaris' reliance on third parties over which it may not always have full control, and other risks and uncertainties that are described in the Risk Factors section of Aclaris' Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2017 and other filings Aclaris makes with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time. These documents are available under the "Financial Information" section of the Investors page of Aclaris' website at http://www.aclaristx.com. Any forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release and are based on information available to Aclaris as of the date of this release, and Aclaris assumes no obligation to, and does not intend to, update any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Michael Tung, M.D.
Senior Vice President
Corporate Strategy/Investor Relations