LONDON, ON and BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - May 11, 2017) - Critical Outcome Technologies Inc. (
"I am delighted to welcome Richard to COTI at this critical stage in our evolution, as our COTI-2 trial progresses in the clinic, our COTI-219 program advances into investigational new drug ("IND") application-enabling activities, and our CHEMSAS® platform technology continues to be validated," said Alison Silva, President & CEO. "Richard's scientific and medical background, proficiency in applying computational platform technologies to advance the drug development process, and expertise in medical informatics represent the ideal skill set for this key leadership role, and his entrepreneurial spirit will fit well with COTI's culture."
Dr. Ho will lead COTI's scientific programs from early-stage discovery through preclinical and clinical development, and will guide the continued development and deployment of the Company's proprietary technology platforms, CHEMSAS® and ROSALIND™.
"I am thrilled to join COTI at this exciting time," said Dr. Ho. "COTI has successfully developed several innovative technologies, including CHEMSAS®, which have driven the growth of a compelling pipeline and enabled the identification of two novel drug candidates with the potential to target multiple cancer indications. I look forward to working closely with the team to advance the Company's research and to develop effective new treatments for patients with significant unmet needs."
Dr. Ho brings over twenty years of pharma/biotech experience, with expertise using predictive software platforms to model disease physiology and biological responses to drug therapies. He spent the first ten years of his career at Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development ("J&JPRD"), LLC where he founded the Disease Simulation Group and helped develop the first FDA-approved SGLT2 inhibitor. Subsequently, Richard co-founded Rosa & Co., LLC., an advisory firm that uses modelling and simulation to guide drug development decisions. Dr. Ho went on to serve as Senior Medical Director at Entelos, LLC, liaising with the FDA on modelling drug toxicity and later as Executive Vice President, Research and Development at Marina Biotech, where he served as chair of its Scientific Advisory Board until 2016. Most recently, Richard served as a strategic consultant to pharmaceutical and biotech companies with a focus on data analytics and clinical trial design.
Dr. Ho earned an M.D., Ph.D. degree from The State University of New York Buffalo School of Medicine, and a B.Sc. in Biophysics from Harvard University. After completing a residency in Primary Care Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Rheumatology at The Yale School of Medicine, he pursued a Medical Informatics fellowship with a focus on genomics at Robert Wood Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute and subsequently was named Director of the Disease Simulation group at J&JPRD.
The Board of Directors awarded 400,000 stock options to Dr. Ho effective on the date his employment commences. The options have a five year life and will be exercisable at the closing price of the Company's common shares on the TSX Venture Exchange on June 9, 2017, the last business day prior to the grant date. Half of these options will vest over two years and the other half will vest upon the achievement of strategic objectives.
COTI is further pleased to announce the promotion of Dr. Kowthar Salim to the role of Vice President, Development.
"This appointment reflects the scope and caliber of Kowthar's work," said Ms. Silva. "Kowthar has been instrumental in advancing COTI's lead drug candidate, COTI-2, through preclinical testing and into the clinic, and she is leading the IND submission process for our next candidate, COTI-219. Since joining COTI in 2008, she has worked tirelessly to advance our scientific programs. We are grateful to Kowthar for her dedication to the Company, and look forward to her continued contributions."
Dr. Salim earned a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, an M.Sc. in Parasitology and Evolutionary Biology and a Hon. B.Sc. in Microbiology & Human Biology from The University of Toronto. She also earned an M.B.A. in Management of Technology and Innovations from Ryerson University.
About Critical Outcome Technologies Inc.
COTI is a clinical stage biotech company that uses proprietary artificial intelligence technologies to pursue a targeted and transformational approach to treating cancer and other unmet medical needs. COTI's CHEMSAS® technology accelerates the discovery and development of novel drug therapies, allowing the Company to build a pipeline of potential drug candidates faster and with a higher probability of success than traditional methods.
The Company's lead compound, COTI-2, has a novel p53-dependent mechanism of action with selective and potent anti-cancer activity. P53 mutations occur in over 50% of all cancers. COTI-2 is initially being evaluated for the treatment of gynecologic cancers, including ovarian, cervical, and endometrial cancers in a Phase 1 clinical trial at the MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas and the Lurie Cancer Center at Northwestern University. The Company has secured orphan drug status in the United States for COTI-2 for the treatment of ovarian cancer. The Company also plans to evaluate COTI-2 in additional oncology indications, including head and neck cancer, Li-Fraumeni Syndrome, and acute myelogenous leukemia. Preclinical data suggests that COTI-2 could dramatically improve the treatment of cancers with mutations in the p53 gene.
The Company's second lead compound, COTI-219, is a novel oral small molecule compound targeting the mutant forms of KRAS without inhibiting normal KRAS function. KRAS mutations occur in up to 30% of all cancers and represent a tremendous unmet clinical need and a desirable drug target. COTI-219 is undergoing IND-enabling studies to support a regulatory submission by the end of calendar 2017.
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Notice to Readers
Information contained in this press release may contain certain statements, which constitute "forward-looking statements" as such term is defined under applicable securities laws. For example, the statement, "COTI has successfully developed several innovative technologies, including CHEMSAS®, which have driven the growth of a compelling pipeline and enabled the identification of two novel drug candidates with the potential to target multiple cancer indications" is a forward-looking statement. Forward‐looking statements by their nature are not guarantees of future performance and are based upon management's current expectations, estimates, projections, and assumptions. COTI operates in a highly competitive environment that involves significant risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated in these forward‐looking statements. Management of COTI considers the assumptions on which these forward‐looking statements are based to be reasonable, but as a result of the many risk factors, cautions the reader that actual results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in these forward-looking statements. Information in this press release should be considered accurate only as of the date of the release and may be superseded by more recent information disclosed in later press releases, filings with the securities regulatory authorities or otherwise.
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