NEW YORK, March 12, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Anavex Life Sciences Corp. ("Anavex" or the "Company") (OTCQX:AVXL), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing drug candidates to treat Alzheimer's disease, other central nervous system (CNS) diseases, pain and various types of cancer, today announced the appointment of Jacqueline French, MD, FAAN, to the Company's Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. French is an award-winning, internationally recognized expert on epilepsy, new therapeutic interventions and clinical trial methodology.
"We are excited to welcome Jacqueline as a Scientific Advisor. Her work has led to ground-breaking epilepsy treatments and she is recognized for pioneering the clinical care of seizures," said Christopher U. Missling, President and Chief Executive Officer of Anavex. "We believe Jacqueline's expertise, as well as her background in neurology, will offer significant value as we advance our potential platform drug ANAVEX 2-73 across additional indications beyond Alzheimer's, including epilepsy."
Dr. French plays an ongoing leadership role in the area of development of new therapeutics for epilepsy. She co-directs a bi-annual symposium on trial design and its implications and holds positions on committees of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), where she has also co-authored several AAN clinical practice guidelines. In addition, Dr. French is broadly published, having written numerous research articles, editorials and chapters. Her writing has been featured in respected publications including The New England Journal of Medicine, Neuron, Neuro Image, Epilepsy Currents and Lancet Neurology. She has also edited two books on epilepsy and is an in-demand global speaker on antiepileptic drug therapeutics and related topics.
"I am extremely impressed with the positive preclinical epilepsy data for ANAVEX 2-73, which demonstrates a significant reduction in anti-seizure efficacy relative to three currently approved epilepsy drugs as well as significant synergy with each of these drugs. Additionally, ANAVEX 2-73 was shown to be safe in a Phase 1 human trial, which is critical to next-general epilepsy therapies," said Dr. French. "I look forward to collaborating with Anavex and its impressive team of scientific advisors as we work to further develop ANAVEX 2-73."
Earlier in her career, Dr. French was Assistant Dean for Clinical Trials at the University of Pennsylvania. She was also a recent President of the American Epilepsy Society, has served as Secretary of the American Society of Experimental Neurotherapeutics and worked with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) developing new trial designs for the approval of antiepileptic drugs.
Dr. French trained in Neurology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York and did her fellowship training in EEG and epilepsy at Mount Sinai Hospital and Yale University. She was the 2013 recipient of the Epilepsy Foundation's 2013 Hero of Epilepsy Award, honoring her longtime contributions to epilepsy research and clinical trials as well as her significant impact on the epilepsy community.
Dr. French is Professor in the Department of Neurology at New York University (NYU), Co-Director of Epilepsy Research and Clinical Trials at NYU's Comprehensive Epilepsy Center and Director of the Epilepsy Study Consortium. Statements in this press release are not the official view of NYU Langone Medical Center.
About Anavex Life Sciences Corp.
Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (OTCQX:AVXL) is a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of novel drug candidates to treat central nervous system (CNS) diseases, pain and various types of cancer. The Company's lead drug candidates, ANAVEX 2-73 and ANAVEX PLUS, the combination of ANAVEX 2-73 and donepezil (Aricept®), are currently being evaluated in a Phase 2a clinical trial for Alzheimer's disease. ANAVEX 2-73 is an orally available drug candidate that targets sigma-1 and muscarinic receptors and has successfully completed a Phase 1 study with a clean data profile. Preclinical studies demonstrate its potential to halt and/or reverse the course of Alzheimer's disease. The drug combination, ANAVEX PLUS, produced up to 80% greater reversal of memory loss in Alzheimer's disease models versus when the drugs were used individually. Recent positive preclinical data indicates that ANAVEX 2-73 also exhibits anticonvulsant, anti-amnesic, neuroprotective and anti-depressant properties. Further information is available at www.anavex.com.
Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical in nature are forward-looking statements. These statements are only predictions based on current information and expectations and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual events or results may differ materially from those projected in any of such statements due to various factors, including the risks set forth in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement and Anavex Life Sciences Corp. undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof.
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Source:Anavex Life Sciences Corp.