SOLNA, Sweden, July 6, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Umecrine Cognition AB, a Karolinska Development (Nasdaq Stockholm: KDEV) portfolio company in clinical development with a novel treatment for hepatic encephalopathy (HE) in patients with liver disease, today announces that Dr. Bruce Scharschmidt has been appointed as a new member of its board of directors and Senior Development Adviser.
Dr. Scharschmidt most recently served as Senior Vice President and Chief Medical & Development Officer at Hyperion Therapeutics (acquired by Horizon Pharma Inc. in 2015), where he was responsible for the development of glycerol phenylbutyrate (GPB, RAVICTI(r)), approved for the treatment of urea cycle disorders in the US, Europe and Canada, and for the successful phase 2 trial of GPB for hepatic encephalopathy (HE).
"We are very pleased to have Dr. Scharschmidt join the company," said Magnus Doverskog, CEO of Umecrine Cognition. "His expertise in hepatology and the successful development of GPB for HE will significantly benefit the company as we move forward into patients with liver cirrhosis and HE."
Dr. Scharschmidt commented "I am delighted to have the opportunity to bring my experience in development of drugs for patients with liver diseases to Umecrine Cognition. The company's novel approach of restoring normal GABAergic transmission through inhibition of neurosteroids represents the first real innovation in the field of HE for decades. The company's lead product candidate is being developed for overt HE, a major unmet need and commercial opportunity that offers an established regulatory path to a growing market with comparatively little competition, as well the opportunity for expansion to covert HE, for which there is no approved treatment."
Dr. Scharschmidt was the inventor/co-inventor on all Hyperion IP, a member of Hyperion's roadshow team leading to its 2012 IPO, 2013 secondary offering and May 2015 sale to Horizon Pharma, to which he remains a consultant. Previously, he held senior positions at Novartis, Chiron and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), where he was Professor of Medicine and Chief of Gastroenterology, helping launch the UCSF liver transplant program. Dr. Scharschmidt was an NIH-funded investigator for two decades, is the author of more than 200 research and review articles and multiple issued and pending patents, and he also served as Associate Editor of Gastroenterology, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Investigation and President of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology, he was a member of the National Board of Directors of the American Liver Foundation from 2005-2013 and is currently a member of the External Advisory Board for the Clinical and Translational Science Program at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine, President of Northwestern's Medical Alumni Board and member of the President's Council Executive Committee for the J. David Gladstone Institute.
For further information, please contact:
Magnus Doverskog, PhD, MBA, CEO, Umecrine Cognition AB
Phone: +46 (0)73 039 20 52, e-mail: email@example.com
TO THE EDITORS
About Umecrine Cognition AB
Umecrine Cognition, a Karolinska Development (Nasdaq Stockholm: KDEV) portfolio company, is developing a potential therapy that represents a new target class relevant for several major CNS-related disorders. The primary focus is to develop a treatment for life-threatening overt hepatic encephalopathy and long-term treatment in covert hepatic encephalopathy in patients with liver disease, a growing area with high unmet medical need. The current lack of therapeutics that directly addresses the neurocognitive signs and symptoms of Hepatic Encephalopathy makes a novel treatment likely to become a major contribution for the treatment of this disorder. For more information, please visit www.umecrinecognition.com.
Source:Karolinska Development AB