Modus Therapeutics AB, a company developing innovative treatments in high unmet medical need disease areas with a focus on sickle cell disease (SCD), announcesthe appointment of two new Board members.
Stig Løkke Pedersen, an experienced life science industry veteran with more than 30 years’ experience, has been appointed Chairman of the Board. Mr Løkke Pedersen worked for 20 years at H. Lundbeck A/S, and served as the Group’s Chief Commercial Officer between 2005 and 2011. He currently serves as the chairman of the Board in SSI Diagnostica A/S, Moksha8 Ltd, Transmedica A/S and Nuevolution AB. He is a member of the Board in Skybrands A/S, BroenLab A/S and Index Pharmaceuticals AB. Mr Pedersen is also an operating partner in the Danish private equity fund Catacap A/S.
Dr Karin Knobe joins the Board as a Non-executive Director, bringing a wealth of pharmaceutical development experience. Dr Knobe is currently Head of Rare Blood Disorders Development, Sanofi, Global; and Associate Professor at Lund University. Prior to joining Sanofi, she was Vice President, Head of Clinical Development at Sobi and before that Vice President, Medical and Science, Haemophilia at Novo Nordisk. Dr Knobe is an expert in haemostasis and orphan drug development.
Ellen K Donnelly, PhD, CEO of Modus Therapeutics, said: “I am extremely pleased to welcome both Stig and Karin to the Modus Therapeutics Board of Directors. They bring a wealth of experience and highly relevant skills gained over many years in the industry. Their expertise will complement the skills of our other Board members and our management team, and I am looking forward to working with them as we plan for the results from our global randomized Phase II clinical trial assessing sevuparin for the management of acute vaso-occlusive crisis in patients with sickle cell disease, which are due in mid-2019.”
Sevuparin is an innovative, proprietary polysaccharide drug with anti-adhesive, anti-aggregate and anti-inflammatory effects due to its multimodal mechanism of action. Sevuparin has the potential to restore blood flow and prevent further microvascular obstructions in children and adults with SCD. The Company’s randomized 140 patient Phase II clinical trial is targeting an area of high unmet medical need as there are currently no approved therapies for vaso-occlusive crisis (VOCs).
Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder that affects between 90,000-100,000 individuals in the U.S. It is characterized by severely painful VOCs that lead to organ damage due to a lack of oxygen delivery to the organs. Progressive organ damage limits the life expectancy of patients with SCD and lifetime medical care costs can exceed $1million per patient with an estimated $1 billion spent annually in the U.S.
Modus has recently completed the enrollment of a Phase II study with sevuparin, a derivative of heparin, with results expected later this year.
There is currently no pharmaceutical product available that targets the vaso-occlusive activity during a VOC in SCD patients. At present, the standard of care relies on strong intravenous pain medications and SCD patients often must be hospitalized to be treated