WELLESLEY HILLS, Mass., Oct. 17 MacroChemCorporation (OTC Bulletin Board: MACM) today announced that following itsacquisition of rights to pexiganan, Michael Zasloff, M.D. has joined thecompany's Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Zasloff discovered magainins in theskin of the African clawed frog while at NIH (National Institutes of Health)and later pioneered the development of magainins, and specifically pexiganan,as human anti-infective drugs.
"Along with Tom Chan, Ph.D., Chairman of our Scientific Advisory Board, wewelcome Dr. Zasloff," said Robert J. DeLuccia, President and CEO of MacroChem.We are very pleased to have his knowledge and experience helping to guide usin advancing the development of pexiganan."
Michael Zasloff, M.D., Ph.D. is currently Professor of Surgery andPediatrics at the Georgetown University School of Medicine. An internationallyknown biomedical researcher, Dr. Zasloff was previously Dean of Research andTranslational Science at the Georgetown University Medical Center, responsiblefor the overall management of Georgetown's biomedical research and itstranslation from the laboratory to patient care. Dr. Zasloff has been apioneer in the field of innate immunity. His studies have helped elucidate thepathophysiology of chronic infections in diseases such as cystic fibrosis. Inaddition, he has been the leader in the discovery of antimicrobial peptidesand aminosterols of animal and human origin and their development as humantherapeutics. Dr. Zasloff earned his M.D., Ph.D. at New York University Schoolof Medicine in the Medical Scientist Training Program, sponsored by theNational Institutes of Health. He served his Residency in pediatrics at theBoston Children's Hospital. In 1975 he joined the National Institutes ofHealth for postdoctoral studies in molecular genetics, and in 1981 was namedChief of the Human Genetics Branch of the National Institutes of Child Healthand Human Development. In 1989 he left the NIH to become the Charles E.H.Upham Professor of Pediatrics and Genetics at the University of PennsylvaniaSchool of Medicine and Chief of the Division of Human Genetics of theChildren's Hospital of Philadelphia. In that same year (1989) he foundedMagainin Pharmaceuticals (now Genaera) and served as Vice Chairman andExecutive Vice President until 2001. Dr. Zasloff holds over forty patents, hasbeen widely published, and has been the recipient of numerous awards. Hiscurrent studies focus on the role of innate immunity in the setting of humansmall intestinal transplantation, and the pathways that control the expressionof antimicrobial peptides in human health and disease.
"It is my pleasure to join the MacroChem team to resume the developmentof pexiganan," said Dr. Zasloff. The need for a topical therapy for infecteddiabetic foot ulcers remains more pressing than ever, both because of theincreasing prevalence of diabetes, and the emergence of multidrug-resistantbacteria. Over the past several years numerous published reports haveconfirmed the importance of antimicrobial peptides in the natural control ofhuman infections. In diseases like diabetes we believe these antimicrobialdefenses fail, resulting in skin and soft tissue infection. As a potent broadspectrum antimicrobial peptide, pexiganan can rapidly kill the many types ofmicrobes that infect the diabetic foot, and should not promote the appearanceof resistant microbes."
Mr. DeLuccia further noted, "We believe pexiganan is a unique opportunityfor MacroChem to broaden its development portfolio with a product that hasalready completed two Phase 3 clinical trials. It also fits our strategicfocus and complements our lead product candidate, EcoNail(R) for treatment ofnail fungus. EcoNail is currently in a fully enrolled Phase 2 trial andprogressing on track with an interim assessment of clinical data after allpatients have been treated for twenty four weeks."