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Stuart Therapeutics announces pipeline expansion


The company will add programs in diabetic macular edema and myopia as it completes pre-clinical studies.

Stuart Therapeutics Inc. announced this week that it has expanded its drug development pipeline, adding programs in diabetic macular edema and myopia.

According to a news release, the company has completed initial pre-clinical studies showing potential promise for Stuart's PolyCol collagen mimetic peptide platform as a therapeutic approach for these indications. Pre-clinical studies show that PolyCol collagen mimetic peptides (CMPs) can reverse the damage to scleral collagen caused by excess matrix metalloproteinase that is a hallmark of myopia progression.

In primate studies, CMPs administered via drop formulation were found to localize to the basement membranes of choroidal vasculature and in the central retinal artery. These results, combined with previously demonstrated CMP repair of membranes, suggests a new mechanism for treating diabetic macular edema.

The company noted that both of these programs expand Stuart's development of CMPs, and join other programs in ocular surface disease, including dry eye, visual field loss associated with glaucoma and dry age-related macular degeneration.

The company also is pleased to announce important new additions to its Scientific Advisory Board.

Sheri Rowen, MD, a prominent ophthalmologist with expertise in both ocular surface diseases and refractive indications, joins the Stuart Therapeutics team to provide insights and guidance on these areas of the company's development. Rowen is a widely recognized key opinion leader and is a practicing surgeon in Newport Beach, California. She has worked as a researcher, pioneering new treatments and techniques for ocular surgery, and is a Principal Investigator for numerous FDA therapeutics and device trials.

Rowen is a diplomat and fellow of the American Board of Ophthalmology, a Member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, the American College of Surgeons, and is a Vice-President of the International Association of Women Eye Surgeons. She earned her medical degree from the University of Maryland and completed her surgical internship and fellowship at Johns Hopkins University Hospital including a two-year vitreoretinal research fellowship at JHU's Wilmer Eye Institute.

Charles Wykoff, MD, also joins the Stuart Therapeutics Scientific Advisory Board as an advisor in retinal indications. He is a board-certified medical and surgical retina specialist and ophthalmologist with Retina Consultants of Texas(RCTX).

Leading a top international research facility for vitreoretinal diseases, Wykoff serves as director of Research at RCTX and the Greater Houston Retina Research Foundation (GHRRF), and chairman of the Research and Clinical Trials Subcommittee, Retina Consultants of America. In addition, he serves as the elected Deputy Chair of Ophthalmology for the Blanton Eye Institute, Houston Methodist Hospital.

Wykoff has been awarded the American Academy of Ophthalmology Secretariat and Achievement Awards as well as the American Society of Retina Specialists Senior Honor and Young Investigator Awards. Dr. Wykoff earned a B.S. degree in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a PhD in Philosophy from Oxford University, and an MD from Harvard Medical School. He completed his internship at Brigham and Women's Hospital at the Harvard Medical School, and his residency and fellowship at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami, Florida.

"Stuart Therapeutics is proud to announce these additions to our Scientific Advisory Board. Both Dr. Rowen and Dr. Wykoff represent important leaders in their respective specialty areas of ophthalmology and bring experience and skills that will be critical as the company expands its pipeline into new therapeutic indications," Eric Schlumpf, president and CEO of Stuart Therapeutics, said in a news release. "They will enhance our already strong group of ophthalmology expert collaborators and advisors, and we look forward to their contributions to our continued success in our development programs.”

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