LONDON, Aug. 19, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- OKYO, the life sciences and biotechnology company, focused on the discovery and development of novel molecules to treat inflammatory dry eye diseases and chronic pain, is pleased to announce that that Dr. Napoleone Ferrara, MD, Professor at the University of California San Diego Medical Center, has agreed to serve on its scientific advisory board (SAB).
Dr. Ferrara is a member of The National Academy of Sciences and has received numerous prestigious awards, including the Lasker Award and the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. His research on understanding the role of angiogenesis and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in cancer development, led to the discovery that VEGF is a key mediator of angiogenesis associated with intraocular neovascular syndromes. This pioneering research led to the clinical development of a humanized anti-VEGF Fab (Ranibizumab, Lucentis®), which has also been approved as a therapy for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), retinal vein occlusion and diabetic macular edema. Ranibizumab and other anti-VEGF agents have had a dramatic impact on the development of therapies for these blinding disorders. When Lucentis® (Ranibizumab) received FDA approval in late June 2006, the new macular degeneration drug was celebrated as a major medical breakthrough. Dr. Ferrara’s research also led to the development and approval of humanized anti-VEGF mAbs (Bevacizumab; Avastin®) for cancer treatment, with Avastin® being one of the bestselling cancer drugs over the last two decades. Lucentis® and Avastin® collectively achieved over $9 billion in sales last year.
Dr. Napoleone Ferrara stated: “I am delighted to join OKYO Pharma as a member of the SAB. OKYO’s focus on the development of long-acting GPCR agonists to treat dry eye and ocular pain is scientifically sound and promising. GPCRs are key targets for pharmacological intervention in a variety of diseases. My expertise in ocular angiogenesis should complement these efforts and I look forward to an exciting collaboration”.
Willy Simon, Chairman of OKYO said: “We are very excited about Dr. Napoleone Ferrara’s addition to the OKYO team. Very few scientists have invented two different blockbuster drugs such as Avastin® and Lucentis®. Lucentis® has become one of the major blockbuster drugs to treat eye disease and Napoleone’s experience will be a huge value added to Okyo’s drug development effort.”
OKYO Pharma Limited (LSE: OKYO) is a life sciences and biotechnology company admitted to listing on the standard segment of the Official List of the UK Financial Conduct Authority and to trading on the Main Market for listed securities of the London Stock Exchange plc. OKYO is focusing on the discovery and development of novel molecules to treat inflammatory dry eye diseases and chronic pain.