SAN DIEGO, January 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Abide Therapeutics announced today the appointment of Chan Beals, M.D., Ph.D., to the position of Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Beals has more than 15 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, with extensive expertise in both early and late stage clinical development.
Dr. Beals was most recently Entrepreneur in Residence with Merck Research Laboratories Ventures, a vehicle by which Merck interacts with nascent biotechnology companies. Dr. Beals was involved with all facets of search and evaluation, deal terms, building internal consensus for investments, and monitoring their progress. Prior to his role at Merck Research Laboratory Ventures, Dr. Beals was Vice President and Head of Clinical Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Merck & Co, where he was responsible for overseeing preclinical and clinical development of new therapeutics. During that time, Dr. Beals led the introduction of 30 molecules into early clinical development of which 11 molecules entered late stage clinical development.
“Dr. Chan Beals has an exceptional background to ensure that Abide continues to build and execute on translating exciting molecules from our maturing pipeline into small proof of biology clinical studies that will guide the choices for further development. Dr. Beals’ task is enabled by the fact that the Abide platform, by its design, yields translational biomarkers for each program,” said Alan Ezekowitz, MBChB, D.Phil., President and CEO of Abide Therapeutics. “With our first clinical study launched, the time is ideal to bring Dr. Beals aboard as we expand this program and advance our follow on first-in-class therapeutics.”
In July 2015, Abide began enrollment in its first clinical study, a Phase 1a clinical study of ABX-1431, an investigational endocannabinoid system modulator with potential indications in symptomatic improvement in multiple sclerosis, neuroinflammation, acute and chronic pain, agitation in Alzheimer’s Disease and pain in irritable bowel syndrome.
“I look forward to joining the team at Abide Therapeutics, who are working with an exciting and relatively unexplored class of therapeutics,” said Dr. Beals. “Abide has a tremendous opportunity to build out a pipeline of novel drugs that have the potential to fight a wide range of disorders from neurological to infectious diseases.”
Dr. Beals earned his M.D. and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Washington School of Medicine and his B.S. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He completed a residency in pediatrics and fellowship in pediatric rheumatology at the University of California, San Francisco.
About the Endocannabinoid System
MGLL is an enzyme that catalyzes the breakdown of the endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), an endogenous ligand of the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, which are the molecular targets of the psychoactive component of Cannabis, delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). MGLL is the major regulator of 2-AG levels available to signal through CB1 and CB2. CB1 is the primary cannabinoid receptor in the nervous system, and its activation accounts for most of the neurobehavioral effects of THC. CB2 is found primarily on immune cells and mediates the immunosuppressive effects of cannabinoids. Direct activation of cannabinoid receptors by medicinal Cannabis preparations elicits therapeutically beneficial effects on pain, spasticity, sleep, appetite, and nausea. ABX-1431 is expected to produce similar beneficial therapeutic effects through amplification of endogenous cannabinoid signaling.
About Abide Therapeutics
Abide Therapeutics is focused on developing innovative medicines that target serine hydrolases, one of the largest enzyme classes in nature with validated but mostly untapped therapeutic potential. Serine hydrolases play important regulatory roles in human physiology and disease. Abide has created a proprietary platform, based on technology developed at The Scripps Research Institute by Professors Ben Cravatt and Dale Boger, that specifically targets serine hydrolases with selective small molecules. The ability to target and modulate serine hydrolases has potential to develop new medicines in many therapeutic areas. Abide is located in San Diego. To learn more, visit www.abidetx.com.
Abide Media Contact:
Jessica Yingling, Ph.D.
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