SAN DIEGO, January (19), 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Abide Therapeutics announced today the appointment of Richard N. Kender to its Board of Directors. Kender is a consultant to biotechnology companies in the areas of partnerships and licensing and mergers and acquisitions. He was previously Senior Vice President of Business Development and Corporate Licensing at Merck & Co., Inc. During his career at Merck, Kender was actively involved in more than 100 transactions, including a number that greatly influenced the course of the company. Kender also held positions with Merck in corporate finance, as well as in financial support of the domestic and international commercial and manufacturing divisions.
“With his deep expertise in multiple facets of the pharmaceutical business, Rich will be an asset to Abide’s Board of Directors,” said Alan Ezekowitz, MBChB, D.Phil., President and CEO of Abide Therapeutics. “We are confident that Rich will contribute to shaping our corporate and commercial efforts to most effectively advance our clinical pipeline of 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.
“Abide Therapeutics is leading the development of a novel and relatively unexplored class of therapeutics targeting serine hydrolases,” said Kender. “I look forward to joining the Board of Directors and helping Abide take advantage of their unique position to develop novel therapies to treat a number of unmet medical needs.”
Kender currently serves on the boards of INC Research (INCR), a leading global contract research organization; Seres Therapeutics, developing microbiome-based therapeutics; and POXEL SA, developing drugs to treat type 2 diabetes. Kender obtained his B.S. in accounting from Villanova University and his MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
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.
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