Herantis Pharma strengthens team – Outi Lahdenperä and Antti Vuolanto have joined Herantis
Herantis Pharma Plc
Press release 12 Feb 2018 at 9:00 am
Herantis Pharma plc (“Herantis”) has strengthened its core team with two experienced drug development professionals. Docent Outi Lahdenperä, MD, PhD, has joined Herantis as part-time Chief Medical Officer for Lymfactin® development; and Dr. Antti Vuolanto, DSc, has joined Herantis as Chief Operating Officer.
“We are really pleased to have two such highly valued senior experts join our team”, says Pekka Simula, Herantis’ CEO. “The development of both our clinical stage drug candidates, Lymfactin® and CDNF, is at a very exciting stage. Outi and Antti bring exactly the right kind of additional strength in our organisation.”
Docent Lahdenperä, MD and Specialist in Medical oncology, received her doctorate in clinical pharmacology in 2000. Since 2013 she has been adjunct professor at the University of Turku. She has more than 20 years of experience in clinical drug development.
Dr. Vuolanto graduated as Doctor of Science in Technology at Aalto University, Finland in 2004 in biochemistry and bioprocess technology. He has vast experience in biological drug development, gene therapy products, in-vitro diagnostics, and bioinformatics. His previous positions include COO at Valo Therapeutics, COO and Co-founder of Oncos Therapeutics, and Executive Vice President at Targovax.
Herantis Pharma plc, Pekka Simula, CEO, telephone: +358 40 7300 445
Company web site: www.herantis.com
About Herantis Pharma Plc
Herantis Pharma Plc is an innovative drug development company focused on regenerative medicine for breakthrough in unmet clinical needs. Our first-in-class assets are based on globally leading scientific research in their fields: CDNF for disease modification in neurodegenerative diseases, primarily Parkinson’s and ALS; and Lymfactin® for breast cancer associated lymphedema, with potential also in other lymphedemas. The shares of Herantis are listed on the First North Finland marketplace run by Nasdaq Helsinki stock exchange.
CDNF is a novel drug candidate for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Naturally present in the human blood circulation and cerebrospinal fluid, CDNF is a protein with neuroprotective and neurorestorative properties, patented internationally by Herantis. Encouraged by strong preclinical proof-of-concept Herantis has launched a first-in-human, randomized Phase 1-2 clinical study with CDNF for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD). The clinical study has received funding from the European Union’s research and innovation program Horizon 2020 under grant agreement number 732386.
CDNF administration has been safe in preclinical studies including chronic toxicology studies; CDNF has protected and regenerated midbrain dopamine-generating cells suggesting potential for disease modification of PD. It has also shown efficacy in non-motor symptoms of PD. In an ALS disease model CDNF has significantly increased survival and reduced symptoms. This suggests the potential to address unmet clinical needs in both PD and ALS. CDNF drug development is based on research at the University of Helsinki, led by professor Mart Saarma.
Lymfactin® is the world’s first and only clinical stage gene therapy repairing damages of the lymphatic system. It expresses the growth factor VEGF-C, which is specific for the development of lymphatic vessels. Based on preclinical studies, Lymfactin® triggers the growth of new functional lymphatic vasculature in the damaged area and thus repairs the underlying cause of secondary lymphedema. Initial data from a clinical Phase 1 study suggest Lymfactin® is safe and well tolerated. Lymfactin®, patented by Herantis, is based on the internationally renowned scientific research of academy professor Kari Alitalo and his research group, a national centre of excellence at the University of Helsinki. Herantis also holds patents for a combination therapy, which may expand the use of Lymfactin® in other lymphedemas. See our introductory video on Lymfactin®: https://herantis.com/media/videos/