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SOURCE DiaVacs, Inc.
Industry-leading team assembled to accelerate clinical development of the biotechnology company's dendritic cell therapy for Type 1 diabetes
EDGEWATER, N.J., Sept. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- DiaVacs, Inc., a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the goal of curing autoimmune diseases, with its first indication being Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM), today announced that it has appointed Orville Kolterman, MD, as Chief Medical Officer. In this role, Dr. Kolterman will assume responsibility for the company's Clinical Development and Medical Affairs.
The unique and proprietary core technologies that DiaVacs employs to create its dendritic cell therapies allow the immune system to be "re-trained" so as to halt auto-immune attacks against the body's own tissues. This cell based therapy has been shown to be safe in Phase I human trials and effective at halting disease progression in preclinical models of disease. The FDA has approved, and the company has initiated, Phase II human trials.
"Dr. Kolterman is a highly regarded diabetes expert who not only understands the challenges of Type 1 diabetes, but has hands on experience with all aspects of biopharmaceutical product development. Dr. Kolterman's experience will help strengthen our company's integrated approach in developing a treatment for Type 1 Diabetes," said Dr. Haro Hartounian, President and CEO of DiaVacs, Inc. "He is a great addition to our management team."
The addition of Dr. Kolterman rounds out a team of leaders from across the diabetes and pharmaceutical space. These include Mr. Daniel Bradbury, former President and CEO of Amylin Pharmaceuticals Inc., Mr. Alex Casdin, a noted life sciences investor and executive, Dr. James Gavin III, former Senior Scientific Officer of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) and former President of the American Diabetes Association, Dr. Alan Lewis, CEO of Medistem Inc. and former CEO of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Dr. Edwin Naylor, Founder of Neo Gen Screening, Inc., and Dr. Dietrich Stephan, CEO of Silicon Valley Biosystems. The company has also assembled a distinguished scientific advisory board to guide the research and development activities.
Dr. Kolterman was most recently Senior Vice President of Clinical and Regulatory Affairs at Amylin Pharmaceuticals. At Amylin, Dr. Kolterman was instrumental in the development of the company's first-in-class diabetes medicines, SYMLIN® (pramlintide acetate) injection and BYETTA® (exenatide) injection. Dr. Kolterman was Program Director of the General Clinical Research Center and Medical Director of the Diabetes Center at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Medical Center. He has also served as Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Endocrinology and Metabolism Division at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver and was a member of the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial Study Group. Dr. Kolterman currently serves as a member of the Epidemiology of Diabetes Intervention and Complications Study. He is also a past-president of the California Affiliate of the American Diabetes Association.
DiaVacs, Inc. is a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the audacious goal of curing auto-immune diseases. The proprietary technology we utilize is designed to re-induce tolerance into the patient's immune system so that the vicious cycle of auto-immunity is halted. Our goal is to demonstrate that once the autoimmune reaction is halted, early in the disease course, the remaining cells either regenerate or have enough cell mass and functionality remaining so that the disease progress is halted or cured.
Our first indication is type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). T1DM, formerly known as juvenile onset diabetes, is a condition that can occur at any age but predominantly affects children and adolescents, requires lifelong insulin injections and regular glucose monitoring. Precise insulin regulation and normalized glucose control remain elusive goals, and as a result, affected persons remain at risk for diabetes-related complications, including visual impairment, kidney disease, amputations, cardiovascular disease events and premature mortality. Historically, there are excess health care costs associated with this disease over the lifetime of affected persons, primarily due to management of late stage complications. T1DM disease is caused by the triggering of an autoimmune response against the beta cells of the pancreatic islets, which are destroyed over the course of several months, resulting in insulin dependency.
For more information visit the company's website are www.diavacs.com
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