Cary, NC — APIE Therapeutics, a preclinical pharmaceutical company pioneering novel and proprietary drugs to activate the apelin receptor (APJ), announced the appointment of Jim Greenwood, former president & CEO of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), to its board of directors.
“Jim is known in the industry for his long tenure as president and CEO of BIO and his staunch support of the drug development industry, but he also has a wealth of experience working with and counseling start-ups, stated Esther M. Alegría, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of APIE Therapeutics. “We have a strong team of directors and advisors who have expertise in the development of medications for lung diseases and the care of patients. From his unique background in politics and business, Jim brings a perspective to APIE that will enrich the team as we embark on the Series A funding raise.”
Jim is currently a senior policy advisor at DLA Piper, a cutting edge legal and commercial insights group. During his 18-year tenure as president and CEO of BIO, Jim built bipartisan support for the drug industry. He was a driving force behind the establishment of the biosimilars industry, which creates more affordable biologic medicines following patent expiry, and led industry negotiations to help pass the 21st Century Cures Act. Before joining BIO, he was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Pennsylvania’s Eighth District from 1993 through 2004, during which time he served as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation. Earlier, he served as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and subsequently the Pennsylvania Senate. Throughout his political career, Jim specialized in health, environmental, and children’s issues. He graduated from Dickinson College in 1973 with a Bachelor of Arts in social work.
“During my years in the field, I have learned that the keys to success for startups in the biotechnology industry are excellence in science and management grounded in a patient-focused passion for improving care,” Greenwood said. “APIE possesses these key attributes, and that’s why I’m excited to join the team.”
About APIE Therapeutics
APIE Therapeutics is a preclinical stage pharmaceutical company pioneering the development of a portfolio of small-molecule therapeutic drugs that target the apelinergic signaling pathway to repair and regenerate, post injury, the vasculature niche, which is associated with the pathophysiology of many chronic fibrotic diseases. APIE Therapeutics licensed a portfolio of compounds from RTI International, a well-known nonprofit research institute and inventors of commercial drugs such as Taxol®, Camptothecin®, EllaOne® and Esmya®.
The company’s lead candidate, APT101 was granted Orphan Drug Designation (ODD) by the U.S. FDA as a potential treatment of Systemic Sclerosis-Interstitial Lung Disease (SSc-ILD) and Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) and received FDA’s favorable review of Pre-IND (Pre-Investigational New Drug) package for the treatment of SSc-ILD. Systemic sclerosis, sometimes referred to as systemic scleroderma, is a progressive systemic disease of unknown cause characterized by fibrotic scaring in major organ systems including the skin and kidneys. Patients often progress to develop ILD, which is the leading cause of early death for patients with SSc. Currently there are no disease-modifying treatments for these patients, representing a critical unmet medical need for this orphan disorder.
The company is on track to file an investigational new drug (IND) application with the U.S. FDA to commence a clinical program for the treatment of patients with SSc-ILD, including end points for SSc progression such as skin fibrosis, vasculopathy disfunction and renal injury. Taken together, APT101 has the potential to address the systemic nature of SSc and become first line treatment in an extreme unmet need for disease-modifying therapy.