REDWOOD CITY, Calif., Jan. 9, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SMC Biotechnology Inc., a regenerative medicine company focused on developing glycotherapeutics that enhance tissue regeneration, announced today that it has appointed Darlene Horton, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer (CMO). As CMO, Dr. Horton will oversee the development of SMC Bio's pipeline of 20 glycotherapeutic products, including the company's most advanced compounds, SMC-103 and SMC-108. SMC Bio's selected pipeline of glycotherapeutics consists of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), or sugars, that enhance the biology of the body's pro-healing factors that are produced at sites of injury.
SMC-103 is currently being developed as a bone-healing agent for the treatment of bone fractures and defects and to facilitate surgical fusion techniques. SMC-103 could potentially be an alternative to growth factor therapy and the company plans to commence human clinical trials in 2014. Conservative estimates place the bone and spinal surgery markets at more than $1 billion.
SMC Bio is also actively pursuing the development of SMC-108 to aid in the cost-effective production of stem cell products for a variety of disease indications. Use of SMC-108 in the manufacturing of stem cells significantly increases the quantity of stem cells available as treatment doses, helping to solve a well-known limitation of stem cell technologies.
"We are thrilled that Dr. Horton has joined the SMC Bio executive management team to lead the development of our pipeline of game-changing products," said Michael Crockett, co-founder and CEO of SMC Bio. "Dr. Horton's clinical development expertise will help lead us through our first clinical program in 2014. Her history of success in the biotech industry and her understanding of the science behind SMC Bio's technology will help catapult the development of our glycotherapeutics and begin to fulfill the promise of our company. SMC Bio's novel glycotherapeutic technology, coupled with the exceptional caliber of its management team, as well as its track record of creative financing, positions the company to move forward at a fast pace in 2014 to build further evidence of our robust scientific platform, pursue partnerships and launch our first clinical trials."
"Some of the many attributes that attracted me to SMC Biotechnology were its broad product pipeline, its world-class science and innovation in this new field of glycotherapeutics, the extensive proof-of-concept data for the lead compounds, its strong portfolio of intellectual property and the company's track record of capital efficiency," said Dr. Horton. "The technology behind the pipeline is simple and elegant and may provide novel treatment solutions in several disease areas. In addition, the company's cutting-edge science has the strong potential for strategic collaborations with numerous biopharmaceutical and regenerative medicine companies in different medical fields. Most immediately, we look forward to entering into clinical trials for SMC-103 in bone healing this year, which will provide the first human validation of SMC Bio's glycotherapeutics."
Prior to joining SMC Bio, Dr. Horton was CEO of Nile Therapeutics when it merged with a stem cell company to create the publicly-traded Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. (CAPR), with multiple clinical-stage compounds for the prevention and treatment of heart failure. Before that, she served as co-founder and CMO of Itero Biopharmaceuticals, Inc., that developed a protein therapeutic that was successfully licensed to the pharmaceutical company Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc., now known as Actavis, Inc. (ACT). Before that, Dr. Horton was a member of the senior management team at Scios, Inc., where she helped finalize the $2.6 billion acquisition by Johnson and Johnson (JNJ). Her responsibilities at J&J were further expanded to overseeing the company's cardiovascular clinical development program. Dr. Horton has published her research in numerous peer-reviewed publications and currently serves on the clinical faculty at University of California San Francisco (UCSF) as a pediatric cardiologist.
About SMC Biotechnology
SMC Biotechnology is headquartered in Redwood City, CA, USA and aims to become the world leader in regenerative medicine by developing novel glycotherapeutics that optimize tissue regeneration. SMC Bio's selected pipeline of glycotherapeutics consists of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), or sugars, that enhance the biology of the body's pro-healing factors that are produced at sites of injury. The lead glycotherapeutic product, SMC-103, is under development for use as an orthopedic agent for bone fractures and defects and to facilitate surgical fusion techniques.
In July of 2013, a study published in Biomaterials suggested that SMC-103 greatly enhanced bone repair in a preclinical model. Researchers also found that SMC-103 increased the bioavailability, bioactivity and half-life of the pro-healing compound, bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2).
SMC Biotechnology licensed its novel glycotherapeutic pipeline and platform technology from A*STAR, Singapore's lead agency in fostering scientific development and talent. Through an exclusive license agreement with A*STAR, SMC Biotechnology was spun off from the Institute of Medical Biology in 2010 to commercialize a library of breakthrough glycotherapeutic compounds that preferentially bind to separate pro-healing factors.
For more information, please visit www.smcbio.com.
Media Contact: Terri Clevenger Continuum Health Communications 203-856-4326