HOBOKEN, N.J. and PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 1, 2012 -- Niiki Pharma Inc. announced today the formation of its Scientific Advisory Board. Daniel Haller M.D. will chair the advisory board, and will be joined by Lee Ellis M.D. and Matt Kulke M.D. The Board will provide clinical and strategic guidance to the company for its two first-in-class clinical stage anti-cancer compounds, NKP-1339 and NKP-2235. As the pipeline continues to mature, the Advisory Board will be expanded.
The initial focus of the board will be Niiki Pharma’s promising lead compound, NKP-1339. NKP- 1339, a small molecule that down-regulates GRP78, has recently completed the dose-escalation portion of its Phase I clinical trial.
"Although we have an increasing number of drugs for a diverse spectrum of diseases, new drugs that may have higher benefit and lower toxicity for our patients are always needed," said Dr. Haller. "This Board welcomes the opportunity to participate in the development of these agents."
Dr. Daniel Haller is internationally renowned in the field of oncology. He is currently Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine at the Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to his leadership in clinical research throughout the NCI and cancer cooperative group system, Dr. Haller is currently co-chair of the NCI Gastrointestinal Intergroup. He served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the official journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), was the Associate Editor of the Annals of Internal Medicine and was Editor-in-Chief of PDQ, the National Cancer Institute’s cancer information database.
Dr. Lee Ellis is an internationally recognized surgical oncologist, researcher, and leader in the field of translational oncology. He holds several positions at University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, including Professor of Surgery and Cancer Biology; Director, Metastasis Research Center; Director, Colorectal Cancer Translational Research Program; and Chair, Ad Interim, Department of Cancer Biology. Dr. Ellis is vice-chair of the NCI Colon Cancer Task Force and serves on 8 editorial boards, including Journal of Clinical Oncology, Cancer Research and Clinical Cancer Research. Dr. Ellis has served in leadership roles in major cancer societies including ASCO, American Association for Cancer Research, and the Society for Surgical Oncology.
Dr. Matthew Kulke is a world expert in neuroendocrine (NET) tumors. He is Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where he leads the Carcinoid and Neuroendocrine Tumor Program. He has a leadership role in the Cancer and Leukemia Group B (CALGB) Gastrointestinal Cancer Committee, chairs the NCI NET Task Force and NCCN NET guidelines committees, and serves on the executive committee of the North American Neuroendocrine Tumor Society. Dr. Kulke has chaired multiple global pivotal studies exploring new therapies for NET.
NKP-1339 is a first-in-class small molecule anti-cancer compound that down-regulates GRP78, a known tumor survival and anti-apoptosis factor. In preclinical studies, NKP-1339 has demonstrated activity against multiple tumor types. In the Phase I trial, antitumor activity was seen against multiple cancers, including NET.
NKP-2235 is a first-in-class orally available small molecule that targets the endoplasmic reticulum with a unique pattern of cytotoxicity. NKP-2235 IND has been cleared and a Phase I trial will be initiated shortly.
NKP-1339 and NKP-2235 were discovered by Professor Bernhard Keppler, University of Vienna, Austria.
About Niiki Pharma Inc.
Niiki Pharma (www.niikipharma.com) is a development focused oncology company specializing in first-in-class cancer treatments directed at novel tumor targets and related companion diagnostics.