Welcome to the Mast Therapeutics CEO Blog. Here you can find regular CEO updates on the company, our activities, and our objectives, as well as disease awareness and other patient information.
This page contains Forward Looking Statements.*
About 3 months ago, we re-launched this website with many new features, such as clinician videos, patient resources, and important news events pertaining to sickle cell disease. This was a part of the fundamental transformation through which we have evolved the company’s priorities, personnel and business focus over the past several years. Now we have taken another step down that transformative path.
In 2009, almost all of our business operations were suspended and we had just 2 employees. Naturally, this was a pivotal moment for the company. We began rebuilding under a fresh strategic vision powered by renewed optimism and opportunities. In April of 2011 we acquired purified poloxamer 188 (now known as MST-188), which in our hands has become the most clinically-advanced new drug in sickle cell disease, with which we recently initiated a pivotal phase 3 study in this orphan indication. We also enhanced our management team and Board of Directors with the addition of experienced drug developers and announced our plans to initiate a phase 2 study of MST-188 in acute limb ischemia, a complication of peripheral arterial disease. Given the dramatic transformations within the company, the “Adventrx” name, which had been with us since 2003 when the company specialized in cancer and HIV/AIDS therapeutics, no longer reflects our strategic vision.
Effective March 11, 2013, our corporate name changed to Mast Therapeutics, Inc. Mast refers to our Molecular Adhesion & Sealant Technology platform. Additionally, the mast is the backbone of a ship, a high point from which the vessel’s course is laid clear. We feel that the point on which we now stand allows us unobstructed views of a horizon composed of many promising new indications and accomplishments that may benefit from our technology. Our commitment to developing novel therapies for serious or life-threatening diseases with significant unmet needs is at the core of the company.
We are hopeful that masttherapeutics.com will continue to be a valuable resource not only for our stockholders, but also for advocates, educators, caregivers, and the millions of people around the world who suffer from sickle cell disease.
March 13, 2013
As you know, ADVENTRX recently initiated a phase 3 clinical trial of ANX-188 in children with sickle cell disease (SCD). We call this study “EPIC” for Evaluation of Purified 188 In Children, and it makes us the only company with a new molecular entity in phase 3 development for SCD. We are proud to be leading a growing number of companies committed to finding new ways to treat SCD.
Our objective with the EPIC study is to demonstrate that our lead product candidate, ANX-188, can reduce the duration of a vaso-occlusive crisis*, a terribly painful episode that typically lasts 4 days, but can range from 1 to 14 or more days. In our study, crisis is measured from the time at which a patient is assigned to one of the treatment arms (placebo or ANX-188) until the time at which that patient receives his or her last dose of parenteral opioid analgesic for the treatment of that crisis. We also will be collecting additional safety and efficacy data to increase our understanding of the potential benefits of using ANX-188 for vaso-occlusive crisis and other indications. Because there are no FDA approved therapies to treat a vaso-occlusive crisis, we believe that, if approved, ANX-188 will have a transformational impact in the treatment of SCD.
Many people have asked me what they can expect from us while the EPIC phase 3 study is ongoing. The answer is that we don’t intend to limit ANX-188’s development to the treatment of vaso-occlusive crisis. We intend to develop ANX-188 in multiple indications because we believe its cytoprotective, hemorheologic, anti-inflammatory and antithrombotic effects have potential application in a wide variety of serious or life-threatening diseases. To that end, we currently are evaluating development opportunities for ANX-188 in other conditions characterized by microcirculatory insufficiency. We believe there are several good options for us to choose from and we look forward to sharing our findings with you around the end of this quarter.
In the meantime, I welcome you to follow us on Twitter (@CEO_Culley or @ADVENTRX) and Facebook. These channels are sources of information not only about our company, but also about developments in the SCD community in general.
Thank you for your continued interest in and support of ADVENTRX Pharmaceuticals as we strive to bring new treatments to market. I look forward to keeping you informed on our progress.
February 19, 2013
* A vaso-occlusive crisis is caused by sickle-shaped blood cells which obstruct tiny blood vessels, preventing the delivery of oxygen to tissues. Crises are characterized by extreme pain and frequently require hospitalization.
*Forward-Looking Statements: Any statement contained in this page that is not a statement of historical fact should be considered a forward-looking statement that speaks only as the date of the post in which it is made. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those anticipated, including risks related to the development and commercialization of pharmaceutical products. Please see the Terms and Conditions of Use page of this website for more information about forward-looking statements.
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