Zikani Therapeutics Appoints Chief Scientific and Medical Officer
Vijay Modur, M.D., PhD, to Lead Company’s TURBO-ZMTM Technology Platform into First in Human Trials
WATERTOWN, MA – JULY 16, 2020 – Zikani Therapeutics, a company leveraging its unique TURBO-ZMTM platform to develop novel ribosome modulating agents (RMAs) for the treatment of rare, nonsense mutation-driven diseases, today announced the appointment of Vijay Modur M.D., Ph.D., as its Chief Scientific and Medical Officer to lead the company in advancing its ribosome-modulating scientific platform into the next stage of drug development.
Dr. Modur was previously Global Project Head in Rare Disease Clinical Development at Sanofi-Genzyme where he oversaw key functions responsible for advancing venglustat for the treatment of conditions caused by lysosomal dysfunction and other investigational therapies for several rare diseases, many with the potential for accelerated approval. Before joining Sanofi-Genzyme, Dr. Modur served as Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Translational Research for HTG Molecular. Dr. Modur previously held clinical development leadership roles at Novartis and Merck.
“Zikani’s top priority is to advance its current nonsense mutation readthrough programs from lead optimization to candidate selection for first in human clinical trials following the positive, pre-clinical data demonstrated in multiple disease areas,” said Sumit Aggarwal, President and CEO, Zikani Therapeutics. “We’re optimistic about the opportunity to impact diseases with limited or no treatment options including: APC mutant colon cancer, familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), class 1 cystic fibrosis, and recessive dystrophic and junctional epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB and JEB), and Vijay’s experience and leadership will strengthen our capabilities to pursue this important work,” added Aggarwal.
“Zikani has focused its technology on where it holds the most promise and with the addition of Vijay is building a leadership team that will advance the company into the next phases of preclinical and clinical development,” said Alan Walts, Ph.D., Executive Chairman of Zikani’s Board of Directors.
Dr. Modur earned his MBBS at Karnatak University, Dharwad, India and his Ph.D. in Experimental Pathology at the University of Utah. He completed his residency at Washington University, St. Louis where he served as Chief Resident, Laboratory Medicine. Dr. Modur is board certified in Clinical Pathology.
“The promise of impacting rare diseases through such novel technology that builds upon the science of modulating protein translation is compelling,” said Modur. “The TURBO-ZMTM technology platform and the proof of cellular concept demonstrated across multiple disease states provides a compelling approach to treating rare diseases. I’m excited to join the team and look forward to making an impact on behalf of patients,” added Modur.
Ribosomal RNAs form the translation machinery that generates function proteins from genetic sequences. Ribosome modulation provides a therapeutic approach to addressing a number of diseases, but the development of disease-specific ribosome modulators has been a challenge.
About Zikani Therapeutics
Zikani Therapeutics is an emerging leader in the science of ribosome modulation, leveraging its innovative TURBO-ZMTM chemistry technology platform to develop novel ribosome modulating agents (RMAs) as therapeutics for people with limited treatment options. Zikani’s TURBO-ZMTM platform allows rapid synthesis of novel compounds that can be optimized to modulate the ribosome in a disease specific manner. As the company evolves its focus from early-stage to clinical-stage research, Zikani is actively moving into pre-clinical development to target select rare diseases including inherited diseases and cancers caused by nonsense mutations. For more information, visit zikani.com.
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