Dr. Rossi is a world leader in the development of RNA interference, the Lidow Family Research Endowed Chair and Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope National Medical Center, and a serial founder and entrepreneur of life science ventures
Professor Habib is a leading academic hepatobiliary surgeon, Head of Surgery at the Hammersmith Hospital Campus, Imperial College London, and a serial founder and entrepreneur of life science ventures
NEW YORK, Sept. 14, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Scopus BioPharma Inc. (Nasdaq: “SCPS”), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing transformational therapeutics for serious diseases with significant unmet medical need, today announced the appointments of John Rossi, Ph.D. and Nagy Habib, Ch.M., F.R.C.S. to the Scientific Advisory Board of Duet Therapeutics. Duet Therapeutics is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Scopus.
Dr. Rossi is widely regarded as a world leader in the development of RNA interference. Dr. Rossi is the Lidow Family Research Endowed Chair and Professor and Chair of the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope National Medical Center. He also serves as the Dean Emeritus of Irell and Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences at City of Hope. Dr. Rossi’s research focuses on enhancing the intracellular efficacy of ribozymes, small RNAs and siRNAi, and their application to gene therapy for HIV and cancer.
Dr. Rossi co-founded Olimmune with Marcin Kortylewski, Ph.D., Duet’s Senior Scientific Advisor and a Professor in the Department of Immuno-Oncology at City of Hope. Olimmune was acquired by Scopus in June 2021. Duet was launched in September 2021 to integrate the management and clinical development of the immuno-oncology assets of Scopus and Olimmune.
In addition, Dr. Rossi co-founded Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, MiNA Therapeutics, Apterna Therapeutics, and Switch Therapeutics. He serves as Chairman of the Dicerna Scientific Advisory Board. He also serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards of multiple other companies including: NanoViricides, American Gene Technologies, and Aum Pharmaceuticals.
Professor Habib is a leading academic hepatobiliary surgeon and Head of Surgery at the Hammersmith Hospital Campus, Imperial College London. His research evolved from the research in oncogenes to tumor suppressor genes, epigenetic modification, gene therapy, stem cell therapy, RNA, and saRNA and RNA aptamers. Professor Habib is the first to trial a first-in-human and a first-in-class RNA oligonucleotide in patients with liver cancer, among other accomplishments.
Professor Habib co-founded several biotech companies, including: EMcision (acquired by Boston Scientific), OmniCyte, MiNA Therapeutics, Apterna Therapeutics, Medeva (acquired by Celltech), and Bioenvision (acquired by Genzyme).
In their new roles as members of Duet’s Scientific Advisory Board, Dr. Rossi and Professor Habib will provide scientific and other guidance on the development of the three CpG-STAT3 inhibitors constituting the Duet Platform. The Duet Platform is comprised of three distinctive complementary CpG-STAT3 inhibitors:
|• RNA silencing||CpG-STAT3siRNA||(“DUET-01”)|
|• DNA-binding inhibitor||CpG-STAT3decoy||(“DUET-03”)|
Alan Horsager, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Duet and President — Immuno-Oncology for Scopus, stated, “We are excited to add Dr. Rossi and Professor Habib to our Scientific Advisory Board. They bring vast experience in the discovery and development of RNA therapeutics as company co-founders and scientific leaders in their respective academic institutions. Their experience, commitment, and passion for improving patient outcomes will be highly valuable as we continue to develop and grow the Duet Platform.”
About Scopus BioPharma
Scopus BioPharma Inc., both directly and through subsidiaries, is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing transformational therapeutics for serious diseases with significant unmet medical need. The company’s lead drug candidate is a novel, targeted immuno-oncology RNA therapy for the treatment of multiple cancers. This drug candidate is highly distinctive, encompassing both RNA therapy and immunotherapy by synthetically linking siRNA to an oligonucleotide TLR9 agonist, creating the potential for targeted gene silencing with simultaneous TLR stimulation and immune activation in the tumor microenvironment. Additional STAT3-targeting immunotherapy drug candidates include bifunctional antisense and DNA-binding inhibition therapies. In addition, the company is developing additional drug candidates that target the endocannabinoid system, including MRI-1867 for the treatment systemic sclerosis. The company also seeks to identify additional compelling technologies for potential acquisition, in-licensing and/or other similar transactions. Receive updates by following Scopus BioPharma on Twitter here.
This press release may include forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks (including those set forth in the company’s Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020, as amended, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”)) and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ from the forward-looking statements. The company expressly disclaims any obligations or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in the company’s expectations with respect thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any statement is based. Investors should realize that if our underlying assumptions for the projections contained herein prove inaccurate or that known or unknown risks or uncertainties materialize, actual results could vary materially from our expectations and projections. Further, there can be no assurance that the company will identify and/or consummate any transaction relating to any additional technologies.
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