Raphael (“Rafi”) Hofstein, Ph.D. Brings Invaluable Experience to Scopus BioPharma
NEW YORK, May 05, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Scopus BioPharma Inc. (Nasdaq: “SCPS”), a biopharmaceutical company developing transformational therapeutics for serious diseases with significant unmet medical need, today announced the appointment of Raphael (“Rafi”) Hofstein, Ph.D. to its Board of Directors (“Board”).
Joshua R. Lamstein, Chairman of Scopus BioPharma, stated, “We are thrilled Dr. Hofstein is rejoining our Board. Dr. Hofstein brings invaluable insights and unparalleled experience in building start-up biotechnology companies into industry leaders.”
Dr. Hofstein is a global leader in the biopharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Over his career, Dr. Hofstein has been instrumental in the founding and/or leadership of over 60 biopharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. These companies include Fibrocor Therapeutics, a precision medicine company; BioLineRx (Nasdaq: “BLRX”), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on oncology; and Encycle Therapeutics, a peptide therapeutics company. Dr. Hofstein is Chairman of Fibrocor, which has strategic partnerships with Evotec SE (Nasdaq: “EVO”) and Galapagos NV (Nasdaq: “GLPG”). Dr. Hofstein has been a director of BioLineRx since its inception. Encycle was acquired by Zealand Pharma A/S (Nasdaq: “ZEAL”) in 2019. Dr. Hofstein has also played key leadership roles in establishing industry partnerships and strategic alliances with leading global biopharmaceutical, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, including Amgen, Baxter, Celgene/Bristol-Myers Squibb, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Pfizer and Takeda.
Dr. Hofstein received his B.Sc. in Chemistry and Physics from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and his M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Life Sciences and Chemistry from the Weizmann Institute of Science. Dr. Hofstein completed his postdoctoral training and research in the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Hofstein stated, “I am delighted to resume serving on the Board of Scopus. Having founded and nurtured many successful biotech companies, I am extremely excited about the Duet Platform, which encompasses an exceptional and comprehensive portfolio of immuno-oncology assets.”
Alan Horsager, Ph.D., President – Immuno-Oncology of Scopus BioPharma and President and Chief Executive Officer of Duet BioTherapeutics, stated, “Dr. Hofstein has provided exceptional guidance to us, based on his expertise in developing and commercializing novel and distinctive drug candidates. He views our bi-functional, TLR9-targeting approach to STAT3 inhibition as a first-in-class solution to solve the long-noted problem of STAT3’s undruggability.”
STAT3 has long been identified as playing a crucial role in human cancers, however it has remained largely “undruggable” due to insufficient selectively, potency and deliverability of therapeutics designed to target it. The Duet Platform presents a unique and highly effective solution to the limitations of targeting STAT3 by employing a nucleic acid-based suite of molecules which disrupt the protein in a targeted, cell-specific manner while simultaneously overcoming one of the primary barriers to effective nucleic acid therapeutics: endosomal escape. This is accomplished through the inclusion of a TLR9-targeting CpG moiety in Duet’s compounds, enabling their effective cellular internalization and release with the additional benefit of promoting innate and adaptive anti-tumor immune responses.
Dr. Hofstein fills a vacancy on the Board created by the voluntary resignations of directors who joined the Board as a result of the contested election relating to the 2021 Annual Meeting of Stockholders. The results of the contested election are being challenged in an action pursuant to Section 225 of Delaware’s General Corporation Law in the Delaware Court of Chancery.
About Scopus BioPharma
Scopus BioPharma Inc., both directly and through subsidiaries, is a biopharmaceutical company developing transformational therapeutics for serious diseases with significant unmet medical need. Duet BioTherapeutics, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Scopus, was launched in September 2021 by Scopus BioPharma to integrate the immunotherapy assets of Scopus and Olimmune, creating the Duet Platform. The Duet Platform is comprised of three distinctive complementary CpG-STAT3 inhibitors: RNA silencing – CpG-STAT3siRNA – (“DUET-01”); Antisense – CpG-STAT3ASO – (“DUET-02”); and DNA-binding inhibitor – CpG-STAT3decoy – (“DUET-03”). The Company is also developing additional drug candidates and seeking to identify additional compelling technologies for potential acquisition, in-licensing and/or other similar transactions.
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, 2021, as amended, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission) 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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