CytRx Corporation has announced that one of the world's leading neuroscientists, professor Geoffrey Burnstock, Ph.D., DSc., F.A.A., FMedSci, FRS, has joined CytRx's Scientific Advisory Board.
Professor Burnstock, who played a major role in the development of CytRx's lead small molecule drug candidate arimoclomol, was named by The Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) last year as the one single-most cited international scientist in pharmacology and toxicology during the prior decade.
He has been awarded the prestigious Queens Royal Gold Medal by the Royal Society and the titles of Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons and Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, which are among the United Kingdom's highest medical degrees.
Professor Burnstock's work with arimoclomol includes participation in a study that supports CytRx's current clinical development of arimoclomol for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease).
This study demonstrated that arimoclomol-treated mice possessing a genetic marker similar to that expressed in ALS-afflicted humans showed marked improvement in hind limb muscle function and motoneuron survival in the later stages of the disease, resulting in a 22% increase in lifespan.
Findings from this study, published in the March 2004 issue of the peer-reviewed journal Nature Medicine, indicates arimoclomol may be a successful therapeutic for treating ALS and possibly other neurodegenerative diseases.
"We are delighted to welcome Professor Burnstock to our board, noting his distinguished work on signaling and neurotransmission in the autonomic nervous system," said Steven A. Kriegsman, President and CEO of CytRx.
"We believe that our ability to assemble a world-class Scientific Advisory Board with some of the most highly respected scientists in our field, including Professor Burnstock, Dr. Louis Ignarro, Nobel Laureate, and three other members of the
National Academy of Sciences, speaks volumes about the quality of our technology that includes small molecule, RNAi and HIV vaccine development."
Professor Burnstock commented, "I'm delighted to join the Scientific Advisory Board of CytRx, which is a lively and forward-looking company."
Professor Burnstock is currently Director of Autonomic Neuroscience Institute at the Royal Free & University College Medical School in London, where he has served in several capacities since 1975.
Among these include Convener at the Centre for Neuroscience and Head of the Department and Professor of Anatomy in the Department of Anatomy and Development.
Pharmaceutical companies he has consulted for include, Roche Bioscience, Institut de Recherches Internationales Servier, Abbott Laboratories, Eisai and Recordati.
Among his other positions, he served as Senior Lecturer, Associate Dean, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Zoology at the University of Melbourne.
He began his career at the National Institute for Medical Research in London in 1956, followed by positions with the University of Illinois in the Department of Physiology and at Oxford University in the Department of Pharmacology.
Professor Burnstock serves or has served on the editorial or scientific advisory board of 29 peer-reviewed journals.
He has personally supervised over 100 Ph.D. and medical students, has been a frequent lecturer and has authored 1,000 original published papers since 1957.
Additionally, Professor Burnstock has received grants from public and private sources totaling 15 million Pounds Sterling to support his research.