Nitrome Biosciences Announces Formation of Scientific Advisory Board and Appointment of Former AbbVie Executive James Summers, Ph.D. to SAB Chairperson

in Portfolio News

Nitrome SAB composed of esteemed experts and key scientific thought leaders in neurobiology and drug development

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 12, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Nitrome Biosciences (Nitrome), a privately-held biopharmaceutical company developing a platform around its newly discovered class of enzymes to target Parkinson’s disease and many other age-related and inflammatory disorders, today announced the formation of its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). Industry drug discovery and development veteran, James Summers, Ph.D., has been appointed chairperson of the SAB.

As we embark on newly discovered science in aging and inflammation biology, we look forward to thought leadership and close collaboration with the scientific leaders appointed to our SAB ,” said Irene Griswold-Prenner, Ph.D., founder, chief executive officer and chief scientific officer of Nitrome. “We are thrilled that this esteemed group of scientists has agreed to support our vision of advancing Nitrome science to patients. We look forward to Jim’s leadership and guidance as our SAB chair as we translate Nitrome science into important therapeutics.”

Dr. Summers added, “Dr. Griswold-Prenner’s discovery of an entirely new class of enzymes has the potential to transform the treatment of Parkinson’s disease and other age-related disorders. I am honored to be a part of this innovative scientific team. I very much look forward to working with the other SAB members and the company’s superb research and development team to guide Nitrome discoveries into clinical development.”

The SAB will be comprised of the following members:

SAB Chairperson - James Summers, Ph.D., former Vice President, Neuroscience Research, AbbVie
James B. Summers, Ph.D., has more than three decades of drug discovery and pharmaceutical research management experience spanning multiple therapeutic areas. Under his leadership at Abbott Laboratories and at AbbVie, teams have advanced more than 20 compounds into clinical development. He established new research sites in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Shanghai, China, was an architect of several strategies that defined the future direction of global research organizations, and championed multiple successful licensing deals, biotech collaborations and venture investments. Dr. Summers has held various senior R&D leadership positions where he led efforts focused on the discovery of new drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, pain, and psychiatric disorders. Most recently, he was vice president of neuroscience research at AbbVie. Dr. Summers also served as divisional vice president, advanced technology with Abbott where he was responsible for an organization engaged in a broad range of technologies and core services that enabled and accelerated drug discovery research across all of Abbott’s therapeutic areas and sites. Dr. Summers holds a BS, summa cum laude, in chemistry from Denison University and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Harvard University.

Harry Ischiropoulos, Ph.D., Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Harry Ischiropoulos, Ph.D., is the Gisela and Dennis Alter research professor of Pediatrics and Systems Pharmacology and Translational Therapeutics at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. His laboratory investigates the biological chemistry and signaling pathways of nitric oxide in the cardiovascular and neuronal systems using mass spectroscopy-based technologies. Dr. Ischiropoulos has authored 195 publications and is the recipient of several professional awards including an Established Investigator award from the American Heart Association. He served on several NIH review panels and advisory committees. He was the president for the Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine and served on the board of directors for the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. He was an editor for the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine and chaired the Gordon Research Conferences on Oxygen Radicals (2014) and on Nitric Oxide (2015). Dr. Ischiropoulos received a BS in chemistry from Wagner College, an MS in pathology and a Ph.D. in experimental pathology from New York Medical College.

Regis B. Kelly, Ph.D., Executive Director QB3
Regis B. Kelly, Ph.D., is the executive director of QB3, one of the four Governor Gray Davis Institutes for Science and Innovation. As executive director, Dr. Kelly helped launch two QB3-associated companies, QB3@953 now MBC Biolabs, a life sciences startup incubator, and Mission Bay Capital, a venture fund. As a result of his experiences, Dr. Kelly was appointed as senior advisor on innovation and entrepreneurship to the president of the University of California, Janet Napolitano. Prior to joining QB3 in 2004, Dr. Kelly served as executive vice-chancellor at UCSF and chairman of the department of biochemistry and biophysics. Dr. Kelly received an undergraduate degree in physics from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and a Ph.D. in biophysics from the California Institute of Technology. Following a post-doctoral fellowship at Stanford, Dr. Kelly was an instructor in the department of neurobiology at Harvard.

Stevan W Djuric, Ph.D., former Head of Global Medicinal Chemistry, AbbVie
Stevan W Djuric, Ph.D., was, until retirement in February 2019, head of the global AbbVie medicinal chemistry leadership team at AbbVie and Vice President of the Discovery Chemistry and Technology organization. The technology organization's efforts were focused on initiatives in the areas of high throughput synthesis and purification, hit-to-lead chemistry, chemical biology and new MS-based analytical technologies. In 2015 he was named a Distinguished Research Fellow. During his tenure at Abbott and AbbVie Laboratories, Dr. Djuric was a project leader for groups in the immunoscience, metabolic disease, and anti-infective areas. Several of these programs advanced compounds into clinical development and to the market including Abbott’s proprietary rapamycin analog, Zotarolimus, currently licensed to Medtronics for use on their vascular stents, marketed in the United States and Europe. Dr. Djuric has over 180 scientific publications, presentations and patents/applications pending. He has also given over 40 invited lectures at universities and national meetings. He is a member of several Editorial Advisory Boards including the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry and is an Associate Editor of ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters. In addition, he holds an Adjunct Professorship in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry at the University of Kansas and one at High Point University in North Carolina.

Zach W. Hall, Ph.D., Neurobiologist, former President of CIRM
Zach W. Hall, Ph.D., is a retired neuroscientist whose laboratory studied the molecular structure and development of the neuromuscular junction. He received his Ph.D. with Ed Kravitz at Harvard University in 1966. Following two years of post-doctoral work in the Department of Biochemistry at Stanford, Hall returned to Harvard to join the new Department of Neurobiology as an Assistant Professor. In 1976 he moved to UCSF where he started the Neuroscience Graduate Program. From 1994-97 he was director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke before returning to UCSF as Executive Vice Chancellor, with responsibility for developing the campus at Mission Bay. He then held a series of administrative positions, including the CEO of EnVivo Pharmaceuticals and later Associate Dean for Research at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. His last position was as the first president of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, a new state agency to fund stem cell research in California. Hall was one of the founding editors of Neuron, and is the author and editor of a textbook, An Introduction to Molecular Neurobiology. He has received a number of honors, including the Purkynje Medal from the Czech Academy of Sciences. Hall, who now lives in Wilson, WY, currently serves as an advisor and board member for Target ALS, a non-profit organization devoted to speeding the development of therapies for ALS by promoting collaboration between industry and academia.

Kalpana Merchant, Ph.D., Neuroscientist, former Eli Lilly, Pharmacia
Kalpana Merchant, Ph.D., an expert in neurobiology of chronic neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders, has nearly 25 years of experience in drug discovery and development, with a special emphasis on translational approaches. She retired from Eli Lilly in 2014 where she was the chief scientific officer for tailored therapeutics-neuroscience, where her team was accountable for personalized therapies and associated biomarkers for the neuroscience portfolio. Dr. Merchant joined Eli Lilly in 2003 after contributing to neuroscience drug discovery at Pharmacia Corp. for over 10 years. Since 2014, she has held chief executive/scientific officer roles at Chaperone Therapeutics and Vincere Biosciences. She serves as an advisor to the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research, several NIH working groups and a number of start-up pharmaceutical companies. She is an Adjunct Professor of Neurology at Northwestern University. Dr. Merchant received her Ph.D. in neuropharmacology from University of Utah in 1989. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at University of Washington, she remained at the institute as assistant professor of psychiatry, later transitioning to the pharmaceutical industry.

About Nitrome Biosciences
Nitrome Biosciences is a platform company developing drugs against a newly identified class of enzymes which play a harmful role in a variety of age and inflammation dependent diseases. The therapies that Nitrome is developing will target these enzymes and potentially help slow or halt the progression of diseases including Parkinson’s, Nitrome’s lead indication. The company also aims to expand its proprietary platform to include other diseases, such as other neurodegenerative diseases, macular degeneration, heart disease and cancer. Nitrome has been widely recognized and has won multiple awards including the prestigious Target Advancement grant from The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF). For more information, please visit the company’s website at

Investor Relations Contact:
Alexandra Santos
Wheelhouse Life Science Advisors

Media Contact:
Aljanae Reynolds
Wheelhouse Life Science Advisors

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