Autophagy biotech company Samsara Therapeutics has appointed neurologist and world-leading researcher in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)/Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Professor Dame Pamela Shaw to its scientific advisory board.
Professor Shaw will help to drive the next phase of development of Samsara’s ALS/MND drug candidate SAM001, expediting its journey into the clinic and offering new hope for people with this life-limiting condition.
Professor Shaw said: “Samsara has some really promising drug candidates for neurodegenerative disorders and we want to make these available to patients as quickly as possible so they can experience their transformative benefits.
“However, navigating the complexities of clinical trials can be tough.
“I hope to use my lifetime of experience to make sure we design trials correctly, ask the right questions and collect the right data that unequivocally demonstrates the advantages SAM001 can offer individuals with diseases such as ALS/MND.”
Professor Shaw’s extensive research in ALS/MND has helped to uncover the biological pathways that define the condition, develop novel neuroprotective therapies and shape clinical practice to improve patient experience and outcomes.
She will join the panel of distinguished leaders in the areas of neurodegeneration, rare genetic disease and autophagy biology, advising and driving Samsara forward.
The board is headed by the company’s scientific co-founder Guido Kroemer MD, PhD who is one of the world’s most cited life scientists.
Samsara Therapeutics focuses on developing drugs for neurodegenerative diseases by specifically targeting the vital cellular self-cleaning process of autophagy that removes waste material, such as the toxic protein deposits implicated in the development of ALS/MND.
SAM001 is a once daily, oral treatment that by boosting autophagy has been shown to reduce damage to brain cells taken from people with ALS/MND and reverse the symptoms of disease in mice.
Peter Hamley, Samsara Therapeutics’ chief scientific officer, said:
“SAM001, is our most advanced asset now finalising IND-enabling studies for ALS/MND and Parkinson’s.
“Being able to tap into Professor Shaw’s personal experience in developing therapeutic candidates and working across both academic and clinical environments will be invaluable in effectively and efficiently moving SAM001 through this next phase.
“Her support will bring us closer to delivering a much-needed disease-modifying treatment with the potential to reduce treatment complexity and improve quality of life for people with ALS/MND.”