Amakem Sponsors Ophthalmology Chair at KU Leuve
DIEPENBEEK, Belgium, April 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –
Amakem NV, a kinase platform company focusing on ophthalmology, today announces it has
sponsored a new Chair of Ophthalmology Translational Research at the Catholic University
Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium.
The Chair has been established by the University and Amakem to drive further
translational research into the prevention of diseases leading to impaired vision or
blindness with a special emphasis on glaucoma. It will be held by Professor Ingeborg
Stalmans, head of the glaucoma clinic of the Ophthalmology Department at the University
Hospital in Leuven (UZLeuven). Professor Stalmans also runs an ophthalmology laboratory at
KU Leuven and is a member of Amakem’s Clinical Advisory Board.
Professor Stalmans said: “Amakem is a relatively young company to sponsor a Chair at a
leading University and it is a measure of the maturity of their approach. As a member of
the Amakem Clinical Advisory Board, I have had the opportunity to work closely with them
as they have advanced AMA0076 into the clinic as a highly promising new treatment for
glaucoma and ocular hypertension. I am grateful for the opportunity presented by the Chair
to advance work into the science underlying glaucoma and other diseases and look forward
to this work being translated into new medicines.”
The KU Leuven Chair sponsorship is intended to further fundamental research and the
Chair holder is appointed by the Rector of the University on the recommendation of the
Dean of the relevant faculty. The Chair holder can use the gift to fund teaching or
research. Amakem has initially committed to funding the Chair for three years.
Dr. Jack Elands, CEO of Amakem, said: “It is with great pride that we make this
announcement. We have already established a very strong relationship with KU Leuven and
this sponsorship will serve to build on that and provide valuable funding to research
aimed at improving treatment for patients with sight threatening conditions. We look
forward to new insight being generated, particularly improved understanding of the causes
and potential treatment of glaucoma.”
In healthy eyes, aqueous humor flows through the eye and exits, primarily via the
trabecular meshwork, to maintain the appropriate intraocular pressure. In glaucoma,
increased pressure leads to damage of the optic nerve resulting in vision loss and
ultimately blindness. It is expected that Prof. Stalmans will focus part of her work as
Chair of Ophthalmology Translational Research on strategies to improve eye health by
restoring the function of the trabecular meshwork.
Amakem’s lead product, AMA0076, is a Rho Kinase (ROCK) inhibitor which is currently in
a Phase 2a clinical trial in glaucoma and ocular hypertension. Its primary mode of action
is through increasing flow of aqueous humor via the trabecular meshwork.
Amakem is an ophthalmology company developing new treatments for serious eye
conditions. Amakem’s product pipeline is based on its unique Localized Drug Action
platform which is designed to generate safe and effective novel kinase inhibitors that
minimize systemic exposure with the aim of reducing side effects. Amakem’s lead candidate,
AMA0076, is for glaucoma and entered Phase 2a development late last year. The Company is
also working to apply the Localized Drug Action approach to a range of other eye diseases.
Founded in 2010, Amakem has raised more than EUR21m in funding and is backed by
leading life sciences investors including Forbion, Omnes Capital (previously Credit
Agricole), Vesalius BioCapital, LRM, PMV/Vinnof and Life Science Research Partners.
Amakem is based in Belgium and located in the life sciences incubator “BioVille” at
the University of Hasselt. The Company has a long-standing collaboration with the
Ophthalmology Research Center of the University Leuven Hospital, where it sponsors a Chair
in Ophthalmology Translational Research.
For more information, please contact
Amakem NV Jack Elands, CEO firstname.lastname@example.org +32-(0)-474-828-580
Citigate Dewe Rogerson Chris Gardner/Nina Enegren email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org +44-(0)-20-7638-9571