Genprex Strengthens Scientific Advisory Board with Appointment of Lead Researcher of University of Pittsburgh, George K. Gittes, MD
November 10, 2020
Inventor of the Company’s licensed diabetes gene therapy technology to provide leadership, strategy for diabetes program
Dr. Gittes was recipient of a $2.59 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”) National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases for his groundbreaking gene therapy research
AUSTIN, Texas — (Nov. 10, 2020) — Genprex, Inc. (“Genprex” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: GNPX), a clinical-stage gene therapy company focused on developing life-changing therapies for patients with cancer and diabetes, today announced the addition of George K. Gittes, MD to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). Dr. Gittes is the inventor of the Company’s licensed diabetes gene therapy technology that is currently in development, and serves as the Chief of Pediatric Surgery and Surgeon-in-Chief Emeritus at the UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
In February 2020, Genprex signed an exclusive license agreement with the University of Pittsburgh for Dr. Gittes’ diabetes gene therapy technology. Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes together affect approximately 30.3 million people in the U.S., or about 9 percent of the U.S. population. By replacing or repairing damaged or missing genes, gene therapy offers a potential cure for patients suffering from diabetes, as opposed to merely treating symptoms.
As a member of Genprex’s SAB, Dr. Gittes will leverage his highly impressive expertise to provide strategic support and drive strategy for the Company’s diabetes clinical development program.
“We are delighted to have Dr. Gittes join our Scientific Advisory Board as Genprex continues to advance its diabetes program,” said Rodney Varner, Genprex’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “It is imperative that we rely on the guidance and direction of esteemed individuals with a wealth of expertise in research and gene therapy, and I expect that Genprex will benefit greatly from Dr. Gittes’ experience. He will play an instrumental role in our efforts to bring new hope to patients who suffer from the devastating complications of this chronic illness.”
In addition to his role as Chief of Pediatric Surgery and Surgeon-in-Chief Emeritus at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, one of the busiest pediatric surgical programs in the U.S., he was appointed Director of the Richard King Mellon Foundation Institute for Pediatric Research and Co-Scientific director at UPMC Children’s Hospital in 2018. Prior to UPMC, Dr. Gittes served as the Director of Surgical Research at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City and held the Thomas M. Holder and Keith W. Ashcraft Chair in Pediatric Surgical Research. During his time in Kansas City, he also was elected to the position of President of the Society of University of Surgeons.
He is an active member of numerous professional and scientific society memberships, including the American Society of Clinical Investigators, the American Surgical Association, the American Diabetes Association and the Association of American Physicians. His research has been published in several peer-reviewed scientific publications, and he is the recipient of several research grants, including a recent $2.59 million grant awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to assist his ongoing preclinical research for important proof-of-principle non-human primate studies of his diabetes gene therapy.
About Genprex, Inc.
Genprex, Inc. is a clinical-stage gene therapy company focused on developing life-changing therapies for patients with cancer and diabetes. Genprex’s technologies are designed to administer disease-fighting genes to provide new therapies for large patient populations with cancer and diabetes who currently have limited treatment options. Genprex works with world-class institutions and collaborators to develop drug candidates to further its pipeline of gene therapies in order to provide novel treatment approaches. The Company’s lead product candidate, REQORSA™ immunogene therapy drug (quaratusugene ozeplasmid), is being evaluated as a treatment for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). REQORSA has a multimodal mechanism of action that has been shown to interrupt cell signaling pathways that cause replication and proliferation of cancer cells; re-establish pathways for apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in cancer cells; and modulate the immune response against cancer cells. REQORSA has also been shown to block mechanisms that create drug resistance. In January 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted Fast Track Designation for REQORSA for NSCLC in combination therapy with osimertinib (AstraZeneca’s Tagrisso®)for patients with EFGR mutations whose tumors progressed after treatment with osimertinib alone. For more information, please visit the Company’s web site at www.genprex.com or follow Genprex on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Statements contained in this press release regarding matters that are not historical facts are “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the effect of Genprex’s product candidates, alone and in combination with other therapies, on cancer and diabetes, regarding potential, current and planned clinical trials, regarding the Company’s future growth and financial status and regarding our commercial partnerships and intellectual property licenses. Risks that contribute to the uncertain nature of the forward-looking statements include the presence and level of the effect of our product candidates, alone and in combination with other therapies, on cancer; the timing and success of our clinical trials and planned clinical trials of REQORSA™, alone and in combination with targeted therapies and/or immunotherapies, and whether our other potential product candidates, including GPX-002, our gene therapy in diabetes, advance into clinical trials; the success of our strategic partnerships, including those relating to manufacturing of our product candidates; the timing and success at all of obtaining FDA approval of REQORSA and our other potential product candidates including whether we receive or benefit from fast track or similar regulatory designations; costs associated with developing our product candidates, whether we identify and succeed in acquiring other technologies and whether patents will ever be issued under patent applications that are the subject of our license agreements or otherwise. These and other risks and uncertainties are described more fully under the caption “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in our filings and reports with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date on which they were made. We undertake no obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made.