NEW YORK, Sept. 21, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Anavex Life Sciences Corp. ("Anavex" or the "Company") (OTCQX:AVXL), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing drug candidates to treat Alzheimer's disease, other central nervous system (CNS) diseases, pain, and various types of cancer, today announced the appointment of Harald Hampel, MD, MA, PhD, MSc, to the Company's Scientific Advisory Board. An internationally recognized expert on Alzheimer's and related neurodegenerative diseases, Dr. Hampel is Professor and AXA Research Fund Chair at Sorbonne Universities' Pierre and Marie Curie University (UPMC) in Paris, the leading university in science, technology and medicine in France. The AXA-UPMC Chair is hosted within the highly specialized Institute for Memory and Alzheimer's Disease (IM2A), a reference center for Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases, and affiliated with a leading neuroscience institution, the Brain and Spine Institute (ICM), as well as the Department of Neurology at the Pitié-Salpétrière University Hospital.
"We are excited to welcome Harald as a Scientific Advisor. He has conducted more than 50 clinical trials over the past 20 years and is recognized as a world-leading researcher who has developed international programs focused on Alzheimer's therapy, diagnosis and the development of biological and imaging biomarkers, including his current work as AXA-UPMC Chair, which aims to improve early detection at the preclinical 'silent stage' before the onset of any clinical signs and symptoms," said Christopher U. Missling, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Anavex. "We believe Harald's vast knowledge of Alzheimer's, his experience and interest in drug development, and focus on early detection, diagnosis and intervention complement our therapeutic approach and offer significant value as we advance ANAVEX 2-73 through the clinic."
After a post-doctoral fellowship focused on structural and functional neuroimaging of the healthy aging and Alzheimer's disease brain at the NIH/NIA Laboratory of Neurosciences in Bethesda, MD, Dr. Hampel became founding director of the Alzheimer Memorial Center and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Munich. In 2006, he was appointed as a Professor and Chair of Psychiatry at Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland. During this time, he was a leading Principal Investigator at the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience (TCIN). In 2010, Dr. Hampel was appointed as Professor, Chair and Head of Department of Psychiatry and Co-Director of the Brain Imaging Center (BIC) at the University of Frankfurt.
"I am impressed with Anavex and its potential CNS platform drug, ANAVEX 2-73, which has shown promising interim clinical data from its Phase 2a Alzheimer's trial," said Dr. Hampel. "Anavex has also assembled an impressive team of business and scientific leaders, which I am delighted to join. I look forward to advising the company as it continues to focus on developing drugs that meet significant unmet needs in Alzheimer's and other indications."
Dr. Hampel has published more than 500 peer-reviewed research papers, 80 book chapters and eight books, many in world-leading scientific journals, such as the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, The Lancet, The Lancet Neurology, Nature Genetics, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery and Nature Reviews Neurology. He has won numerous awards for his scientific work on healthy and diseased brains as well as biomarker and therapy discovery in Alzheimer's. Additionally, Dr. Hampel has been a reviewer for leading international scientific journals and funding agencies in the US, Canada and Europe and is Senior Associate Editor of the leading international Alzheimer's journal Alzheimer's & Dementia, the journal of the Alzheimer's Association.
He obtained his MD and PhD at the University of Munich. Dr. Hampel also holds an MSc from Cologne University and an MA from Trinity College at the University of Dublin.
About Anavex Life Sciences Corp.
Anavex Life Sciences Corp. (OTCQX:AVXL) is a publicly traded biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of novel drug candidates to treat central nervous system (CNS) diseases and various types of cancer. Anavex's lead drug candidates, ANAVEX 2-73 and ANAVEX PLUS, the combination of ANAVEX 2-73 and donepezil (Aricept®), are currently in a Phase 2a clinical trial for Alzheimer's disease. ANAVEX 2-73 is an orally available drug candidate that targets sigma-1 and muscarinic receptors and successfully completed Phase 1 with a clean data profile. Preclinical studies demonstrated its potential to halt and/or reverse the course of Alzheimer's disease. It has also exhibited anticonvulsant, anti-amnesic, neuroprotective and anti-depressant properties in convulsive epileptic animal models, indicating its potential to treat additional CNS disorders, including epilepsy and others. The drug combination ANAVEX PLUS produced up to 80% greater reversal of memory loss in Alzheimer's disease models versus when the drugs were used individually. Further information is available at www.anavex.com.
Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical in nature are forward-looking statements. These statements are only predictions based on current information and expectations and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual events or results may differ materially from those projected in any of such statements due to various factors, including the risks set forth in the Company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement and Anavex Life Sciences Corp. undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof.
For Further Information Anavex Life Sciences Corp. Research & Business Development Toll-free: 1-844-689-3939 Email: [email protected] Shareholder & Media Relations Toll-free: 1-866-505-2895 Outside North America: +1 (416) 489-0092 Email: [email protected] www.anavex.com