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12 May 2014

Ario Pharma Strengthens Scientific Advisory Board with Two Key Appointments

Ario Pharma Ltd, the Cambridge biopharmaceutical company developing innovative new approaches to treat respiratory disease, has appointed Professor Peter Barnes DM, DSc, FRCP, FCCP, FMedSci, FRS and Professor Wisia Wedzicha MA, MD, FRCP, FMedSci to its Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) with immediate effect.


Peter Barnes is Margaret Turner-Warwick Professor of Medicine at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Head of Respiratory Medicine at Imperial College and Honorary Consultant Physician at Royal Brompton Hospital, London. He qualified at Cambridge and Oxford Universities and was appointed to his present post in 1987. He has published more than 1000 peer-review papers on asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and related topics and has written or edited in excess of 50 books. He is the 7th most highly cited researcher in the world, has been the most highly cited clinical scientist in Europe and the most highly cited respiratory researcher in the world over the last 20 years. Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2007, Professor Barnes is currently President of the European Respiratory Society. He co-founded an Imperial spin-out company RespiVert, which was acquired by Johnson & Johnson and has developed novel inhaled treatments for COPD and severe asthma.


Wisia Wedzicha is Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, UK. She qualified from Somerville College, Oxford University and St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College, University of London. Professor Wedzicha has a particular interest in the causes, mechanisms, impact and prevention of COPD exacerbations and in the role of bacterial and viral infection at COPD exacerbation. She directs an active research group into COPD exacerbations and has published extensively on this topic. Professor Wedzicha was a member of the Guideline Development Group for the revision of the National Institute for Healthcare and Clinical Excellence COPD Guidelines.


Dr John Ford, CEO of Ario Pharma, commented: “We are very pleased to welcome two eminent respiratory  physicians from the world-leading Imperial College respiratory medicine group to the SAB, joining international medical experts such as Professor Maria Belvisi, Head of the Respiratory Pharmacology group at the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College. The SAB will serve as a strategic resource to assist Ario Pharma in the planning, design and implementation of clinical trials. Peter and Wisia will also play a key role in advising the Company on the development of new targets for respiratory disease.”


Ario Pharma recently commenced a Phase IIa study of its TRPV1 antagonist, XEN-0501, for the treatment and prevention of cough in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

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