Biotechnology company Argenica Therapeutics (ASX: AGN) has added experienced healthcare and clinical trial professional Dr Meghan Thomas to its team to lead all clinical programs.
Dr Thomas has been appointed as head of clinical development and will provide leadership, program management and program oversight for the company’s upcoming phase 1 clinical trial of its lead neuroprotective therapeutic drug ARG-007.
Argenica has developed ARG-007 as a treatment for patients with stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE).
In addition to the upcoming phase 1 trial, Dr Thomas will manage any future studies as the company progresses ARG-007, and any other drugs, into later stage clinical development.
‘Wealth of experience’
Dr Thomas is moving over from Zelira Therapeutics (ASX: ZLD) where she was vice president of clinical programs and operations and oversaw the clinical trial program and Australian commercial manufacturing.
She also led regulatory requirements to advance Zelira’s lead therapeutics through to commercialisation.
Dr Thomas has also worked in clinical planning and with human research ethics committees across Western Australian Government departments.
Commenting on Dr Thomas’ appointment, Argenica chief executive officer Dr Liz Dallimore said she “brings a wealth of experience” managing Australian and global clinical trials and understands the commercial pressures a small biotechnology company faces.
“She is a huge asset for us moving forward into our phase 1 clinical trial for ARG-007 and expand our clinical program in the future,” Dr Dallimore added.
Argenica has developed ARG-007 to reduce brain tissue death after stroke and improve patient outcomes.
The drug is a neuroprotective peptide and has been successful in improving outcomes in pre-clinical stroke models. It is in the process of begin verified for its safety and toxicity before clinical trials can begin.
Argenica aims for ARG-007 to be administered by first responders in suspected stroke patients to protect brain tissue against damage. It also has potential to enhance recovery once stroke has taken place.
The drug is also being assessed as a potential therapeutic for TBI and HIE.