We are Apellis Pharmaceuticals

What We Do

About Apellis

Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is an early stage biotechnology company applying immunotherapy to auto-immune diseases, with an initial emphasis on diseases of the lungs such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diseases of the retina such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and rare hematological diseases such as paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH). Apellis believes that targeting a key element in the immune system called the complement system can have profound disease modifying benefits. We call this approach Complement Immunotherapy.

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Our Pipeline

Apellis’ efforts are focused on developing complement immunotherapies around three distinct therapeutic areas.

ApellisPipeline
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Rare Diseases
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Our Team

We believe in a diverse range of personnel to bring creative skills, thoughts, and ideas to the table.

Cedric Francois, MD/PhD

Cedric Francois, MD/PhD

Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer/President View Details
Pascal Deschatelets, PhD

Pascal Deschatelets, PhD

Co-founder & Chief Operating Officer View Details
David Watson, JD

David Watson, JD

General Counsel & Vice-President of Corporate Development View Details
Federico Grossi, MD/PhD

Federico Grossi, MD/PhD

Vice-President of Clinical Development View Details
Monica Gerber, MD/PhD/JD

Monica Gerber, MD/PhD/JD

Vice-President of Intellectual Property View Details
Raymond Stoll, PhD

Raymond Stoll, PhD

Chief Toxicologist View Details
Lisa Tan, RN

Lisa Tan, RN

Acting Clinical Director View Details
Cedric Francois, MD/PhD

Cedric Francois, MD/PhD

Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer/President

Dr. Francois founded Apellis Pharmaceuticals in 2009 and became its Chief Executive Officer. His primary areas of expertise are immunology and immune system mediated disease. Cedric Francois received his medical degree from the University of Leuven in Belgium and his Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of Louisville. Following postgraduate training in pediatric and transplant surgery, Dr. Francois was a member of the research team that performed the first successful hand transplantation and of the Louisville Face Transplant Team, whose work supported the first human face transplantation in Lyon, France in 2005. He has published numerous publications and is the principal author on the clinical report of the first four human hand transplantations. He is an inventor on many biotechnology patent applications, including all of Potentia’s and Apellis’ proprietary patent applications. Dr. Francois led Potentia to become the first group to test complement-inhibiting drug candidates for age-related macular degeneration, more than a year before the landmark reports in Science magazine in 2005, establishing complement as a key mechanism in AMD.

Pascal Deschatelets, PhD

Pascal Deschatelets, PhD

Co-founder & Chief Operating Officer

Dr. Deschatelets founded Apellis Pharmaceuticals in November 2009 and joined as its Chief Operating Officer. Prior to founding Apellis, Dr. Deschatelets co-founded Potentia Pharmaceuticals, and was its Chief Operating Officer when the company signed a licensing agreement with Alcon in 2009 for Potentia’s ocular drug development program. In addition to overseeing the day-to-day activities of these companies and managing external collaborations, he is actively involved in overseeing their research and development efforts and supporting all the business development work. Dr. Deschatelets has been engaged in state-of-the-art research in the areas of surface chemistry and organic synthesis for the last 25 years, and was a co-founder of Syntetica Fine Chemicals, a custom chemical synthesis company supporting the pharmaceutical industry. He has extensive experience in nanobiotechnology and in the synthesis of organic molecules and bioconjugates. Dr. Deschatelets received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Montreal and his post-doctoral training in the laboratory of Dr. George Whitesides at Harvard University.

David Watson, JD

David Watson, JD

General Counsel & Vice-President of Corporate Development

Mr. Watson has been the Vice President of Corporate Development of Apellis Pharmaceuticals since 2014. Previously, Mr. Watson was a Member at Frost Brown Todd LLC, where his practice included equity finance, mergers & acquisitions and securities transactions. Mr. Watson is a graduate of Harvard College (B.A., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), Vanderbilt Law School (J.D.) and the University of Kentucky (M.A., mathematics).

Federico Grossi, MD/PhD

Federico Grossi, MD/PhD

Vice-President of Clinical Development

Dr. Grossi was Potentia Pharmaceuticals’ Clinical Research Director when he joined Apellis as the new company’s Clinical Research Director in 2010. Dr. Grossi received his medical degree from the University of Cordoba in Argentina and his Doctorate’s Degree in Physiology from the University of Louisville. Following his post graduate training in surgery, Dr. Grossi joined the Plastic Surgery Research Laboratory at the University of Louisville where he developed his expertise in microsurgery and composite tissue transplantation. He was a crucial member of the Louisville Face Transplant Team, which has published several manuscripts on the ethical and psychological aspect of face transplantation that are now considered hallmark publications in this field. He has also published numerous articles in the fields of ischemic preconditioning and composite tissue allotransplantation.

Monica Gerber, MD/PhD/JD

Monica Gerber, MD/PhD/JD

Vice-President of Intellectual Property

Dr. Gerber was Potentia Pharmaceutical’s General Counsel when she transferred to Apellis in May 2010 to become the new company’s General Counsel and Vice-President of Intellectual Property Dr. Gerber was a patent attorney at the law firm of Choate, Hall & Stewart in Boston, where she assisted clients in the life sciences field with their intellectual property needs ranging from intellectual property development and protection to licensing. Before joining Choate in 1999, Dr. Gerber was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University. Dr. Gerber received her Ph.D. in Biochemistry & Biophysics from the University of California, San Francisco, where she studied the role of the CDC37 gene in the cell cycle, and received her M.D. from the same university. She received her J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School.. Dr. Gerber also holds a part-time position as the Patent Counsel of the Whitehead Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Raymond Stoll, PhD

Raymond Stoll, PhD

Chief Toxicologist

Dr. Stoll was Potentia Pharmaceuticals’ Chief Toxicologist and took over the same duties when Apellis Pharmaceuticals was launched in 2010. Dr. Stoll started his career in drug development when serving in the United States Air Force while doing research in Endocrinology and Nephrology from 1968 through 1971 and supporting clinical trials investigating lipid lowering agents. In 1974 he was awarded a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology from Purdue University; upon graduation he started his industrial career of over 35 years, initially at Merck in West Point, PA and then served as Manager, Associate Director and then Director of Preclinical Safety Assessment at Sandoz Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Senior Director of Toxicology and Pathology at Cetus/Chiron; and Director of Toxicology and Safety Assessment at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He was awarded the title Highly Distinguished Scientist in Toxicology at BI. He is presently Adjunct Professor in Toxicology at University of Connecticut. He has served on numerous task forces in the PMA, and served as Chairperson of the DRUSAFE (Drug Safety) Steering Committee and was a working member of this subsection committee of the PMA for 25 years. Additionally, he served as PMA Safety Chairperson in ICH (International Conference on Harmonization) process I, II, and III from. He has authored over 35 scientific papers and numerous abstracts to date.

Dr. Stoll was responsible for the design, strategy, execution and toxicological regulatory issues of toxicology IND/NDA programs for 20 major pharmaceutical compounds approved for marketing by the FDA and European agencies. His scientific interests include toxicogenomics, carcinogenicity (secondary mechanisms of tumor induction), transgenic mice in carcinogenicity assessments, genotoxicology and computers/statistics used in preclinical toxicology testing.

Lisa Tan, RN

Lisa Tan, RN

Acting Clinical Director

Lisa has 20 years’ experience in clinical research and development. She started her career at Cephalon Inc., working on a Phase III study of Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. She joined Pfizer in 1996 and held positions of increasing responsibility including Senior Clinical Research Associate, Clinical Research Manager, Clinical Scientist (Associate Director) and Director. Since 2010 Lisa has worked as an independent consultant providing clinical research leadership to large pharma and smaller biotechnology clients. Lisa joined Apellis as acting Clinical Research Director in April 2012 and has provided input into the clinical development programs for APL-1 and APL-2.

Lisa has a proven track record of successes in clinical development, clinical pharmacology and translational medicine. Her main therapeutic area expertise is respiratory medicine and she also has experience in gastroenterology, nephrology and infectious diseases. Lisa is involved in strategic clinical development planning as well as the design of individual clinical studies including methodology development, first-in-human and proof-of-concept studies. Lisa has consistently delivered on the execution of these studies and has presented clinical results at major scientific conferences and published in peer reviewed journals.

Board of Directors

Gerald Chan, SD

Gerald Chan, SD

Chairman View Details
Stephanie Monaghan O’Brien, JD

Stephanie Monaghan O’Brien, JD

Director View Details
Alec Machiels, JD/MBA

Alec Machiels, JD/MBA

Co-founder View Details
Cedric Francois, MD/PhD

Cedric Francois, MD/PhD

Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer/President View Details
Sinclair Dunlop, MBA

Sinclair Dunlop, MBA

Director View Details
Gerald Chan, SD

Gerald Chan, SD

Chairman

Gerald Chan is a venture capitalist whose work focuses on start-up biotechnology companies founded on novel science. He sits on the boards of several biotech companies including Aduro, Synchroneuron, Matrivax and Stealth Peptides. After completing his doctoral and post-doctoral training at Harvard University, he co-founded the Morningside Group, an investment firm with venture, private equity and property investments that maintains a strong commitment to social responsibility. Gerald is a director of the Morningside Foundation whose donations lead to the founding of the Morningside College of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and to the naming of the Harvard School of Public Health after his late father, T.H. Chan. Gerald remains closely associated with the School of Public Health where he is a Distinguished Visiting Fellow and a member of the Board of Dean’s Advisors. Gerald holds an honorary fellowship at Wolfson College of Oxford University and an honorary Doctor of Social Science degree from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Stephanie Monaghan O’Brien, JD

Stephanie Monaghan O’Brien, JD

Director

Stephanie O’Brien represents Morningside Ventures and has extensive experience working with venture-backed companies focused on novel science. She focuses on early-stage companies, working with CEOs on building the management team and developing business plans. She has served on numerous private company boards, including Aduro Biotech, Inc., ViOptiox, Inc., I-Behavior, Inc., Natural Polymer International Corp., Serica Technology, Inc., and BiddingForGood, Inc. She received her A.B., cum laude, from Harvard College and her J.D. from New York University School of Law. Prior to attending law school, Stephanie worked for Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A, where she completed the loan officer credit training program and then worked in international portfolio analysis. After law school, Stephanie spent nine years as a corporate lawyer with Hale and Dorr in the Boston and Washington, D.C. offices, working primarily with venture capital finance and start-up companies.

Alec Machiels, JD/MBA

Alec Machiels, JD/MBA

Co-founder

Alec Machiels is a Partner at Pegasus Capital Advisors, L.P., a private equity fund manager. Mr. Machiels is a member of the firm’s Executive and Investment Committees. He has over 15 years of private equity investing and investment banking experience. Previously, Mr. Machiels was a Financial Analyst in the Financial Services Group at Goldman Sachs International in London and in the Private Equity Group at Goldman Sachs and Co. in New York. Investments in which he has been highly involved in include Pure Biofuels, Molycorp Minerals, Traxys, Slipstream Communications, Coffeyville Resources and Merisant Company. He also co-founded and serves as a board member of Potentia Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. which respectively have drugs in development to treat macular degeneration and rare diseases and COPD. He also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Federation of Arts where he chaired the endowment committee. Mr. Machiels is a graduate of Harvard Business School, KU Leuven Law School in Belgium and Konstanz University in Germany.

Cedric Francois, MD/PhD

Cedric Francois, MD/PhD

Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer/President

Cedric Francois’ primary areas of expertise are immunology and immune system mediated disease. Cedric Francois received his medical degree from the University of Leuven in Belgium and his Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of Louisville. Following postgraduate training in pediatric and transplant surgery, Dr. Francois was a member of the research team that performed the first successful hand transplantation and of the Louisville Face Transplant Team, whose work supported the first human face transplantation in Lyon, France in 2005. He has published numerous publications and is the principal author on the clinical report of the first four human hand transplantations. He is an inventor on many biotechnology patent applications, including all of Potentia’s proprietary patent applications. Dr. Francois led Potentia to become the first group to test complement-inhibiting drug candidates for age-related macular degeneration, more than a year before the landmark reports in Science magazine.

Sinclair Dunlop, MBA

Sinclair Dunlop, MBA

Director

As Managing Partner of Epidarex, Mr. Dunlop leads the review and analysis of Epidarex investment candidates. A former international business and economics analyst with the Center for Strategic & International Studies in Washington, D.C., Mr. Dunlop has private equity and venture capital experience in Europe, the U.S. and Israel. Prior to founding Epidarex, Mr. Dunlop acted as the Director of New Business Ventures of MASA Life Science Ventures after a period as an Associate at New Vantage Group, manager of several early-stage venture capital funds in the Mid-Atlantic region. In May 2000, Mr. Dunlop received his M.B.A. from Columbia Business School where he was the R.C. Kopf British-American Fellow in international business. He also holds an M.A. with Honors in Political Economy from the University of Glasgow and an M.A. in International Relations from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He is a St. Andrews Society of New York Scholar.

Facts on Complement-Mediated Diseases

12

Approximately, 12 million Americans have been diagnosed with COPD, but at least another 12 million Americans may be undiagnosed.

3

3 million: people will have advanced AMD by 2020

500000

$500,000: cost per year of treatment with Soliris, the standard of care in PNH

0

0: the number of approved treatments for the dry form of AMD

 

 

COPD

Chronic lower respiratory disease, including COPD, is the third leading cause of death in the United States, affecting at least 12 million Americans.

Many adults with poor pulmonary function are not aware that they might have COPD, so the actual prevalence of the disease is likely higher than currently estimated.

The annual cost of COPD to the US healthcare system is estimated to be as high as $50 billion. Close to 40% of that cost results from hospital readmissions within 60 days of an initial COPD-related hospitalization.

Once a patient has COPD, the disease is irreversible, even if the patient stops smoking (although smoking can accelerate the rate of progression). There are no drugs available that can correct the course of the disease.

APL-1 was designed to reduce hospital admissions and mortality in COPD.

AMD

Advanced age-related macular degeneration affects more than 2 million individuals in the United States. Owing to the rapid aging of the US population, this number will increase to almost 3 million by 2020.

Currently the only therapies available for AMD stop blood leakage in the back of the eye, a complication that affects patients with so-called wet AMD. There is no treatment available to treat the underlying disease mechanism of AMD.

Complement inhibition is the only mechanism to have shown a slowing of the progression of dry AMD.

Potentia Pharmaceuticals (Apellis’ predecessor) was the first company to test a complement-inhibiting therapy for AMD, called POT-4.

The most important difference between AMD, COPD, and PNH is probably their location in the body. The disease mechanism behind all three diseases is remarkably similar.

APL-2 was designed to correct the underlying disease mechanism in AMD.

Rare Diseases

PNH affects ten to twenty people per million.

Diagnosis of PNH is difficult and proper diagnosis is typically delayed from 1 to more than 10 years.

PNH is a rare disease that affects between 8,000 and 10,000 North Americans.

APL-2 was designed to make patients with PNH healthy and transfusion independent.

Scientific Advisory Board

Peter Hillmen, MD, PhD.

Peter Hillmen, MD, PhD.

PNH Scientific Advisory Board View Details
Robert A. Brodsky, MD.

Robert A. Brodsky, MD.

PNH Scientific Advisory Board View Details
Jaroslaw Maciejewski, MD, PhD, FACP

Jaroslaw Maciejewski, MD, PhD, FACP

PNH Scientific Advisory Board View Details
Jason S. Slakter, MD.

Jason S. Slakter, MD.

AMD Scientific Advisory Board View Details
Philip J. Rosenfeld, MD, PhD.

Philip J. Rosenfeld, MD, PhD.

AMD Scientific Advisory Board View Details
Johanna M. Seddon, MD, ScM.

Johanna M. Seddon, MD, ScM.

AMD Scientific Advisory Board View Details
Janet S. Sunness, MD.

Janet S. Sunness, MD.

AMD Scientific Advisory Board View Details
Gabriel J. Coscas, MD.

Gabriel J. Coscas, MD.

AMD Scientific Advisory Board View Details
Mike Yeadon, PhD.

Mike Yeadon, PhD.

Pulmonology Scientific Advisory Board View Details
Carl Atkinson, PhD.

Carl Atkinson, PhD.

Pulmonology Scientific Advisory Board View Details
Dave Singh, MD.

Dave Singh, MD.

Pulmonology Scientific Advisory Board View Details
Toby Maher, MD, PhD.

Toby Maher, MD, PhD.

Pulmonology Scientific Advisory Board View Details
Marsha Wills-Karp, PhD.

Marsha Wills-Karp, PhD.

Pulmonology Scientific Advisory Board View Details
Claudia Kemper, PhD.

Claudia Kemper, PhD.

Pulmonology, AMD and PNH Scientific Advisory Board View Details
Susan M. Lea, PhD.

Susan M. Lea, PhD.

Pulmonology, AMD and PNH Scientific Advisory Board View Details
Peter Hillmen, MD, PhD.

Peter Hillmen, MD, PhD.

PNH Scientific Advisory Board

Professor of Experimental Hematology, Leeds Institute of Cancer & Pathology, UK

Peter Hillmen is Professor of Experimental Hematology and Honorary Consultant Hematologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. Professor Hillmen qualified in Medicine at Leeds Medical School in 1985 and completed his general medical training in Leeds in 1988. He was a Haematology Registrar in Hammersmith Hospital, London between 1989 and 1990 before completing three years as a Wellcome Training Fellow based at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School (1991 to 1993) completing a PhD working on PNH under the supervision of Professor Lucio Luzzatto. He then moved back to Leeds as a Senior Registrar in Hematology, Yorkshire (1994 to 1996). He was appointed as a Consultant Hematologist Mid-Yorkshire Trust and Leeds General Infirmary in 1996 before moving to Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust in 2004. He was appointed as Professor of Experimental Hematology, University of Leeds in 2013.

Research/Clinical Interests
Professor Hillmen has research interests in both paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Since 1990 he has continued to research into PNH that eventually led to the development of anti-complement therapy for PNH, Eculizumab. He was the lead on the trials of eculizumab and now leads the National PNH Service based in Leeds and Kings. The National PNH service looks after over 300 patients with PNH and this provides a unique resource for continued research into the pathophysiology and therapy of PNH. Since 1995 Professor Hillmen has had an interest in understanding the pathophysiology of and in developing novel therapies for CLL. His group has pioneered the use of minimal residual disease assessment in CLL and he Chairs the NCRI CLL sub-group in the UK responsible for the development of UK CLL Clinical Trials. He initially studied chemo-immunotherapeutic approaches for CLL but recently the development of targeted small molecules, particularly of the B-cell receptor pathway and of apoptosis, has led to a dramatic change in the treatment of CLL. His research is now focusing on the mechanism of action of these targeted therapies in order to maximize their potential.

Robert A. Brodsky, MD.

Robert A. Brodsky, MD.

PNH Scientific Advisory Board

Director, Division of Hematology, Professor of Medicine and Oncology, Johns Hopkins Hospital, USA

Professor Brodsky did his residencies in Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, in Internal Medicine, Nashville, TN. He pursued a fellowship in Hematology at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (1994), then in Oncology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD (1997). He received his medical degree from Hahnemann University, PA and has been in practice for 26 years. Dr. Brodsky is board certified in Internal Medicine and Hematology (2006).

Research/Clinical Interests
Dr. Brodsky’s major clinical research involves the study of aplastic anemia, PNH and other bone marrow failure disorders. His research shows that immunoablative doses of cyclophosphamide, without bone marrow transplantation, can lead to durable complete remissions in severe aplastic anemia. The reason high-dose cyclophosphamide is able to ablate the effector cells without destroying hematopoietic stem cells is that the earliest stem cells (but not lymphocytes) contain high levels of aldehyde dehydrogenase conferring resistance to the cytoxic properties of cyclophosphamide. Dr. Brodsky and his colleagues in Oncology are applying this approach to prevent alloimmunity in the setting of bone marrow transplantation which has allowed for the safe and effective use of HLA-haploidentical donor bone marrow transplantation for nonmalignant diseases such as aplastic anemia and sickle cell disease. Dr. Brodsky’s major laboratory interests relate to the study of complement-mediated diseases such as PNH and atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS). His group has developed a novel diagnostic assay (FLAER) for PNH based on the pore forming toxin (aeromonas hydrophila). Recently, his group has developed a modified HAM test to diagnose aHUS.

Jaroslaw Maciejewski, MD, PhD, FACP

Jaroslaw Maciejewski, MD, PhD, FACP

PNH Scientific Advisory Board

Chairman, Department of Translational Hematology & Oncology Research, Cleveland Clinic, Professor of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, and Associate Director, Lerner Research Institute, USA

Dr. Maciejewski attended medical school at the Medical School Charite, Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany receiving both his medical degree and doctorate from the Institute for Medical Immunology at Humboldt University Medical School. He completed his internal medicine residency at the University of Nevada, School of Medicine in Reno, NV and Hematology Fellowship at the National Institutes of Health Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. He also completed his postdoctoral research fellowship at the Hematology Branch of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) in Bethesda, MD where he later served as Staff Scientist before joining Cleveland Clinic in 2001 as a Staff Physician and Section Head of Experimental Hematology. In January 2009, Dr. Maciejewski was appointed Chairman of the Department of Translational Hematology & Oncology Research at the Taussig Cancer Institute within the Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Maciejewski has been a long-term member of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) and his research was chosen for presentation during the Plenary Session of the annual ASH Meeting in both 2010 and 2012. Dr. Maciejewski also served as Chairman of the Scientific Committee on Myeloid Neoplasia for the 2014 Annual ASH Meeting last year. He has published over 150 articles as first or senior author, including papers in Nature Genetics, Blood, and Cancer Cell. Dr. Maciejewski has also been a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation since 2006 and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians since 2009.

Research/Clinical Interests
His clinical areas of expertise include bone marrow failure syndromes (including aplastic anemia, myelodysplastic syndrome, large granular lymphocyte leukemia, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria), and myeloid malignancies. His research deals with the molecular pathogenesis of these disorders and deals with various specific aspects of stem cell biology, genetics, cytogenetics and immunobiology. He has developed multiple whole genome scanning technologies for laboratory.

Jason S. Slakter, MD.

Jason S. Slakter, MD.

AMD Scientific Advisory Board

Vitreous Retina Macular Consultants of New York and Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology, New York University School of Medicine, USA

Dr. Jason Slakter is a board certified retinal and macular disease specialist, Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at New York University School of Medicine, and partner at Vitreous-Retina-Macula Consultants of New York. Dr. Slakter was one of the co-founders of SKS Ocular, which was acquired by Ohr in June of 2014. He joined Ohr Pharmaceuticals as Chief Medical Officer upon closing of the transaction. As of January 2015, Dr. Slakter is appointed to the Board of director of Orh Pharmaceuticals. Dr. Slakter is a member of numerous medical organizations including The Macula Society, The Retina Society, The American Society of Retina Specialists, and the New York Ophthalmological Society. He is the Editor–in–Chief of Retinal Physician and is on the editorial board of the journal Retina. He has been the recipient of many awards including The Macula Society’s Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award for outstanding contribution to the treatment of ocular disease by an individual under the age of 45, as well as the Helen Keller Manhattan League Award in 2003. Dr. Slakter has published more than 100 papers and book chapters.

Research/Clinical Interests
Dr. Slakter’s chief research interests relate to the management of exudative age-related macular degeneration, retinal vascular disease, and central serous chorioretinopathy. He created and is the director of the Digital Angiography Reading Center (DARC), which is one of the largest centers for image evaluation for clinical trials of posterior segment disease with over 900 certified clinical sites in over 44 countries worldwide, serving as a key resource for industry-sponsored studies of new treatments for retinal disorders.

Philip J. Rosenfeld, MD, PhD.

Philip J. Rosenfeld, MD, PhD.

AMD Scientific Advisory Board

Professor of Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, USA

Dr. Rosenfeld received both his MD and PhD degrees from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and he completed a research fellowship and residency in Ophthalmology at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School. Following his residency, Dr. Rosenfeld completed a Vitreoretinal fellowship at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. In 1996, he joined the faculty of the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute where he is now a Professor of Ophthalmology. Dr. Rosenfeld is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the American Society of Retinal Specialists (ASRS), the Retina Society, the Macula Society, and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO).

Research/Clinical Interests
Dr. Rosenfeld specializes in medical and surgical diseases of the retina. Dr. Rosenfeld’s research interests focus on early-onset and late-onset maculopathies with a particular emphasis on age-related macular degeneration, the genetics of AMD, and therapies for both dry and wet AMD. Since joining the faculty at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Dr. Rosenfeld has been a principal investigator in several of the photodynamic therapy trials using verteporfin, as well as the Macugen (pegaptanib, Eyetech) Phase II/III trials and the Lucentis (Genentech) Phase I/II/III trials. He also pioneered the use of intravitreal Avastin for the treatment of neovascular AMD and other exudative diseases of the retina. He is currently involved in additional clinical trials investigating other anti-angiogenic therapies for neovascular AMD. In addition, he has been involved in the development of spectral domain and swept source OCT imaging technologies, as well as OCT algorithms for use in characterizing AMD phenotypes, studying disease progression, and developing clinical trial endpoints.

Johanna M. Seddon, MD, ScM.

Johanna M. Seddon, MD, ScM.

AMD Scientific Advisory Board

Professor of Ophthalmology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, USA

Dr. Seddon has a Master of Science degree in Epidemiology from Harvard School of Public Health, an MD degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and has completed Harvard fellowships in Ophthalmic Pathology and Vitreo-Retinal Diseases. Dr. Seddon is a retina specialist and genetic epidemiologist at the New England Eye Center where she is the Founding Director of the Ophthalmic Epidemiology and Genetics Service. Dr. Seddon is a renowned practicing ophthalmologist and specializes in the evaluation and treatment of patients with macular degeneration. Dr. Seddon began the Studies of Macular Degeneration and Other Eye Diseases over twenty-five years ago. She primarily studies macular degeneration, Stargardt Disease, Best Disease, other macular dystrophies, and high myopia. Her research has helped to develop better treatments as well as establish ways to prevent macular degeneration and other eye diseases. She is recognized worldwide for her groundbreaking research on nutritional factors and their association with AMD (lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids), as well as for her novel discoveries regarding genetic, biologic, and genetic-environmental factors associated with early and late onset forms of macular degeneration. Dr. Seddon and her research team have contributed to the discovery of a majority of the genes associated with AMD reported to date. Dr. Seddon has received several awards, including the prestigious Ingrid Kreissig Award from the European Retina, Macular and Vitreous Society in September of 2014.

Research/Clinical Interests
Recent breakthroughs in the Seddon Laboratory include the discovery of new genes related to macular degeneration, such as the discovery of the first rare genetic variants with high impact on the disease. These genes are now targets for new therapies. She has also shown that eating a healthy diet can help overcome genetic susceptibility for the disease for some subgroups of patients. She recently co-authored a book called “Eat Right for Your Sight”, which is now available. Dr. Seddon and her team initiated the development of many prediction models that combine genes and lifestyle factors related to macular degeneration, and validated the model. These models are being used in clinical research studies and may eventually be used for personalized medicine. Dr. Seddon recently implemented her most recent prediction model for progression to advanced stages of macular degeneration in the form of an online risk calculator. This calculator could be used in the future to examine personal risk factors as well as gain an estimate of individual risk over time for this disease.

Janet S. Sunness, MD.

Janet S. Sunness, MD.

AMD Scientific Advisory Board

Medical Director of Richard E. Hoover Low Vision Rehabilitation Services, Greater Baltimore Medical Center, USA

Dr. Janet Sunness, is board certified in Ophthalmology. Dr. Sunness received her M.D. from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, NY. She completed her internship in Internal Medicine and her residency in Ophthalmology at Brookdale Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn. Her fellowship in Medical Retina and Visual Function was at John Hopkins School of Medicine. Dr. Sunness spent 21 years with the Johns Hopkins Medical system, including serving as an associate professor in the School of Medicine’s Department of Ophthalmology, medical director of the Low Vision Service, director of the Retinal Dystrophy Center and director of the Visual Function Service all at the Wilmer Eye Institute, before joining the Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC) as director of the Hoover Low Vision Rehabilitation Services and head of the Visual function testing and clinical electrophysiology service. She is a Clinical Professor in the Dept of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Sunness was awarded the 2011 Macula Society’s J. Donald M. Gass Medal. As principal investigator of a National Institutes of Health-funded study at the Johns Hopkins Hospital Wilmer Eye Institute, she collected data, and characterized the progression and vision impairment of geographic atrophy. Her findings have been instrumental in defining parameters for geographic atrophy clinical trials. She also received Envision’s highest honor, the 2014 Envision Award in Low Vision Research. The award is for her contributions and her work as a clinician-researcher in the area of maculopathy and for her “significant contributions, most specifically in the understanding of and defining the parameters in clinical trials for the ‘dry’ form of advanced age related macular degeneration.” Sunness becomes the organization’s sixth member honored with this award.

Research/Clinical Interests
Dr. Sunness is a leading world expert on geographic atrophy, the advanced dry form of age-related macular degeneration and has also pioneered new methods of measuring visual function. Dr. Sunness is an accomplished researcher in understanding how diseases cause loss of vision and has directed several National Institutes of Health-funded studies in this field. She directs one of nine centers worldwide participating in the ProgSTAR study (funded by the US Dept of Defense through the Foundation Fighting Blindness) to study the progression of Stargardt disease, the most common macular degeneration in young people. Dr. Sunness has done pioneering world in measuring visual function in patients with macular disease, using microperimetry and other tools. Dr. Sunness is also a leading world expert on how pregnancy affects the mother’s eyes.

Gabriel J. Coscas, MD.

Gabriel J. Coscas, MD.

AMD Scientific Advisory Board

Professor and Chairman of Ophthalmology, University of Paris XII, France

Dr. Gabriel Coscas is an internationally recognized authority on diseases of the retina and their treatment. Dr. Gabriel Coscas was trained at University of Paris. He established Department of Ophthalmology in 1970 in Créteil (University Paris XII) and served as Professor of Ophthalmology and Chairman until 1999. President of French Retina Society, he devoted most of his activity on macular diseases. He organized the first randomised clinical trial on macular photocoagulation for AMD in France (1977- 1982). In 1985, Dr. Coscas was Guest of Honor of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Dr Coscas has been elected member of the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis in 1988 and served as General Secretary since 1994 and as first Vice President since 2002. Dr Coscas was a founding Member of Academia Europea Ophthalmologica and serves as First Vice President from 2005. Founding member of Global Alliance against Trachoma at WHO.

He received many awards and lectures, including the Oxford Lecture and Award, 1990; the Jules Stein (1992) and the Michaelson (1995) Lecture and Award; Lecturer Nara, Japan, 1995; the Award of Merit of the Retina Research Foundation, at the Jules Gonin Club meeting, in Bern in 1996; the JDM. Gass Medal at the Macula Society (1996); the Tunisian Ophthalmological Society Gold Medal (1995); the Mediterranean Ophthalmological Society Gold Medal and Award 1998; the Jules François Lecture in Paris 2001; the Gold Medal of the Algerian Society of Ophthalmology (2005 the Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Lecture, Jerusalem; the Gold Medal of the Algerian Society of Ophthalmology (2005); the Euretina Lecture in Barcelona, in 2007, and the Arnall Patz Medal , at the Macula Society meeting in Jerusalem, 2012. He was elected Honor Member of Club Jules Gonin, (1998) and Honor Member of La Société Française d’Ophtalmologie (1998); and Honor Member of Instituto Barraquer in Barcelona, 2002. He was honored as first recipient of the “Gabriel COSCAS Lecture” 2001, founded in Rome and of the “Gabriel Coscas Lecture” and Award, founded in Paris – Macula Meeting 2002. A “Gabriel Coscas Price” for excellence in research in retina has been established in 2008. Gabriel Coscas was elevated to the dignity of “Commandeur de la Légion d’honneur” in April 2007 by the French President.

Research/Clinical Interests
Professor Coscas has devoted most of his efforts to the study of retinal disorders, particularly diseases of the macula, and has pioneered new diagnostic techniques including fluorescein and indocyanin angiography as well as groundbreaking therapies such as laser treatment for neovascularization.

Mike Yeadon, PhD.

Mike Yeadon, PhD.

Pulmonology Scientific Advisory Board

President and CEO, Ziarco, UK

Dr Yeadon attended the University of Surrey in Guildford, U.K, where he received his PhD with thesis work in the respiratory field, and a BSc, First Class, with Joint Honours, in Biochemistry and Toxicology. He worked at the Wellcome Research Labs with Salvador Moncada with a research focus on airway hyper-responsiveness and effects of pollutants including ozone, as well as working in drug discovery of 5-LO, COX, NO and lung inflammation. With colleagues, he was the first to detect exhaled NO in animals and later to induce NOS in lung via allergic triggers.

Dr Yeadon is a co-founder and CEO of Ziarco. He is an Allergy & Respiratory therapeutic area expert, developed out of deep knowledge of biology & therapeutics and is an innovative drug discoverer, with over 25 years of experience in drug discovery and development. Prior to consulting as an independent, he was Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of the A&R Research Unit of Pfizer. At Pfizer, Dr Yeadon was responsible for target selection and the progress into humans of new molecules, leading teams of up to 200 staff across all disciplines and won an Achievement Award for productivity in 2008. Under his leadership the unit invented oral and inhaled NCEs which delivered positive clinical proofs of concept in asthma, allergic rhinitis and COPD. He led productive external collaborations and was involved in product and device licensing. Since leaving Pfizer in 2011, Dr Yeadon has advised more than 20 private & public biopharma companies, investors & analysts and is currently an independent board member of Antegrin Therapeutics.

Research/Clinical Interests
Ziarco is a clinical stage biotechnology company which owns multiple valuable and competitively-placed assets that have broad therapeutic potential in inflammatory and allergic diseases. Current focus is on chronic, inflammatory skin diseases, specifically atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. ZPL-3893787 is a once-daily oral antagonist of the most recently characterised histamine receptor, H4R, which we will advance into Phase 2 patient studies during 2015. ZPL-5212372 is a potent, long-acting, topical inhibitor of cPLA2, which is anticipated to reach patients in 2016. Ziarco’s programmes are distinctive yet share key over-arching characteristics: new mechanism small molecules which will safely suppress steroid-unresponsive inflammation and represent significant advances in medical therapy. Ziarco’s approach is to advance their programmes in therapeutic indications where evidence of differentiation can be clearly demonstrated at early times during clinical development.

Carl Atkinson, PhD.

Carl Atkinson, PhD.

Pulmonology Scientific Advisory Board

Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical University of South Carolina, USA

Carl Atkinson is Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina, USA. Dr Atkinson obtained his first bachelors’ degree in Biomedical Science at Kingston University, UK in 1993 and his second from the University of the West of England, UK in 1998 in cellular pathology. He completed his doctoral studies in 2004, also at the University of the West on England, UK, in the field of transplant immunology. During his PhD studies Dr Atkinson was Chief Biomedical Scientist in the Department of Pathology at Papworth Hospital NHS Trust, UK. Upon completion of his doctoral studies Dr Atkinson relocated to Medical University of South Carolina, USA to work with the eminent complement biology researcher Dr Stephen Tomlinson. In 2006 Dr Atkinson moved onto faculty at the Medical University of South Carolina and was appointed Associate Professor in 2012.

Dr Atkinson is a co-founder and CSO of ToleRaM NanoTech, LLC. He is an expert in the area of complement biology, complement therapeutics, transplantation biology and respiratory disease.

Research/Clinical Interests
Dr Atkinson’s research interests revolve around complement biology, with a focus on understanding the mechanistic interplay between the complement system and the adaptive immune response. These studies encompass a wide array of disease types, which include; emphysema, asthma, sinusitis, heart, lung, liver and kidney transplantation, and age related macular degeneration. Central to these studies is understanding the complement pathophysiology associated with these diseases to enable the design, construction and therapeutic testing of novel complement inhibitory strategies for therapeutic translation.

Dave Singh, MD.

Dave Singh, MD.

Pulmonology Scientific Advisory Board

Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and Respiratory Medicine, Medicines Evaluation Unit, UK

After graduating from Cambridge University, Dr. Singh trained in respiratory medicine and clinical pharmacology in Manchester. He was appointed Professor of Clinical Pharmacology and Respiratory Medicine at the University of Manchester in 2011.

Research/Clinical Interests
His research interests are the pharmacotherapy of asthma and COPD, with studies spanning from basic pharmacology of anti-inflammatory drugs to clinical trials. He has acted as principal investigator on numerous clinical trials of novel therapies in asthma and COPD, and has over 130 publications in peer reviewed journals. Dr. Singh is a member of the GOLD science committee.

Toby Maher, MD, PhD.

Toby Maher, MD, PhD.

Pulmonology Scientific Advisory Board

Clinician Scientist, Pulmonologist and Honorary Senior Lecturer, Royal Brompton Hospital and National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, UK

Dr. Toby Maher is National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinician Scientist and Honorary Senior Lecturer, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London. He is also Consultant Pulmonologist on the Interstitial Lung Disease Unit, Royal Brompton Hospital. Dr Maher qualified from Southampton Medical School. He trained in Respiratory Medicine at the Royal Brompton Hospital and on the Transplant Unit at Harefield Hospital. During his training he gained an MSc in Respiratory Medicine from Imperial College London and undertook a Wellcome Trust funded PhD Fellowship at University College London where he investigated the role of eicosanoids in the regulation of fibroblast and airway epithelial cell apoptosis in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Research/Clinical Interests
Dr Maher has a subspecialty clinical interest in interstitial lung disease. He is actievly involved in clinical service and his particular areas of expertise include; idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), hypersensitivity pneumonitis, sarcoidosis and connective tissue disease associated interstitial lung disease.
Dr Maher runs an active clinical and translational research program and oversees a team of 14 trial staff, PhD fellows and post-doctoral scientists. Dr Maher’s research interests include; basic and translational research into idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; with a major focus on biomarker discovery, early phase clinical trial design and delivery and pre-clinical validation target and compound validation. Dr Maher’s current funded research includes; 1) the PROFILE study, a longitudinal biomarker discovery program. In collaboration with Nottingham University the PROFILE study has now recruited over 575 individuals with IPF. 2) an MRC EME funded randomized controlled trial of Rituximab as a treatment for connective tissue disease associated interstitial lung disease – the RECITAL study and 3) an NIHR Clinician Scientist fellowship to evaluate diagnostic, theragnostic and stratification biomarkers for fibrotic interstitial lung disease.

Dr Maher is the lead consultant for clinical trials in the Royal Brompton Interstitial Lung Disease Unit. He is currently UK principal investigator for a number of commercial studies of novel compounds being tested in trials for IPF and other interstitial lung diseases. Dr Maher works closely with scientists at the Centre for Inflammation and Tissue Repair, University College London and has active collaborations with Nottingham University, University of East Anglia, National Jewish Hospital, Denver, US and McMaster University, Canada.

As well as publishing over 100 original research papers, expert reviews and book chapters, Dr Maher is a senior associate editor for the journal Respirology, is an associate editor for PLOSOne and is on the editorial boards of the European Respiratory Journal, the European Respiratory Review and F1000 Journal.

Marsha Wills-Karp, PhD.

Marsha Wills-Karp, PhD.

Pulmonology Scientific Advisory Board

Professor, Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA

Dr. Marsha Wills-Karp is the chair of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Wills-Karp was most recently a professor and the founding director of the Division of Immunobiology in the Department of Pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, where she also directed the Immunobiology Graduate Program. She previously was on the faculty at Johns Hopkins from 1990 to 2000. Dr. Wills-Karp is a graduate of Southwest Texas State University. She earned her doctorate from the University of California, Santa Barbara and completed postdoctoral training at Yale University.

Research/Clinical Interests
Dr. Wills-Karp is a leader in the study of the molecular mechanisms of asthma. Her research activities focus on defining the environmental and genetic determinants of allergic airway diseases such as asthma. Dr. Wills-Karp and her team have specifically explored the role of CD4+ Th2 cells and cytokines (IL-13), and innate immune pathways (complement activation pathways, TLRs, CLRs), in the pathogenesis of asthma. Dr. Wills-Karp has made substantial contributions to the understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying allergenicity of common allergens-specifically how allergens and airborne pollutants activate innate immune pathways through molecular mimicry. More recently, Dr. Wills-Karp turned her attention to how the gut microbiome alters susceptibility to allergen and PM-induced asthma.

Claudia Kemper, PhD.

Claudia Kemper, PhD.

Pulmonology, AMD and PNH Scientific Advisory Board

Professor of Innate Immunology, King’s College London, UK

Dr. Claudia Kemper moved into the world of complement while conducting her PhD thesis work at the Bernhard-Nocht-Institute for Tropical Medicine in Hamburg and the Texas University, IMM, Texas, USA. Her thesis work sparked her interest in the role of complement in immunological and inflammatory processes. Dr. Kemper made her way into the innate immunity of mice and men when she joined the laboratory of John Atkinson at Washington University in Saint Louis in 1999 as a postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Kemper joined the faculty of Washington University in 2004 as instructor and became a Research Assistant Professor in 2006, continuing to further analyze the biology of CD46-activated T cells as her major research interest. Dr. Kemper was recruited into the faculty of King’s College in London, MRC Centre for Transplantation in 2008 where she now works as a Reader and focuses on the complement-mediated regulation of human effector T cell responses.

Research/Clinical Interests
Although her group has a strong emphasis on basic scientific research, through fruitful ongoing collaborations with several clinical groups, the Kemper laboratory is applying their research towards the design of new therapeutic strategies to alter the activity of T cells as needed in cases such as autoimmunity, chronic pathogen infections or transplant rejection. The complement system rapidly recognizes and destroys invading pathogens and other harmful entities. It was long thought to be a primitive “stop-gap” measure used to slow down infection until the more sophisticated adaptive immune system can undertake its highly potent attacks using antibodies and cells tailored to the specific target. It has become clear how simplified this view had been: the successful immune defense is now seen as a complex process in which complement plays vital roles in instructing and guiding the adaptive response. Her laboratory focuses on how this communication is achieved.

Susan M. Lea, PhD.

Susan M. Lea, PhD.

Pulmonology, AMD and PNH Scientific Advisory Board

Chair and Professor of Microbiology, Co-Director, Oxford Martin Programme on Vaccines, Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, UK

After studying pre-clinical medicine at the University of Oxford Prof. Lea was distracted by the world of science and pursued a PhD in structural virology in the laboratory of Prof. David Stuart in the Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics in Oxford. Her thesis work led to an interest in viral cell entry, which she then pursued as an independent scientist after winning one of the first Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellowships in 1995. Studies on echoviruses drew her into the world of Complement biology via their use of complement regulators as viral receptors. Joining the faculty in the Oxford Biochemistry Department in 1999 she continued to work using structural biology to define mechanisms in the interface between complement and invading pathogens, developing an interest in bacterial infections. She moved her group to the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, Oxford in 2006 and was appointed to the Chair of Microbiology there in 2013 where she continues to work on using structural biology to give mechanistic insights into host-pathogen interactions.

Research/Clinical Interests
Although the group’s work is largely fundamental science driven, the insights yielded in recent years have moved closer to the clinic with collaborations involved in optimizing vaccine design for Neisseria meningitidis and using small peptides to manipulate complement regulatory mechanisms. Recent work has provided mechanistic insights into GWAS associations between variations in complement molecules and susceptibility to bacterial disease that have direct clinical implications for patient screening and medication. A particular recent interest has been in identifying and characterizing non-canonical complement interactions that reveal coordination between the complement system and other aspects of human immunity and inflammation.

News

Latest News from Apellis Pharmaceuticals

Apellis Pharmaceuticals Announces Formation of Scientific Advisory Board

Crestwood, KY – July 15, 2015 – Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical stage complement immunotherapy company, announced today the formation of a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) comprised of physicians and scientists recognized as key opinion leaders in the areas of immunology, pulmonology, ophthalmology and hematology. The SAB’s mission will be to provide valuable scientific and clinical insights, along with strategic guidance in decision-making, as the Company seeks to advance its drugs through clinical trials.

Read the full press release here.

Therapeutic Thought – Complement Immunotherapy

MAGAZINE ARTICLE – European Pharmaceutical Contractor – March 2015

Apellis’ CEO, Cedric Francois, outlines the company thoughts regarding the emergence of immunotherapy as a therapeutic approach that focuses on correcting the underlying immune dysregulation rather than addressing the symptoms of a conditions.  In particular, the article discusses how the complement system plays a key role in immune regulation and, as such, is an attractive target to address a range of diseases with an autoimmune component.

Read the full article here.

Apellis Pharmaceuticals Enters Clinical Testing Phase in its Age-Related Macular Degeneration Program.

CRESTWOOD, KY – February 10, 2015 – Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that it has begun the Phase I clinical trial of its drug compound APL-2 in patients suffering from age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The trial, labeled ASAP II, will focus on establishing safety of intravitreal injections of APL-2 and will be conducted in patients afflicted with wet AMD at multiple sites in the United States and Australia. Apellis plans to follow ASAP II with a larger Phase II trial in patients with geographic atrophy (the advanced stage of dry AMD) in the late spring of 2015. Dr. Cedric Francois, the Chief Executive Officer of Apellis, commented, “We look forward to continuing the exploration of complement immunotherapy in macular degeneration alongside our other disease indications. By acting centrally in the complement cascade we believe that APL-2 provides a unique opportunity to better understand the mechanisms that might modify this difficult disease.”

Read the full press release here.

Apellis Pharmaceuticals Raises $33M to Fund its Complement Immunotherapy Programs.

CRESTWOOD, KY – December 2, 2014 – Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a leading biotechnology company applying immunotherapy to autoimmune disease, today announced that it has completed a $33M private placement of its Series C Preferred Stock. The financing was led by Morningside Ventures and AJU IB Investment Co., Ltd. with Epidarex Capital participating with follow-on funding. The proceeds will be used to fund three new complement immunotherapy programs entering clinical proof-of-concept stage.

The first indication is paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH), a rare disease of the bone marrow. Apellis’ drug candidate APL-2, an inhibitor of complement component C3, is designed to provide PNH patients with an alternative to the current standard-of-care. In its second program, Apellis is testing whether APL-1, another inhibitor of complement component C3, can affect the underlying disease mechanism in COPD and slow down disease progression. Finally, Apellis’ third program aims to reduce the growth of retinal lesions through the intravitreal injection of APL-2 in patients suffering from geographic atrophy, the advanced form of dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), for which no treatments exist. All three complement immunotherapy programs focus on the potential of complement inhibition to correct pathogenic Th17 immune responses.

Cedric Francois, MD, PhD and CEO of Apellis commented “We are excited to test the immense potential of complement immunotherapy. Our clinical programs are designed to be implemented in short periods of development, with a robust regulatory strategy, innovative clinical designs and product profiles that could change the lives of millions of patients affected by auto-immunity.” Apellis Chairman Gerald Chan, co-founder of Morningside, added, “Morningside was an early investor in cancer immunotherapy.  Auto-immune conditions are the next frontier for immunotherapy. Rather than suppressing the immune system we should aim to correct its inappropriate behavior.”

Read the full press release here. 

Apellis Pharmaceuticals to acquire Potentia Pharmaceuticals.

CRESTWOOD, KY – November 20, 2014 – Apellis Pharmaceuticals announced today that it entered into an agreement to acquire Potentia Pharmaceuticals.   As part of the acquisition agreement, Apellis obtained the necessary intellectual property rights to develop its complement inhibitor drug compound (APL-2) in ophthalmology and plans its first clinical trial in dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD). Complement inhibition is the only mechanism thus far to show reductions in the growth of dry AMD.   Potentia was the first company to develop a complement inhibitor for the treatment of AMD.  APL-2 has the same mechanism of action as Potentia’s original drug compound but has a significantly improved half-life in the eye.  APL-2 is in late preclinical development in ophthalmology and is expected to enter Phase II clinical testing in patients with AMD by the middle of 2015. Cedric Francois, MD, PhD and CEO of Apellis commented, “We are delighted to be back in retinal drug development. Ophthalmology is a unique therapeutic area that is very dear to us. We have learned much about complement since our first venture in this area a decade ago, and have great hopes that complement inhibition will be the first effective treatment for patients with dry AMD.” Phil Rosenfeld, MD, a retinal specialist at Bascom Palmer and advisor to Apellis, added: “There’s overwhelming scientific and clinical evidence to suggest that complement inhibition should slow the progression of dry AMD.  I’m optimistic that based on its mechanism of action and its target within the complement cascade, APL-2 offers us the best chance to help our AMD patients.“ Read the full press release here.

Contact Us

Apellis Pharmaceuticals
6400 Westwind Way, Suite A
Crestwood, KY 40014, USA


Office: (502) 241-4114

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