DUBLIN, Ireland, March 06, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — SIGMOID PHARMA LIMITED, a privately-owned pharmaceutical company developing innovative therapeutics for gastrointestinal and immunological diseases using its proprietary SmPill® solid oral drug delivery platform, announced today that Dr. Lorin K. Johnson has been appointed to the Board of Directors.

Dr. Ivan Coulter, Chief Executive Officer of Sigmoid said: “As a drug development innovator, Dr. Johnson has been involved in the development of multiple gastrointestinal therapies over the past couple of decades. Before accepting the role of Chief Development Advisor at Sigmoid in 2015, Lorin had been a strong advocate of Sigmoid, the SmPill® platform and the gastrointestinal disease-focused product pipeline. Now, as Sigmoid pivots towards being a late-stage clinical development company, I am very happy that Sigmoid will benefit further from Lorin’s deep understanding of clinical development and commercialization to expedite our ongoing clinical development and path to market.”

Dr. Johnson said: “I am delighted to formalize my long standing relationship with Sigmoid Pharma by joining the board and continuing as Chief Development Advisor.  CyCol® represents one of the few late stage development programs with potential to change the treatment paradigm for patients with moderate to severe ulcerative colitis.  Utilizing the innovative SmPill® platform technology, CyCol® is designed to harness the well-known immunosuppressant, cyclosporine, in a topical-by-design dosage form to reduce associated side effects, with the potential to have meaningful benefit for patients.”

Dr. Johnson is currently the founder and Chief Scientist of Glycyx PharmaVentures Ltd. He is also a founder of Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and held senior leadership positions at Salix prior to its $15.8 billion acquisition by Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc. in 2015.  During Dr. Johnson’s tenure, Salix Pharmaceuticals was a global leader in the in-licensing, development and commercialization of treatments for gastroenterology disorders for the North American healthcare market and it was in his capacity of seeking in-licensing and development opportunities that Dr. Johnson was introduced to Sigmoid.  Prior to Salix, Dr. Johnson served as Director of Scientific Operations and Chief Scientist at Scios, Inc. (formerly, California Biotechnology, Inc.), where he headed research on anti-inflammatory therapeutics. He has also been a Director of Atlantic Healthcare plc since March 21, 2015. Previous to his career in industry, Dr. Johnson served as an Assistant Professor of Pathology at Stanford University Medical Center and held academic positions at Stanford University School of Medicine and the University of California, San Francisco. He is the co-author of 75 journal articles and book chapters and is the co-inventor on 18 issued patents. Dr. Johnson holds a PhD from the University of Southern California and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco.  Dr. Johnson also currently serves as Chief Development Advisor to Sigmoid.

About Sigmoid Pharma
Sigmoid Pharma is a private Irish pharmaceutical company developing innovative therapeutics for gastrointestinal and immunological diseases. The Company’s Single-Multiple Pill (SmPill®) technology is a versatile drug delivery platform for optimizing the formulation of active therapeutic agents to allow targeted release at the site of gastrointestinal disease or modulate systemic exposure. Sigmoid’s lead pipeline program is CyCol®, a colon-targeted, non-systemic formulation of cyclosporine.  CyCol® offers potential as an efficacious and safe oral treatment of moderate-severe UC.  Another pipeline product has received US FDA Orphan Designation for Graft-versus-Host Disease while a further opportunity exists to develop an adjunct opportunity to modulate gastrointestinal immune-related adverse events (GI-irAEs) associated with various immune-oncology (IO) therapies, including checkpoint inhibitors.  For additional information please visit: http://www.sigmoidpharma.com


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