Brings Unique Expertise and Perspective from Leadership Positions at Distinguished Academic, Government and Entrepreneurial Healthcare Institutions
Company Opens Offices in Houston as EP-100 Advances in Ovarian and Breast Cancer Trials Conducted in Collaboration with MD Anderson Cancer Center
Mar 17, 2016, 07:30 ET from Esperance Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
HOUSTON, March 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Esperance Pharmaceuticals Inc. today announced that Brett P Giroir MD has joined the company’s Board of Directors, effective immediately. Dr. Giroir is currently Senior Fellow, Health Policy Institute at the Texas Medical Center and Chief Executive Officer of Health Science and Biosecurity Partners, LLC.
Esperance’s lead anticancer candidate EP-100 is in clinical development for the treatment of ovarian cancer. and additional clinical trials are planned in triple negative breast cancer. EP-100 is a targeted membrane-disrupting peptide designed to seek and destroy cancer cells that overexpress luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) receptors on their surfaces. LHRH receptors are over-expressed in a wide range of cancers including ovarian, breast, prostate, pancreatic and endometrial cancer.
“Brett Giroir brings Esperance almost three decades of outstanding and varied leadership experience at distinguished healthcare-related institutions and the federal government,” noted Hector Alila, PhD, CEO of Esperance Pharmaceuticals. “The broad range of his contributions and his extensive experience with potentially disruptive technologies make him an ideal director for Esperance. Our recent move to Houston and our strategic alliance with MD Anderson Cancer Center to develop EP-100 mark important positive transitions for our company. We look forward to Dr. Giroir’s many contributions going forward.”
Dr. Giroir is a Strategic Advisor to the Texas Medical Center Innovation Institute and recently served as the Chair of the Blue Ribbon Panel to reform the U.S. Veterans Health System. Previously, Dr. Giroir served as Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of the five campus Health Science Center of Texas A&M University, and also was a Professor in its Colleges of Medicine and Engineering. During his tenure, Dr. Giroir substantially grew revenues and capital allocations from federal and state sources while increasing R&D investments, establishing collaborations with multiple organizations, including GlaxoSmithKline and Dell, and championing translational medicine initiatives.
Earlier in his career at Texas A&M, Dr. Giroir was Vice Chancellor for Research, then Vice Chancellor, Strategic Initiatives, overseeing an ambitious effort on biotherapeutics and spearheading important biosecurity projects that culminated in a 25-year, $3 billion contract to establish a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Center for Innovation to prepare for pandemics and emerging infectious diseases.
“I am honored to join the Esperance Board of Directors as they chart the way forward for their novel, first-in-class anticancer platform, which holds high promise to impact the lives of many patients in need,” noted Dr. Giroir. “I am also delighted that management decided to move the company to Texas, since I know by my long experience that this state’s commitment to nurturing breakthrough technologies is second to none.”
Dr. Giroir’s government service included an assignment to the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), where he served as Deputy Director, then Director, of the Defense Sciences Office; he was the first physician to be named an office director in the agency’s history. At DARPA, Dr. Giroir advanced a disruptive R&D portfolio with a $500 million annual budget that spanned multiple disciplines, and he regularly interacted with Congress, the White House, and national military and healthcare leadership.
Dr. Giroir began his career at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, where he was a tenured Professor of Pediatrics and holder of two distinguished chairs. As a critical care physician, he was the inaugural Chief Medical Officer of Children’s Medical Center of Dallas (now Children’s Health.)
Dr. Giroir has authored and co-authored numerous peer-reviewed scientific publications and holds patents on a number of biomedical inventions. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the U.S. Secretary of Defense Medal for Outstanding Public Service and finalist for Texan of the Year, and is a frequent speaker at industry, academic and government conferences on a variety of topics, including medical advances, heathcare policy, biosecurity and biomedical innovation and entrepreneurship.
Dr. Giroir received an AB degree from Harvard University magna cum laude and an MD degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
EP-100, the lead candidate from Esperance’s Cationic Lytic Peptide (CLYP) platform technology, is a targeted membrane‐disrupting peptide designed to seek and destroy cancer cells that overexpress luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) receptors on their surfaces. LHRH receptors are over‐expressed in a wide range of cancers including breast, prostate, endometrial, pancreatic, ovarian, blood, skin and testicular cancers. In a Phase II clinical trial, EP-100 demonstrated positive results in ovarian cancer patients resistant to paclitaxel.
The company’s patented technology was discovered by scientists at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center (PBRC) and Louisiana State University, EP-100 was developed at PBRC as part of a sponsored research agreement funded by Esperance under the leadership of Dr. Hector Alila and Pennington’s Dr. Carola Leuschner, who is now Senior Director of Biology at Esperance.
About Esperance Pharmaceuticals
Esperance Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a clinical stage company developing a new class of targeted anticancer drugs using its Cationic Lytic Peptide (CLYPTM) platform technology. These drug candidates include targeted membrane-disrupting peptides and antibody drug conjugates that selectively seek and destroy cancer cells, including cells known to be resistant to chemotherapeutic drugs, without harming normal cells. Targeting occurs through binding to specific receptors and antigens on the cell’s surface. The company’s patented technology was discovered by scientists at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center and Louisiana State University. For more information, visit esperancepharma.com