SOURCE: Serenus Biotherapeutics

Serenus Biotherapeutics

October 28, 2014 08:15 ET

Serenus Names Accomplished Group of Researchers to Scientific Advisory Board

SAN FRANCISCO, CA and JOHANNESBERG, SOUTH AFRICA--(Marketwired - Oct 28, 2014) - Serenus Biotherapeutics, Inc., a specialty biopharmaceutical company bridging the divide between the world's leading pharmaceutical markets and the growing demand for access to innovative therapies in the emerging nations of Sub-Saharan Africa, today announced appointment of a group of accomplished researchers to its newly established Scientific Advisory Board.

"These appointments reflect a belief in the importance of harnessing Africa's talented researchers and clinical trials specialists to take the lead in working with pharmaceutical companies from around the world to co-develop products that meet the needs of Africa," says Dr. Menghis Bairu, Chairman, CEO, and Founder of Serenus Biotherapeutics. "These appointments bring diverse scientific and medical expertise that will allow Serenus to rapidly move forward with its plans to in-license drugs to address the needs for affordable and innovative medicines within Sub-Saharan Africa."

Serenus named to its Scientific Advisory Board Dr. Karniyus Shingu Gamaniel, Professor at the University of Maiduguri in Nigeria and Director General and Chief Executive of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development; Dr. Keertan Dheda, Professor of Respiratory Medicine and Head of the Division of Pulmonology in the Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town; Dr. Michael Makanga, Director South-South Cooperation and Head of Africa Office of the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership; Dr. Eliangiringa Amos Kaale, Professor at the School of Pharmacy and Founder of Pharm R&D Laboratory, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences; Dr. Richard Chin, Founder and CEO of Kindred Biosciences; and Dr. Solomzi Makohliso, Founder and CEO of Ayanda Biosystems S.A.

"This is a transformative time for Sub-Saharan Africa with its rapid economic growth, but the increasing demand for innovative therapies has not been adequately met by global pharmaceutical companies," says Dr. Karniyus Shingu Gamaniel, Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Maiduguri in Nigeria, and a member of the Serenus Scientific Advisory Board. "With the expertise Serenus has built and its deep relationships in Africa, the company is positioned to help lead an African healthcare renaissance and be a conduit through which its partners in developed markets can capitalize on the opportunities in the region and bring needed therapies to improve the health of people in Africa."

Scientific Adivsory Board Member Bios:

Dr. Karniyus Shingu Gamaniel
Professor Gamaniel is a Pharmacist, Professor of Pharmacology, and Founding Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Maiduguri in Nigeria. As Dean, he was responsible for the academic and non-academic activities of all the six departments in the faculty of Pharmacy. He currently serves as the Director General and Chief Officer of Nigeria's National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development. He has made particular achievements in the research and development of phytomedicines and has published more than 100 articles in peer reviewed journals. Dr. Gamaniel is a Fellow of the Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, and a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the International Foundation for Science. Professor Gamaniel is the Audit person and Scientific Advisor on the MacArthur Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and Carnegie Corporation's Scientific Equipment project for 15 African Universities. He is a leading international authority in ethical drug development and good laboratory practice.

Dr. Keertan Dheda
Dr. Dheda is a Professor of Respiratory Medicine and Head of the Division of Pulmonology and in the Department of Medicine at the University of Cape Town. He also serves as Director of the Lung Infection and Immunity Unit at the UCT Lung Institute. Dr. Dheda completed his Ph.D. in Mycobacterial Immunity at University College London where he holds a Visiting Professorship. He has been the recipient of several prestigious awards including the 2014 SA National Science Technology Forum BHP Billiton awards in the category of contributions to Science, Engineering, and Technology (SET) by an individual through research outputs, the 2014 Oppenheimer Award (one of the most prestigious scientific awards in South Africa), the 2013 MRC Scientific Achievement Award (Gold), the 2010 International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease Scientific Award, the South African MRC Career Development Award, a South African National Research Foundation and DST Research Chair (SARChI), and holds or has held several multi-national grants as the principal investigator from the EDCTP, NIH, and Wellcome Trust. He was recently profiled in The Lancet and the Business Day newspaper. He has published more than 160 papers in peer-reviewed journals, is co-inventor on several patents, and serves on the editorial boards of several prestigious journals including the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine and Lancet Respiratory Diseases.

Dr. Michael Makanga
Dr. Makanga is Director South-South Cooperation and Head of Africa Office
 European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership where he is responsible for serving as liaison with the African political leadership, policy makers, and the scientific community with the purpose of ensuring a genuine African ownership, commitment, and stewardship of the partnership. He has considerable international experience in conducting and managing health research programs with an emphasis on the conduct of clinical trials, as well as ethics and clinical regulatory affairs. Dr. Makanga is a medical doctor with a Master's and Ph.D. in Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

Dr. Eliangiringa Amos Kaale
Dr. Kaale is a Professor at the School of Pharmacy at Muhimbili University of Health Allied Sciences and a Visiting Lecturer at The National University of Rwanda. For more than eleven years Dr. Kaale has been working in matters related to drug quality assurance and regulatory affairs. He is a member of the Technical Committee for Registration of Human Medicine in Tanzania, a member of the national committee to oversee the implementation of strategies to improve local pharmaceutical production, and a member of the Technical Working Group for Medicine Regulatory Capacity Building in Africa. He was recently nominated as a technical expert to represent the East African Community Regional Medicines Regulation Harmonization Initiative as part of international harmonization effort on Clinical Investigation of Medicinal Products in the Pediatric Population. He is a recipient of the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Senior Scientist hosted by the Institute of Pharmacy and Food Chemistry-Julius Maximilian University of Wurzburg, Germany. He studied Pharmacy at the University of Dar es Salaam, and obtained a Master's and Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium.

Dr. Richard Chin
Dr. Chin is the Founder and CEO of Kindred Biosciences, Inc. BusinessWeek in 2006 named Dr. Chin as one of the 99 youngest public company CEOs in the United States. Previously, Dr. Chin was Head of Clinical Research for the Biotherapeutics Unit at Genentech where he oversaw all of the company's drug development programs except oncology products; Senior Vice President of Global Development at Elan Pharmaceuticals; and CEO of Oxigene, a biotechnology company. The drugs Dr. Chin helped developed include Lucentis, Xolair, Tysabri, and Rituxan for immune diseases. They have current aggregate sales of more than $10 billion per year. Most recently, Dr. Chin served as CEO of OneWorld Health, a Gates Foundation-funded nonprofit organization developing drugs for impoverished patients in developing countries. At OneWorld Health, he oversaw successful development of low-cost semisynthetic artemisinin, which has led to an affordable malaria therapy for up to 150 million patients per year in Africa, India, and other regions. Dr. Chin has authored several textbooks on clinical development and teaches drug development at UCSF School of Medicine, where he serves as Adjunct Associate Professor. Dr. Chin serves on the board of directors of several biotechnology companies, including Immunocellular Therapeutics and Galena Biopharma. He holds an M.D. from Harvard Medical School and the equivalent of a J.D. from Oxford University, where he studied under a Rhodes scholarship.

Dr. Solomzi Makohliso
Dr. Makohliso is an international entrepreneur with biotechnology industry experience from the United States, Europe and SouthAfrica. In addition to serving as founder and CEO of Ayanda Biosystems in Switzerland, Dr. Makohliso is Founder and Chairman of NanoBioInnovations (Pty) Ltd, in Pretoria, South Africa, a company focusing on developing affordable biopharmaceuticals for the African and BRICS markets. He is also Resident Entrepreneur at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Pretoria, South Africa. Prior to that, he served as a member of the Biotechnology Advisory Panel for the national Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) in South Africa. He holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science and Physics from Rhodes University; a B.Sc. in Biomedical Engineering from Brown University; an M.Sc. in Medical Science from Brown University; and a Ph.D. in Biomaterials from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology.

About Serenus Biotherapeutics
Serenus Biotherapeutics is a privately held specialty biopharmaceutical company that specializes in late-stage drug development, in-licensing, registering, and commercializing therapies approved in the United States, Europe, and Japan to address unmet medical needs with high regional prevalence in the Sub-Saharan African market. For more information, please visit

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