A note from our CEO, Dr. Shadi Farhangrazi
Commitment to Patients
As we approach the end of another year next month, we take solace in looking towards coming holidays and the time we will spend with family and friends. This fact is more meaningful for many patients suffering from debilitating diseases and their families. As the sister of a patient suffering from Motor Neurone Disease (ALS) told me last week; “It is hard to see your loved one every day as he tries to maintain a resemblance of the person he was and the life he had before”. For many families, holidays are difficult times. Every day is difficult but holidays in particular become harder for patients, families and care givers.
In the last two years we have learned that, with focus and dedication it is possible to achieve impactful therapeutic outcomes as the world has done with the COVID-19 vaccines and that we have to be vigilant and focused. At SMDG, our first and the most important priority has always been the patients. It is our commitment to bring safe and effective therapies to patients. A fact that is never too far from our minds.
Two weeks ago, I had a chance to have a long conversation with a dear friend who has spent the last three decades with the highest commitment and dedication to patients while finding and funding research projects in order to bring realistic therapies to patients suffering from spinal cord injury. Ms. Susan Howley was the Executive Vice President at the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. Susan is truly an amazing woman who has never stopped working on behalf of patients and thinking about them. We share with you my conversation with Susan in our first, “In the Spotlight”.
We have been very busy in the last six months and one of the things we have been focusing on is expanding our business advisory board. We have been extremely fortunate to have had three exceptional individuals join us who bring years of business and science acumen to our growing team. Ms. Susan Howley, Mr. Jim Brasunas and Dr. Kevin Cox, have joined our business advisory board to guide us as we prepare for expansion of our pre-clinical projects, look towards clinical projects soon and current and future partnerships while expanding our team.
In this autumn newsletter, we also share a recent paper from the laboratory of Professor Moein Moghimi, our co-founder. The new research led by Professor Moghimi, in collaboration with international colleagues was published in Nature Communications alongside an accompanying blog. The team’s discovery shows that dendrimers can be effective for drug delivery without triggering our immune system. The team’s new findings also suggest that some bacteria and viruses could be exploiting patterns to escape our immune system. For example, it might be possible that pathogens display surface patterns with less than 1 nanometer periodicity from each other in order to escape the complement system radar and survive inside the host. I hope you take time and read this exciting paper by our co-founder.
Nature Communications paper: Dendrimer end-terminal motif-dependent evasion of human complement and complement activation through IgM hitchhiking. Lin-Ping Wu, Mario Ficker, Jørn B. Christensen, Dmitri Simberg, Panagiotis N. Trohopoulos & Seyed M. Moghimi.
Nature Health Blog: Dendrimers escape sensing by the dendrimers human defence system.
I hope you take a few minutes to read our news.
To our fellow American colleagues and friends, we wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving
Please stay safe and well and keep in touch.