Zurich, Switzerland, March 19th, 2018 – Versantis, a pharmaceutical company on a mission to revolutionize the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of patients with liver diseases, today announces the formation of a Medical Advisory Board (MAB). The MAB will provide independent advice, overview, and scrutiny to successfully support the clinical development activities. Versantis’ MAB will be multi‐disciplinary including experts in the areas of hepatic encephalopathy, acute-on-chronic liver failure, intensive care, and nephrology; each of them will be a critical asset for carving out the company’s clinical strategy.
The appointees to the MAB will be:
- Prof. William Bernal, MB BS, BSc, MD, FRCP, FFICM
- Sara Montagnese, MD, PhD
- Prof. Stephan Segerer, MD, EMBA UZH
- Prof. Faouzi Saliba, MD, PhD
- Prof. Jonel Trebicka, MD, PhD
Commenting the announcement, Dr. Meriam Kabbaj, Versantis co-founder and COO says: “I am honored to be working with such eminent doctors who will play an important role in guiding Versantis’ clinical development programs and help us fulfill our mission of bringing the first stand-alone therapy to acute-on-chronic liver disease patients with hepatic encephalopathy”.
“Acute-on-chronic liver failure is a complex disease which lacks effective therapeutic options. We are thrilled to have attracted some of the world’s leading experts to tackle this unacceptable status quo” adds Dr. Vincent Forster, co-founder and CEO of Versantis. “Appointing the members of our Medical Advisory Board is a key milestone towards clinical validation of our lead product – VS-01 – and endorses its scientific and medical potential”.
“ACLF has so far very few treatment options, and new advances in the management of ACLF are urgently needed. This is especially important, since this syndrome has a dramatic morbidity and mortality.” explains Prof. Trebicka, chair of the MAB. “ACLF is still poorly understood. Hepatic encephalopathy seems to play an important role in the natural history of ACLF and most of these patients present with ascites requiring paracentesis. Therefore, combining paracentesis with removal of ammonia and other toxic substances, without the need of extracorporeal circulation is a great possibility. This strategy has the potential to change the course of ACLF and even of decompensated liver cirrhosis.”