RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C., Aug. 15, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Merakris Therapeutics has added two new executives to its leadership team as it prepares to expand its product line and increase its investigational new drug programs aimed at treating patients with chronic skin and tissue wounds that fail to heal properly.
The Research Triangle Park-headquartered company is pioneering the development of a first-in-class biological drug product to promote healing of damaged tissue.
Roger Ilagan, Ph.D., has joined Merakris as Vice President, Research and Development, and Mark Rogers, MBA has been named Vice President, Quality and Regulatory Affairs.
Dr. Ilagan has more than 15 years of experience in the early-stage development of regenerative medicines that include cell and gene therapies, exosome therapies, biomimetics, biological scaffolds and tissue-engineered organs. He has led product development teams from discovery through early phase clinical studies in multiple therapeutic areas.
Prior to joining Merakris, Dr. Ilagan was Vice President for Research and Chief Scientist at Pennsylvania-based Tavanta Therapeutics, a clinical stage specialty pharmaceutical company that develops therapies for patients with high unmet needs. He was responsible for directing pharmacology and mechanism of action investigations for novel peptide/small molecule conjugates.
Dr. Ilagan also spent nearly 10 years at United Therapeutics in North Carolina, where he directed R&D programs for rare and orphan pulmonary diseases. While at the company, he led a first-in-human clinical trial and he and his team cleared one of the first US Investigational New Drug (IND) applications for an exosome product.
Dr. Ilagan earned his Ph.D. in cell biology from Duke University and has an undergraduate degree in biological sciences from the University of Missouri.
Rogers, who will lead Merakris’ IND projects and eventual Biological License Applications (BLAs) for wound healing products, brings more than 30 years of current Good Manufacturing Practice and current Good Tissue Practice (cGMP/cGTP) experience to his new role. He also will provide expert support in quality assurance, quality control and quality engineering.
During his career, Rogers has held positions of increasing responsibility at leading global pharmaceutical companies that include Glaxo, Bayer, Wyeth Vaccines, and Eli Lilly.
Before joining Merakris, he was Chief Quality and Regulatory Officer at Arizona-headquartered human cellular and tissue-based products company, Surgenex. He also worked at Georgia-based biomedical company MiMedx for eight years, where he contributed directly to that company’s dramatic sales growth.
Rogers holds a chemistry degree from North Carolina State University and an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“We are delighted that Dr. Ilagan and Mark have joined our team at Merakris,” said company CEO Chris Broderick. “This is a crucial period in our company’s growth and development. They add a tremendous level of new product development and regulatory experience that we’ll need to satisfy evolving US Food and Drug Administration regulations around the creation and oversight of regenerative medicines.”
“As our clinical trial program moves into its later stages,” Broderick added, “the experience of Dr. Ilagan and Mark will be vital to our goal of becoming a leader in regenerative medicine.”
About Merakris Therapeutics
Merakris, founded in 2016, has as its mission to improve global patient outcomes through regenerative biotechnologies. The company is positioning itself to offer a first-in-class subcutaneous (below the skin) drug for venous leg ulcers and is evaluating other types of chronic wound therapies as well.
Its products include:
- Dermacyte® Amniotic Wound Care Liquid, a cell-free amniotic injection that is being developed under Merakris’ Investigational New Drug (IND) program for wound healing.
- Dermacyte® Matrix, a human amniotic membrane tissue allograft that provides a protective covering for skin wounds and surgical sites.
- Opticyte® Matrix, which creates an ophthalmic barrier to the corneal surface of the eye and can be used with various ocular procedures.
Merakris also has a growing patent portfolio focused on personalized wound healing and tissue regeneration to address the unique needs of individual patients. In addition, it distributes amniotic tissue-based ophthalmic and wound covering products.
The company is conducting a multicenter clinical trial using Dermacyte Liquid to treat non-healing venous stasis ulcers of the lower extremity that haven’t responded effectively to standard wound care treatments.
The product is a cell-free amniotic therapy that works by stimulating skin cell migration and activating gene expression pathways that promote wound healing.
Merakris Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, as amended. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts. These statements include projections and estimates regarding the marketing and other potential of Merakris’ products, or regarding potential future revenues from any such product. Forward-looking statements are generally identified by the words “expects”, “anticipates”, “believes”, “intends”, “estimates”, “plans” and similar expressions. Although Merakris’ management believes that any forward-looking statements in this press release are reasonable, investors are cautioned that forward-looking information and statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of Merakris, that could cause actual results and developments to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, the forward-looking information and statements. These risks and uncertainties include among other things, unexpected regulatory actions or delays, or government regulation generally, that could affect the availability or commercial potential of the product, the fact that product may not be commercially successful, the uncertainties inherent in research and development, including future clinical data and analysis of existing clinical data relating to the product, including post marketing, unexpected safety, quality or manufacturing issues, competition in general, risks associated with intellectual property and any related future litigation and the ultimate outcome of such litigation, and volatile economic and market conditions may have on us, our customers, suppliers, vendors, and other business partners, and the financial condition of any one of them, as well as on our employees and advisors and on the global economy as a whole.
CONTACT: Bryant Haskins Otter Creek Communications [email protected] (c) 973 590 9537