March 14, 2017
Cardiol Therapeutics Appoints Afsaneh Lavasanifar, PharmD, PhD to Scientific Advisory Board
On March 14th, 2017, Cardiol Therapeutics Inc. (“Cardiol” or the “Company”), a nanotherapeutics company focused on the research and commercial development of proprietary drug formulations for the treatment of heart failure, appointed Afsaneh Lavasanifar, PharmD, PhD to its Scientific Advisory Board.
Dr. Afsanah Lavasanifar’s area of expertise and interest is pharmaceutics and drug delivery. She is a Professor in the Pharmaceutical Sciences division of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Alberta, and has a joint appointment in the Department of Chemical and Medical Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering at the same university. She is also the Chief Scientific Officer and Vice-President of Meros Polymers Inc., a privately-held Alberta corporation formed in 2009 to commercialize advanced drug delivery technologies developed within the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Alberta.
Dr. Lavasanifar’s research focuses on the design and development of polymer-based delivery systems that can increase solubility, modify the pharmacokinetic pattern, reduce toxicity, and improve the efficacy of different therapeutic agents. The ongoing research projects in her laboratory include the development of novel polymeric nano-carriers and stimulus-responsive gels for application in cancer chemo and immunotherapy, and for the delivery of anti-inflammatory agents. Her research has been funded by grants from the Natural Science and Engineering Council of Canada (NSERC), the Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR), the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI), Alberta Innovates Health Solutions (AIHS), and the Alberta Cancer Foundation (ACF).
Dr. Lavasanifar has more than 100 peer-reviewed published/in press manuscripts in highly-ranked journals in pharmaceutical sciences, three book chapters, several abstracts and numerous conference presentations. She is an inventor on five patent/patent applications on novel polymer-based formulations for drug and siRNA delivery. She has been the recipient of the 2007 GlaxoSmithKline/CSPS Early Career Award; the 2009 Sanofi-Aventis/AFPC award in recognition of outstanding research in Pharmacy and the 2013 and 2016 TEC Edmonton ‘Innovation Makes Sense prize’. Dr. Lavasanifar is the Associate Editor of the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and a member of the Editorial Board of Materials Sciences and Applications, and the Iranian Polymer Journal. She has an active teaching program at both undergraduate and graduate levels in pharmaceutics and nanotechnology for drug delivery.
“Cardiol is pleased to welcome Dr. Lavasanifar to its Scientific Advisory Board,” said David Elsely, President & CEO of Cardiol. “As an internationally recognized expert in the area of polymeric micellar drug formulation, and as the inventor of our nanotechnology for administering drugs to treat heart failure, Dr. Lavasanifar will add immeasurable strengths to our scientific team going forward.”
About Cardiol Therapeutics
Cardiol Therapeutics is a nanotherapeutics company focused on the research and commercial development of proprietary drug formulations for the treatment of heart failure. Heart failure is a chronic condition that affects more than 26 million people globally. Over five million adults in the U.S. suffer from heart failure, and it remains a leading cause of death and hospitalization with associated healthcare costs exceeding $30 billion annually. People with heart failure experience shortness of breath, fatigue, rapid heart rate, edema, reduced exercise capacity and a marked reduction in quality of life. Approximately half of all heart failure patients have heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), which is often associated with diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure and for which there have been no new therapies developed in over 20 years. Cardiol is developing CTX01, a proprietary nanoformulation of pharmaceutical cannabidiol for the treatment of HFpEF. Cannabidiol has been shown to attenuate cardiac dysfunction in experimental models of diabetic cardiomyopathy and to decrease oxidative stress, fibrosis, and inflammation in other models relevant to HFpEF. CTX01 is designed to optimize and maintain blood levels of cannabidiol and target the drug to areas of inflammation in the heart. Cardiol is also developing CTX02, a proprietary nanoformulation of methotrexate for the treatment of heart failure. Recent experimental data have shown that methotrexate improves cardiac function after acute myocardial infarction and has anti-fibrotic properties.