November 24, 2014 12:31 AM ET


Company Overview of Afferent Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Company Overview

Afferent Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, engages in the development of small molecule compounds that target P2X3 receptors for the treatment of chronic pain, respiratory, and urological conditions. Its products include AF-219 that is used for patients with osteoarthritis pain, treatment-refractory chronic cough, and interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome; and AF-220, a second-generation P2X3 antagonist. The company was founded in 2009 and is based in San Mateo, California.

2755 Campus Drive

Suite 100

San Mateo, CA 94403

United States

Founded in 2009





Key Executives for Afferent Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Chief Executive Officer and Director
Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer
Chief Medical Officer
Age: 64
Vice President of Clinical Operations
Compensation as of Fiscal Year 2014.

Afferent Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Key Developments

Afferent Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Announces Executive Changes

Afferent Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that Kathleen Sereda Glaub has been named as Chief Executive Officer. Ms. Glaub had been serving as an independent member of Afferent's Board since 2013, and she will continue to serve on the Board. She is replacing Bruce G. McCarthy, M.D., who served as the company's CEO since 2009. Prior to joining Afferent, Ms. Glaub most recently co-led Plexxikon Inc. as President.

Afferent Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Announces Management Appointments

Afferent Pharmaceuticals announced that Michael M. Kitt, M.D., has been named to the newly created position of Chief Medical Officer, effective immediately. In addition, Afferent announced the appointment of Kathleen Sereda Glaub to the Company's Board of Directors, expanding the number of Company directors to six. Dr. Kitt has over 30 years' experience in drug development with a proven record of success in running clinical trial programs and taking compounds through to NDA approval. He most recently served as Senior Vice President, Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs and Chief Medical Officer at Portola Pharmaceuticals, Inc., where he led the planning and initiation of an international Phase 3 clinical program for the company's lead product candidate. Ms. Glaub has over 30 years of management and company-building experience for biopharma and innovation-based companies. Most recently, she co-led Plexxikon Inc. as President, a position she held for 12 years. During her tenure, Ms. Glaub was responsible for the business and financing strategy of the company leading its venture and partnership transactions, and ultimately leading the sale of the company to Daiichi Sankyo for nearly $1 billion in 2011. She also played a pivotal role in the company's product development programs, including the development of the company's melanoma drug Zelboraf and its companion diagnostic. She also put in place the commercial infrastructure and sales force to support the co-promotion of Zelboraf for the product launch in 2011.

Afferent Pharmaceuticals Reports Positive Phase 2 Clinical Data for the Company's Lead P2X3 Antagonist, AF-219

Afferent Pharmaceuticals announced positive clinical efficacy results from the Phase 2 study of the Company's first-in-class oral P2X3 antagonist, AF-219, in patients with treatment-refractory chronic cough. Afferent is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company leading the development of first-in-class, proprietary, small molecule compounds that target P2X3 receptors for the treatment of chronic pain, respiratory and urological conditions. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover Phase 2 clinical study, AF-219, dosed orally twice daily, was demonstrated to markedly reduce daytime cough frequency by an unprecedented 75% at week 2 of treatment (as measured using an ambulatory sound monitoring system) in patients with treatment-refractory chronic cough (p< 0.001). The study results were featured in a late-breaking oral presentation titled, 'Inhibition of ATP-gated P2X3 channels by AF-219: An effective anti-tussive mechanism in chronic cough' (Abstract No. 1965), at the European Respiratory Society (ERS) Annual Congress 2013, which is taking place in Barcelona, Spain. Treatment-Refractory Chronic Cough: Cough is the commonest symptom for which patients seek medical attention, and chronic cough due to any cause affects an estimated 5-18% of the general population. A significant set of patients (20-42% of chronic coughers) is estimated to have cough refractory to treatment of associated conditions, such as gastroesophageal reflux or post-nasal drip. P2X3 Receptors, ATP and Neuronal Hypersensitization: P2X3 receptors are novel targets, highly specific to unmyelinated, small diameter C fiber afferent (or sensory) nerves that have dense innervations in visceral organs, skin and joints and which transmit pain and other sensations of organ function. (In contrast, P2X3 receptors are absent in higher brain centers.) ATP, released by stressed, inflamed or injured tissues, has been found to be the sole ligand for P2X3 receptors, and overstimulation with ATP can cause hypersensitization and overactivity of the C fiber afferent nerves, which in turn can lead to diverse conditions depending on the location of the affected fibers. Topical application of ATP evokes pain in clinical investigations, and its inhalation produces cough, breathlessness and bronchospasm in patients with asthma. In preclinical in vivo models of airways disease, P2X3 receptors sensitize vagal afferents, and P2X3 blockade can reverse both ATP- and histamine-induced potentiation of citric acid induced cough.

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