Team of advisors guides strategic research to discover and develop potential novel, natural psychoactive prescription medicines derived from Jaguar's library of 2,300 plants
SAN FRANCISCO, CA / ACCESSWIRE / February 9, 2021 / Jaguar Health, Inc. (NASDAQ:JAGX) announced today that noted natural products industry veteran Dr. Nigel Gericke has joined the scientific strategy team (SST) for the company's recently launched mental health Entheogen Therapeutics Initiative (ETI), which aims to discover and develop groundbreaking, novel, natural medicines derived from psychoactive plants for treatment of mood disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, addiction, and other mental health disorders. The SST consists of leading and globally renowned ethnobotanists, physicians, and pharmacologists, as well as experts in the fields of natural product chemistry and neuropharmacology.
Dr. Gericke has spent more than 30 years involved in the discovery, innovation, clinical study, and commercialization of natural products and has extensive experience identifying, isolating, and characterizing active compounds and studying the molecular biology, pharmacology, and toxicology underpinning Indigenous plant use. He is a medical doctor, an ethnobotanist, and ethnopharmacologist, a former advisory panelist to the United States Pharmacopoeia (an independent, scientific nonprofit organization focused on building trust in the supply of safe, quality medicines), a longstanding member of the Medicinal Plants Specialist Group of the World Wide Fund For Nature, and a founding member of the Association for African Medicinal Plants Standards. Dr. Gericke is also a longtime advocate of ecological sustainability, social responsibility, and the need to recognize Indigenous rights.
"We are thrilled and honored that Dr. Gericke - a highly respected veteran of the natural products industry - has joined the ETI scientific strategy team. We believe the wealth of expertise, experience, and commitment of our ETI SST - comprised of multiple members of the original scientific strategy team that contributed to development of Jaguar's proprietary library of approximately 2,300 plants - will play an instrumental role in advancing our shared initial goal of identifying plants in our library that may have the potential to treat mood disorders and neurodegenerative diseases, such as schizophrenia and other forms of psychosis, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic sclerosis," said Steven King, Ph.D., Jaguar's chief sustainable supply, ethnobotanical research and IP officer. Mood disorders and neurodegenerative diseases affect hundreds of millions of people around the globe and represent classic unmet medical needs.
"I am delighted to have joined the ETI scientific strategy team and look forward to collaborating with the other team members as we work to discover novel therapies for managing mental health conditions from psychoactive plants that have been utilized by traditional healers for centuries. I believe psychedelic and psychoactive compounds derived from plants have significant potential for treating mental and neurological disorders and addressing other unmet mental health needs," said Dr. Gericke.
The scientific strategy team for Jaguar's Entheogen Therapeutics Initiative is comprised of the following members:
- Michael J. Balick, Ph.D.: Considered one of the world's leading ethnobotanists and economic botanists; specialist in healing plants and toxic plants and their use by Indigenous peoples; research associate of the Brain Chemistry Labs of the Institute of EthnoMedicine; member of original scientific strategy team that contributed to development of Jaguar's plant library.
- Thomas Carlson, M.D., M.S.: Ethnobotanist, botanist, physician; teaching professor of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley; member of original scientific strategy team that contributed to development of Jaguar's plant library; key architect of ethnomedical field research process conducted by ethnobotanist/physician teams of Jaguar predecessor company Shaman Pharmaceuticals.
- Pravin Chaturvedi, Ph.D.: Pharmacologist with specialty in neuropharmacology; chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of Napo Pharmaceuticals (Napo), Jaguar's wholly-owned subsidiary, and the acting chief scientific officer of Jaguar; Over 25+ year career, led discovery and/or development activities for several new chemical entities including development of Napo's FDA-approved drug product, Mytesi® (crofelemer), the only oral plant-based prescription medicine approved under FDA Botanical Guidance.
- Stephen Dahmer, M.D.: Ethnomedical researcher and practicing integrative physician; expert on endocannabinoids who has conducted ethnomedical field research in tropical regions.
- Wade Davis, Ph.D.: Ethnobotanist, anthropologist, writer, and professor of anthropology at University of British Columbia; extensive international ethnobotanical field research.
- Elaine Elisabetsky, Ph.D.: Among world's leading ethnopharmacologists; professor in the pharmacology and biochemistry departments of the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil; member of original scientific strategy team that contributed to development of Jaguar's plant library.
- Nigel Gericke, M.B.B.Ch.: Medical doctor, ethnobotanist, and ethnopharmacologist; former advisory panelist to the United States Pharmacopoeia; longstanding member of the Medicinal Plants Specialist Group of the World Wide Fund For Nature; founding member of the Association for African Medicinal Plants Standards.
- Maurice Iwu, Ph.D.: President of Bioresources Development Group and founder of International Center for Ethnomedicine and Drug Development (InterCEDD) in Nigeria; member of original scientific strategy team that contributed to development of Jaguar's plant library.
- Steven R. King, Ph.D.: Ethnobotanist; Napo's chief sustainable supply and ethnobotanical research officer; managed Napo's original scientific strategy team and outcomes; research associate of the Brain Chemistry Labs of the Institute of EthnoMedicine.
- Charles Limbach, M.D.: Ethnomedical specialist and family medicine physician; member of original scientific strategy team that contributed to development of Jaguar's plant library.
- David Sesin, Ph.D.: Natural product chemist; Jaguar's chief manufacturing officer; created isolation and manufacturing process for Mytesi (crofelemer).
"Jaguar is thrilled to be leading this effort to potentially uncover a pipeline of novel psychoactive plant-based compounds, engage with recognized leaders in this space, and share our findings with potential corporate partners with the goal of developing plant-based compounds into possible medical breakthroughs," said Lisa Conte, Jaguar's president, and CEO. "While we remain steadfastly focused on the commercial success of Mytesi and on the development of crofelemer follow-on indications, we believe the same competencies and multi-disciplinary scientific strategy that led to the development of crofelemer will support collaborative efforts to discover and develop novel first-in-class prescription medicines derived from psychoactive plants."
Crofelemer is in a pivotal Phase 3 trial in the U.S. for the indication of cancer therapy related-diarrhea and under development for diarrhea in a "long-hauler" COVID recovery patient population in Europe.
About Jaguar Health, Inc. and Napo Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Jaguar Health, Inc. is a commercial-stage pharmaceuticals company focused on developing novel, plant-based, non-opioid, and sustainably derived prescription medicines for people and animals with GI distress, specifically chronic, debilitating diarrhea. Our wholly-owned subsidiary, Napo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., focuses on developing and commercializing proprietary plant-based human gastrointestinal pharmaceuticals from plants harvested responsibly from rainforest areas. Our Mytesi® (crofelemer) product is approved by the U.S. FDA for the symptomatic relief of noninfectious diarrhea in adults with HIV/AIDS on antiretroviral therapy and the only oral plant-based prescription medicine approved under FDA Botanical Guidance.
Mytesi (crofelemer) is an antidiarrheal indicated for the symptomatic relief of noninfectious diarrhea in adult patients with HIV/AIDS on antiretroviral therapy (ART). Mytesi is not indicated for the treatment of infectious diarrhea. Rule out infectious etiologies of diarrhea before starting Mytesi. If infectious etiologies are not considered, there is a risk that patients with infectious etiologies will not receive the appropriate therapy, and their disease may worsen. In clinical studies, the most common adverse reactions occurring at a rate greater than placebo were upper respiratory tract infection (5.7%), bronchitis (3.9%), cough (3.5%), flatulence (3.1%), and increased bilirubin (3.1%).
See full Prescribing Information at Mytesi.com. Crofelemer, the active ingredient in Mytesi, is a botanical (plant-based) drug extracted and purified from the red bark sap of the medicinal Croton lechleri tree in the Amazon rainforest. Napo has established a sustainable harvesting program for crofelemer to ensure a high degree of quality and ecological integrity.
Certain statements in this press release constitute "forward-looking statements." These include statements related to the belief that the expertise, experience, and commitment of the ETI SST will play an instrumental role in advancing the initial goal of identifying plants in the company's plant library that may have the potential to treat mood disorders and neurodegenerative diseases, such as schizophrenia and other forms of psychosis, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic sclerosis, the belief that psychedelic and psychoactive compounds derived from plants have significant potential for treating mental and neurological disorders and addressing other unmet mental health needs, and the belief that the same competencies and multi-disciplinary scientific strategy that led to the development of crofelemer will support collaborative efforts to discover and develop novel first-in-class prescription medicines derived from psychoactive plants. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as "may," "will," "should," "expect," "plan," "aim," "anticipate," "could," "intend," "target," "project," "contemplate," "believe," "estimate," "predict," "potential" or "continue" or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions. The forward-looking statements in this release are only predictions. Jaguar has based these forward-looking statements largely on its current expectations and projections about future events. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this release and are subject to several risks, uncertainties, and assumptions, some of which cannot be predicted or quantified and some of which are beyond Jaguar's control. Except as required by applicable law, Jaguar does not plan to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements contained herein, whether as a result of any new information, future events, changed circumstances, or otherwise.
Jaguar Health, Inc.
SOURCE: Jaguar Health, Inc.