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NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals Announces the Clinical Advancement of Novel Therapies That Address Neurodegenerative Diseases Affecting Millions of Patients Globally

NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing proprietary natural product-based therapeutics for neurodegenerative complications originally developed by Dong-A ST, a major Korean pharmaceutical company, today announced its official launch, marking the start of its efforts in developing treatments for significant unmet patient needs including diabetic neuropathic pain and Alzheimer’s disease.

The company is led by John L. Brooks III, a veteran of the diabetes industry, co-founder of seven life sciences companies, and former chief executive officer of the Joslin Diabetes Center. Richard Kang, PhD is a co-founder and chief operating officer. Dr. Roy Freeman is the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board, and a co-founder. Mark Versavel, MD, PhD, MBA, with over 25 years in clinical pharmacology and experience in phase I-III clinical trials in neuropathic pain, neurology and psychiatry indications is the chief medical officer. Nandan Padukone, PhD, MBA, with years of experience in diabetes and business management in early-stage and venture development, is the senior vice president of business development.

In tandem with its launch, NeuroBo welcomes two new hires to expand and strengthen its operations in Boston. Nicola Shannon, RN, joins as vice president of clinical operations. Shannon was previously executive director and head of clinical operations at Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals. Liping Zhang, MS, MBA, joins as vice president and head of project management. Zhang was previously head of program management and a senior director at Gemini Therapeutics and has extensive experience in leading as well as managing cross-functional drug development teams.

“The additions of such well-respected and experienced professionals to our team position us well as we build our pipeline and advance our first novel DNP programs into a Phase III trial, and advance our AD program to an IND and Phase I study,” said John L. Brooks III, president and chief executive officer of NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals. “We could not be happier now that we have our team in place and we are aggressively driving forward to demonstrate the value of our pipeline.”

The company is currently focused on advancing two drug candidates through clinical development. Lead candidate, NB-01, has shown successful Phase II results in diabetic neuropathic pain and will commence a Phase III study in Q4 of 2018. The company’s other candidate, NB-02 has shown great promise as a neuroprotective agent in pre-clinical studies, providing a clear rationale for initiating a Phase I study in Alzheimer’s disease.

“Diabetic neuropathic pain is a largely unaddressed need that has tremendous negative impact on the quality of life for diabetic patients today. We believe NB-01 will significantly help the more than 80 million patients trying to manage neuropathic pain. NeuroBo is working diligently to develop our exciting new therapy to address this unmet need,” added Brooks. “At the same time, we are developing a therapy to treat Alzheimer’s disease which also presents a substantial unmet need as no disease-modifying therapy is currently available.”

About NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals

NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals is focused on neurodegenerative diseases that affect millions of patients worldwide. The company’s novel lead candidate NB-01 is a potential treatment for diabetic neuropathic pain. NB-01 increases levels of the neurotrophin, nerve growth factor (NGF). NGF inhibits nerve cell death and promotes nerve regeneration. The compound, licensed from leading pharmaceutical company, Dong-A ST, is moving into Phase III clinical trials in 2018. NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals has a second compound focusing on Alzheimer's disease currently ready for an IND and Phase 1 trial. NeuroBo Pharmaceuticals was jointly founded by JK BioPharma Solutions, a company specializing in the development of new biopharmaceuticals, and Dr. Roy Freeman, a Harvard Medical School neurologist, to develop natural ethical medicines based on neuroscience and is headquartered in Boston, MA. For more information, visit

About Dong-A ST

Dong-A ST, founded in 1932, is a leading pharmaceutical company specializing in discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceutical products and biosimilars.

Dong-A ST's strength in R&D resulted in 6 new, in-house developed product launches including Stillen® (Gastritis, 2002), Zydena® (ED, 2005), Motilitone® (Functional dyspepsia, 2011) and Suganon®/Sugamet® XR (DPP-4 inhibitor/its combination with metformin, T2DM, 2016). Once-daily IV/oral antibiotics Sivextro® (Tedizolid, ABSSSI) was also developed by Dong-A ST which was approved by US FDA and launched in US (2014), EU (2015) and Japan (2018) by global partner.

Dong-A ST has a strong R&D division, especially in immuno-oncology and epigenetics, and such capabilities enabled Dong-A to get partnered for licensing/co-research with several global pharma companies or companies specializing in these areas.

Dong-A ST is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea and listed on the Korean stock exchange. For more information, visit

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Last Updated: 19-Oct-2018