BERG Announces New Partnership with debra of America to Tackle Epidermolysis Bullosa, a Rare Genetic Tissue Disorder
Biopharmaceutical and Patient Advocacy Group Join Forces to Galvanize the Disease Community and Advance Treatment Research
BOSTON, May 15, 2017 — BERG, a biopharmaceutical company uncovering health solutions through a data-driven, biological research approach, today announced they have entered into a partnership agreement with The Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association of America (debra of America) to provide support and advocate on behalf of patients and families affected by epidermolysis bullosa (EB). EB is a rare, pervasive, and debilitating connective tissue disorder with many genetic and symptomatic variations that affects approximately one in every 20,000 children born in the U.S. The condition significantly diminishes the quality of life for those dealing with the condition.
All variations of EB share the most prominent symptom of extremely fragile skin that causes painful blisters and debilitating ruptures and wounds to skin, which are prone to infection, from minor friction or trauma. Internal organs and bodily systems can also be seriously affected by the disease. EB often leads to a potentially serious form of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and in some cases, can be lethal for patients before they reach the age of 30. Currently, there is no FDA approved treatment or cure. debra of America is the only U.S. nonprofit providing all-inclusive support to the EB community, through funding research for a treatment and cure while simultaneously providing free programs and services for those with EB.
“We are honored to partner with debra of America, which underscores our commitment to increasing attention around epidermolysis bullosa and addressing the high unmet needs of the EB community,” said Niven R. Narain, Co-founder, President, and CEO of BERG. “We are proud to use our expertise and innovative research platforms to provide a better understanding of the condition and to hopefully expand treatment options in a very devastating disease for patients and their families.”
A Phase I clinical trial for the topical form of its drug candidate BPM 31510 for the treatment of EB is currently being conducted at the University of Miami Department of Dermatology & Cutaneous Surgery. BERG and debra of America will work together to raise awareness about the trial throughout the entire EB community, as well as share information with patients and caregivers about advanced treatment research. The partnership will also create a platform to elevate the EB disease profile by highlighting potential EB treatments like BPM 31510 at key EB clinical conferences, strengthen EB patient advocacy efforts with Congress, and collaborate with top scientific investigators around the world.
“The only options currently available for the 25,000 people living in the United States with EB and the nearly 200 children born each year are daily wound care, pain management, and protective bandaging” explained Brett Kopelan, Executive Director of debra of America and father to a nine-year-old with a severe form of the disease. “The lack of treatment options considering the severity of the disease creates a desperate need in the EB patient population for access to new treatments,” explained Mr. Kopelan. “Based on encouraging research results that BERG has already presented, we are extremely hopeful that their pioneering approach to drug development will create meaningful advancements that positively impact the EB community. We very much look forward to working together to improve the quality of life for people living with EB, their families, and caregivers.”
BERG is a clinical-stage company disrupting and re-defining the approach to drug discovery, research and development through its Interrogative Biology® platform. Its platform identifies therapies and biomarkers by applying algorithm- and probability-based artificial intelligence to analyze large numbers of patients’ genotypic, phenotypic and other characteristics. BERG’s platform operates at the intersection of biology, technology and artificial intelligence analytics and integrates many data characteristics regarding patients’ lifestyles, demographics and biology. BERG believes this allows the company to better understand patients’ disease profiles and consequently to identify and reveal molecular signatures to guide and accelerate product candidate selection and development. By identifying biomarkers and patient characteristics that are unique to the disease state, BERG is able to identify novel therapeutic product candidates and develop companion diagnostics to enhance specificity in its drug development process. BERG has leveraged its Interrogative Biology® platform to develop a robust pipeline of therapeutic product candidates and diagnostics in cancer, diabetes and neurology.
For additional information, please visit www.BERGhealth.com.
About debra of America
Founded in 1980, debra of America is a non-profit organization that provides comprehensive support to those with epidermolysis bullosa (EB). It is the only national organization in the United States to offer free programs and services to affected individuals and their caregivers and fund research for an EB cure and treatment. EB is a rare, connective tissue disorder with many genetic and symptomatic variations characterized by extremely fragile skin and the development of recurrent, painful blisters, open sores, disfiguring scars, disabling musculoskeletal deformities, internal complications, and shortened life-span. Research indicates that one in every 20,000 children in the U.S. are born with the disease. There is currently no known EB cure or treatment.
For additional information, please visit: www.debra.org.
Tola St. Matthew-Daniel
Stern Investor Relations, Inc.