Tuberculosis disease and deaths increased during the COVID-19 pandemic (www.who.int). This has created global demand for rapid tests such as Actiphage® (developed by PBD Biotech) to improve diagnosis of this preventable disease. In response to this need, PBD Biotech is announcing that it has appointed Dr Marie Roskrow to chair its board and has expanded its scientific advisory panel ahead of further trials.
Dr Roskrow is an experienced physician-scientist and senior executive. Her international experience in the healthcare and financial sectors includes roles as CEO, CMO and Chairperson in private and listed companies, including Patrys Ltd (Melbourne), Imevax (Munich), MetaLinear (UK), and Kinomica (UK). She is currently Chair of Arcticzymes Technologies (Norway).
Jane Theaker, CEO of PBD Biotech, comments: “We are delighted to bring Marie onboard. As an early-stage company, her experience of early and later-stage clinical development, relationships with investors, and extensive network of healthcare companies and clinical centres across Europe and the USA, will be invaluable to us.”
Dr Roskrow says she is looking forward to supporting the company in bringing Actiphage to market.
Actiphage is unique as it can detect live mycobacteria in a blood sample, providing an effective and non-invasive way to indicate that the patient has subclinical TB disease.
The World Health Organisation’s 2022 Global TB Report also said that the burden of drug-resistant TB (DR-TB) increased by 3% between 2020 and 2021, with 450 000 new cases of rifampicin-resistant TB (RR-TB) in 2021. This is the first time in many years that an increase has been reported in the number of people falling ill with TB and drug resistant TB.
Actiphage also has potential as a companion test for therapeutics and this is an area where Dr Roskrow has considerable knowledge. Her work at Imevax included development of a novel therapeutic vaccine and complementary rapid diagnostic test for the treatment of patients with resistant Helicobacter pylori. Her work is well-published, and she has earned many honours and awards.
PBD Biotech was originally focussed on diagnosis of mycobacterial diseases in animal health and benefited greatly from the expertise of Tom Green, PBD Biotech’s outgoing Chair. Tom will become a Non-Executive Director as the company prioritises human health.