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Scientific Advisory Board Member
University of California at Riverside
Accelerator Corporation Funds Two Emerging Biotech Companies | Accelerator
Dr. Ray Goodwin, Enbrel's other co-inventor, will also join VLST, bringing years of proven experience in research and drug development to the company.
All three worked together extensively at Amgen and Immunex Corp.
VLST Corporation, Inc.
Prior to co-founding VLST, Dr. Smith's research accomplishments at Immunex include having cloned a receptor for TNF and, working with colleague Dr. Ray Goodwin, engineered a novel, soluble recombinant form (later termed Enbrel) for use in treating autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
For this discovery and invention, both Dr. Smith and Dr. Goodwin shared the Scientific Achievement Award from the National Arthritis Foundation, the PhRMA Discoverers Award and the IPO National Inventor of the Year (2001). Raymond Goodwin, Ph.D. Ray Goodwin, Ph.D. obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of California at Riverside and held positions at Case Western Reserve University, Genentech and Immunex/Amgen Corporations prior to joining VLST Corp at its founding as a Scientist. At Immunex, Dr. Goodwin was the coinventor and co-developer of Enbrel with Company founder Craig Smith.
'We thought we could study its biology and perhaps develop therapeutics , ' says Ray Goodwin , a pioneering TNF researcher at Immunex. 'We hadn't specifically decided what disease to work on at that point.But there were plenty of diseases to choose from.''.Why? Many ailments involve inflammation , Goodwin says , and TNF promotes inflammation.In small doses , TNF also helps damaged cells to repair themselves.This makes TNF a critical player in wound healing and tissue repair.But TNF production sometimes continues after its job is done , and it destroys healthy tissue.In rheumatoid arthritis , excess TNF thins the cartilage that cushions bones.In congestive heart failure , excess TNF gradually kills off the muscle cells that power the heart's contractions.As in JRA , TNF also attacks the connective-tissue 'struts'' that hold muscle cells together , thinning the heart's wall , enlarging the heart and forcing it to work harder.Goodwin says that TNF triggers inflammation by locking into special receptors on the cell surface , which cues a kind of bucket brigade of signaling molecules to convey a message from the cell's surface to the genes in its nucleus.Receptors' role in this process makes them a valuable target for drug discovery , he says.If you know the TNF receptor's makeup , you can create a decoy receptor that will lock_up any extra TNF that's around , preventing it from triggering the signaling cascade.This is the same tactic that cells use in nature to keep inflammation in check ; they release TNF receptors from their surface to mop_up excess TNF. 'A lot of companies were going after the TNF receptor , ' Goodwin says.Goodwin and his colleagues worked_out a way to prompt TNF-receptor genes to make the receptor on demand.Immunex scientists initially tried using the receptor to block overwhelming infections of the bloodstream.It didn't work.But clinical trials in more than 1 , 000 patients indicated that the decoy TNF receptors in Enbrel dramatically reduced pain and inflammation in adults with rheumatoid arthritis ( RA ) .In 1998 , Immunex won government permission to market Enbrel to treat RA in adults.Enbrel isn't cheap ; it costs about $ 13 , 000 a year.
VLST :: Who We Are
VLST was co-founded by Dr. Craig Smith, who along with Dr. Ray Goodwin, a member of the VLST scientific advisory board, invented Enbrel®, a biologic therapy for the treatment of several inflammatory disorders.
VLST Corporation and Accelerator Corporation Name Martin A. Simonetti President and Chief Executive Officer of VLST | Accelerator
Dr. Smith and Dr. Ray Goodwin, a member of VLST's scientific advisory board, were co-inventors of Enbrel®, a multi-billion dollar biologic therapy developed at Immunex and currently marketed by Amgen for the treatment of inflammatory disorders.