Tenax Therapeutics Announces Professor Javed Butler, M.D., M.P.H, M.B.A., joins PH-HFpEF Scientific Advisory Board

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C., Nov. 17, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Tenax Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: TENX), a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on identifying, developing and commercializing products that address cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases with high unmet medical need, today announced the appointment of Javed Butler, M.D., M.P.H, M.B.A., to the Company’s PH-HFpEF Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Butler to our Scientific Advisory Board,” said Stuart Rich, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Tenax Therapeutics. “Javed is regarded as one of the most eminent clinical trialists in cardiovascular medicine, and he joins three highly distinguished cardiovascular leaders on the Tenax Scientific Advisory Board overseeing development of levosimendan: Sanjiv Shah, Barry Borlaug, and Dan Burkhoff.”

Sanjiv Shah, M.D., Chairman of the SAB and of the upcoming LEVEL Study (Phase 3 oral levosimendan), added, “Having authored more than 1,100 peer-reviewed publications, Dr. Butler is highly distinguished as both an educator and as a researcher in cardiovascular medicine, and his presence on our SAB will prove invaluable as we assess the impact of TNX-103 (oral levosimendan) on patients with PH-HFpEF.”

“I am delighted to join this prestigious SAB to study levosimendan for PH-HFpEF. The novel effects of this new class of drug may have unprecedented efficacy for a devastating disease that currently has no treatments,” said Professor Butler.

Earlier this week, Tenax Therapeutics announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared its planned Phase 3 investigation of oral levosimendan in PH-HFpEF, following the review of Tenax’s IND application and discussions with the Company about scientific design and data requirements to support approval in this population.

Professor Javed Butler: Biography

Javed Butler, M.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., is the President of the Baylor Scott and White Research Institute and Senior Vice President for Baylor Scott and White Health. He is also the Distinguished Professor of Medicine at the University of Mississippi in Jackson, MS.

Dr. Butler earlier served as the Patrick H. Lehan Chair in Cardiovascular Research, and Professor and Chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of Mississippi, where he was also Professor of Physiology and Biophysics. He was previously Charles A. Gargano Chair in Cardiovascular Research and Director of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and Co-Director of the Heart Institute at Stony Brook University, New York; Director for Heart Failure Research at Emory University; and Director of the Heart and Heart-Lung Transplant Programs at Vanderbilt University.

He received his medical degree from the Aga Khan University and then completed residency training at Yale University, cardiology fellowship and advanced heart failure and transplant fellowships at Vanderbilt University, and cardiac imaging fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital at the Harvard Medical School. He received a Master of Public Health degree from Harvard University, and an MBA from Emory University.

About the PH-HFpEF Scientific Advisory Board

In 2018, Tenax Therapeutics formed a SAB dedicated to the development of levosimendan, prior to the start of the HELP Study. The three individuals below, and Dr. Stuart Rich, then Professor of Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, oversaw the design and execution of HELP and the subsequent open label extension.

  • Dr. Sanjiv Shah: Stone Professor; Director of Research for the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute; Director, Center for Deep Phenotyping and Precision Medicine in the Institute for Augmented Intelligence in Medicine; and Director of the HFpEF Program at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. In 2007, Dr. Shah started the first dedicated HFpEF program in the world at Northwestern University. Dr. Shah has served as the international principal investigator, executive committee member, or steering committee member for > 35 multicenter randomized clinical trials and studies in heart failure, and has published >550 peer-reviewed scientific research articles.
  • Dr. Daniel Burkhoff: Director, Heart Failure, Hemodynamics and Mechanical Circulatory Support Research, Cardiovascular Research Foundation and Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine at Columbia University, where he established the Cardiovascular Research Laboratory and then Directed the Jack Skirball Center for Cardiovascular Research at the CRF. Dr. Burkhoff has published >300 peer-reviewed scientific articles.
  • Dr. Barry Borlaug: Professor of Medicine and Chair for Research in Circulatory Failure in the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Mayo Clinic. Dr. Borlaug’s research interests focus on the pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of heart failure, particularly HFpEF, with an emphasis on hemodynamics. Dr. Borlaug was the lead enroller in the Phase 2 HELP Study, and has published >400 peer-reviewed scientific articles.

About Levosimendan (TNX-101, TNX-102, and TNX-103)

Levosimendan is a unique potassium ATP channel activator and calcium sensitizer that affects the heart and vascular system through multiple mechanisms of action. Initially discovered and developed by Orion Corporation in Finland, intravenous levosimendan is approved in 58 countries outside the United States for use in hospitalized patients with acutely decompensated heart failure. Tenax Therapeutics has North American rights to develop and commercialize IV (TNX-101), subcutaneous (TNX-102), and oral (TNX-103) formulations of levosimendan. Results of Tenax Therapeutics’ Phase 2 HELP trial of levosimendan in patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH) and heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) demonstrated that IV levosimendan produces potent dilation of the central and pulmonary venous circulations which translates into an improvement in exercise capacity, a discovery that forms the basis for the Phase 3 investigation of Tenax Therapeutics’ potential groundbreaking therapy. To date, no other drug therapy has improved exercise tolerance in patients with PH associated with HFpEF, “a growing epidemic with high morbidity and mortality and no treatment. The clear unmet need and lethal nature of PH-HFpEF must be met with novel solutions at all levels of therapeutic development.” (AHA Scientific Advisory, “A Call to Action,” 2022).

About Imatinib (TNX-201)

Tenax Therapeutics is developing novel dosing and a unique formulation of imatinib mesylate, a kinase inhibitor that has received FDA’s orphan designation (March 2020) for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). The IMPRES trial, a previous Phase 3 trial, demonstrated that oral imatinib may produce a markedly greater, and much more durable, treatment effect on exercise tolerance, than any other available PAH treatment, alone or in combination, based on the results observed in those patients who were maintained on the full imatinib dose for the majority of the trial. Despite the availability of several classes of pulmonary vasodilators, no existing treatment has been shown to halt progression or induce regression of the disease. Imatinib acts on underlying cellular proliferative pathways associated with PAH and has the potential to be approved as a disease modifying therapy for PAH.

About Tenax Therapeutics

Tenax Therapeutics, Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on identifying, developing, and commercializing products that address cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases with high unmet medical need. The Company owns North American rights to develop and commercialize IV, subcutaneous, and oral formulations of levosimendan, and also is developing a unique oral formulation of imatinib.  For more information, visit www.tenaxthera.com. Tenax’s common stock is listed on The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC under the symbol “TENX”.

Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

Except for historical information, all of the statements, expectations and assumptions contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. Actual results might differ materially from those explicit or implicit in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include: risks related to our business strategy, including the prioritization of product candidates; risks of our clinical trials, including, but not limited to, the timing, delays, costs, design, initiation, enrollment, and results of such trials; our ability to maintain our culture and recruit, integrate, and retain qualified personnel and advisors, including on our Scientific Advisory Boards and Board of Directors; our ability to raise additional money to fund our operations for at least the next 12 months as a going concern; any delays in regulatory review and approval of product candidates in development; reliance on third parties, including Orion Corporation, our manufacturers and CROs; risks regarding the formulation, production, marketing, customer acceptance and clinical utility of our product candidates; our estimates regarding the potential market opportunity for our product candidates; the potential advantages of our product candidates; our competitive position; intellectual property risks; risks related to our continued listing on Nasdaq; volatility and uncertainty in the global economy and financial markets in light of the COVID-19 pandemic or similar health epidemics and geopolitical uncertainties such as in Ukraine; changes in legal, regulatory and legislative environments in the markets in which we operate and the impact of these changes on our ability to obtain regulatory approval for our products; and other risks and uncertainties set forth from time to time in our SEC filings. Tenax Therapeutics assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements except as required by law.


Investor Contact:
John Mullaly
Managing Director
LifeSci Advisors, LLC
C: 617-429-3548

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