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LA JOLLA, Calif., November 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Privately-held CalciMedica, Inc., announced that Sudarshan Hebbar, MD, has joined the company as Senior Vice President, Clinical Development, to lead its clinical efforts for the development of novel calcium release-activated calcium (CRAC) channel inhibitors for inflammatory and immune disease. CalciMedica, which performed the first human studies with a CRAC channel inhibitor (CM2489) in 2011, is preparing to enter another compound into the clinic, CM4620, for the treatment of acute pancreatitis.

“I am very excited about this opportunity and the company’s clinical compound, CM4620,” said Dr. Hebbar. “I believe it can make an important contribution to the care of acute pancreatitis patients, particularly the moderately severe and severe cases, for whom we currently have nothing to offer. It is a novel mechanism in this indication, with more and more work in the research community pointing to the central role calcium and calcium influx play in this disease”, he continued.

Michael Dunn, President of CalciMedica, said, “We are extremely pleased to have Dr. Hebbar as part of the CalciMedica team. His knowledge of and experience in treating critical care patients, and managing the complex clinical studies involving these types of patients, is invaluable. We are looking forward to his important contributions as CalciMedica prepares to begin clinical work on an exciting new CRAC channel inhibitor, CM4620, for acute pancreatitis.”

Before joining CalciMedica, Dr. Hebbar was a consultant for Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, where he served as the clinical development lead for a global multicenter Phase IV trial. Prior to that, he was the V.P. of Nephrology at Thrasos Innovation where he helped implement a global multicenter Phase II trial of a novel therapeutic compound for acute kidney injury. Before working at Thrasos, Dr. Hebbar served as Medical V.P. and a member of the U.S. Board of Directors at Oncimmune, as a medical director at Reata Pharmaceuticals, and as a senior medical director in the Quality and Regulatory division at Abbott and then lead of a medical team supporting research and commercialization in the Diagnostics division at Abbott.

Dr. Hebbar was in private practice before joining industry, focused on nephrology, transplant and critical care medicine. He received a B.A. in Natural Sciences from The Johns Hopkins University and a M.D. from Tulane University School of Medicine. He completed a residency in Internal Medicine and a fellowship in Critical Care Medicine, both at Hennepin County Medical Center, a fellowship in Nephrology at the University of Chicago and a fellowship in Clinical Medical Ethics at The Maclean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago.

About CRAC channels and Orai

CRAC channels, comprising Orai and regulatory STIM proteins, function to maintain proper levels of calcium in most non-excitable cells. In immune cells, particularly T cells, calcium is an important intracellular signaling molecule that controls cytokine production and the immune response. In T cells CRAC channels are the primary means by which intracellular calcium levels are modulated. In addition, aberrant activation of CRAC channels in pancreatic acinar cells is thought to play a key role in the pathobiology of acute pancreatitis.

About CalciMedica, Inc.

CalciMedica is the leading biopharmaceutical company focused on CRAC channel drug discovery and development, seeking novel therapies for the treatment of acute or chronic diseases in which inflammation plays a role. For example, CRAC channels control calcium entry that is essential for the adaptive immune response, and this pathway has been clinically validated as an important drug target in humans through the use of calcineurin inhibitors that act downstream from CRAC channels. For more information, please visit the company website at www.calcimedica.com.

Michael Dunn, President
CalciMedica, Inc.