Relief is a biopharmaceutical company whose objective is to provide patients with therapeutic RELIEF in serious diseases with high unmet medical need.
We focus on clinical-stage programs based on molecules with a history of clinical use (well-established safety and tolerability) and either initial human activity or efficacy data (proof of concept) or a strong scientific rationale. This allows us to identify molecules where clinical development can be swift (trials with evaluation windows of weeks or months) and cost effective. Our lead compound is RLF-100™, a synthetic human vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) with a multifaceted mode of action, for respiratory indications. The development program currently is focused on COVID-19-induced severe lung injury and pulmonary sarcoidosis. These are two diseases for which an unmet medical need exists. Clinical development opportunities of RLF-100™ for other indications in both acute and chronic lung diseases are being evaluated. In addition, Relief recently acquired rights for certain territories, including Europe, for the development and commercialization of ACER-001, a proprietary powder formulation of sodium phenylbutyrate (NaPB) designed to be both taste-masked and immediate release. ACER-001 is being developed for the treatment of two rare and debilitating diseases, Urea Cycle Disorders and Maple Syrup Urine Disease.
Furthermore, the recent acquisition of APR Applied Pharma Research S.A., further diversifies Relief's pipeline, with both commercial products like Golike, for the treatment of phenylketonuria (PKU), and promising clinical-stage programs like APR TD-011 for the treatment of epidermolysis bullosa (EB). Additional details on Golike and APR TD-011 can be found in the APR acquisition section.
Jack Weinstein serves as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer. He brings over 40 years of executive management expertise in investment banking and consulting in the biopharmaceutical and life sciences industries. Jack has extensive experience in corporate finance, business development as well as FDA regulatory and intellectual property strategies.
Chris Stijnen serves as Chief Commercial Officer. He is a highly experienced pharmaceutical executive with a successful track record in marketing, general management, access strategy and product development across a variety of indications.
Jeremy Meinen, VP Finance and Administration, serves as principal finance and accounting officer. Prior to joining Relief, Jeremy provided financial consulting and controlling services to companies in various industries. Jeremy is a Swiss certified public accountant.
Gilles Della Corte, M.D., is Chief Medical Officer and responsible for the clinical development of RLF-100™ in Europe as well as interactions with and submissions to regulatory authorities. He brings over 40 years of professional experience, including several senior positions in different big pharma/biotech companies, start-up companies and clinical research organizations (CROs).
Taneli Jouhikainen, M.D., Ph.D., MBA serves as Relief’s COO. He has over 25 years of life sciences experience, with strong expertise in pharmaceutical industry leadership and product commercialization.
Jan-Jaap Scherpbier of Sonsbeek Pharma Consultancy B.V. serves as Manufacturing and Supply Chain Consultant to Relief. He is a highly experienced pharmaceutical consultant with more than 25 years of expertise in the areas of regulatory affairs, life cycle management, pharmaceutical development and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP).
J. Paul Waymack, M.D., Sc.D. serves as Development and Regulatory Consultant for Relief. He has an extensive track record in the pharmaceutical drug development arena and currently serves as President of Waymack Consulting, which provides expert services to healthcare companies.
Relief is strongly supported by a highly knowledgeable Board of Directors with extensive experience in the healthcare industry and capital markets.
Raghuram (Ram) Selvaraju, Ph.D., MBA, is a Managing Director and Senior Healthcare Analyst in the Equity Research Division of H.C. Wainwright & Co., a New York-based full-service investment bank heavily focused on the healthcare sector. He has over 15 years of experience on Wall Street and previously was a pharmaceutical researcher at Serono in Switzerland. He holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees from the University of Geneva and an M.B.A. from Cornell University.
Paolo Galfetti is the CEO of APR Applied Pharma Research S.A. He has over twenty years of management experience in the pharmaceutical sector, including in the areas of business development and licensing, operational strategic management, clinical research, and pharmaceutical discovery and development.
Patrice Jean is the Chair of the Life Sciences Practice at Hughes Hubbard & Reed, an international law firm based in New York City. She has over a decade of experience counselling leading and startup pharmaceutical, chemical and biotechnology companies in all areas of patent law, including asserting and defending patent rights underlying core technologies and innovations.
Tom Plitz is Chief Executive Officer of Chord Therapeutics SA, a privately held biopharmaceutical firm based in Geneva, Switzerland, and has more than two decades of R&D experience from senior management positions in the pharmaceutical industry.
Their objective was to develop atexakin alfa, a human recombinant version of interleukin-6, for the treatment of peripheral neuropathy.
The Company began rapidly advancing its proprietary asset RLF-100™ into clinical development and towards approval in COVID-19-induced lung injury. In September 2020, Relief entered into a collaboration agreement with NeuroRx, Inc. for the development and commercialization of RLF-100™ (aviptadil).
In March 2021, Relief entered into a collaboration and license agreement with Acer Therapeutics for the worldwide development and commercialization of late-stage development candidate, ACER-001.
In January 2021, Relief signed a binding term sheet to acquire all shares of AdVita. Amongst the AdVita assets being acquired in this transaction, Relief will gain further pending intellectual property rights that may cover RLF-100™ inhaled formulation.
In May 2021, Relief signed a binding term sheet to acquire all outstanding shares of APR Applied Pharma Research. APR already has products on the market in addition to a clinical portfolio in rare or debilitating diseases with high unmet medical need that is synergistic with Relief’s current development pipeline.
In March 2021, Relief’s partner NeuroRx reported positive top-line 60-day results from the U.S. IV Phase 2b/3 clinical trial evaluating RLF-100™ IV in critical COVID-19 patients with respiratory failure.