SUNNYVALE, Calif., Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Amarantus Bioscience, Inc. (OTCQB: AMBS), a biotechnology company developing new treatments and diagnostics for Parkinson's disease and Traumatic Brain Injury centered on its proprietary anti-apoptosis therapeutic protein MANF, today announced that it has appointed former Super Bowl Champion Toi Cook to its Board of Advisors. Mr. Cook will work with Company management to engage the National Football League (NFL), NFL Players Association (NFLPA) and individual retired players to raise awareness and funding for Amarantus' Coalition for Concussion Treatment (#C4CT) campaign, including the Company's MANF collaboration with Banyan Biomarkers that yielded positive data in Q2/2012.
"It's time to change the conversation about concussions and Traumatic Brain Injury in the NFL," said Toi Cook, Amarantus' newly appointed advisor. "We have been so focused on who is to blame for the rash of devastating results of brain injuries suffered while playing, that we have lost focus on the actual players who need help. Amarantus is working on breakthrough science that could ultimately treat concussions, brain injuries and their long-term side effects. This is the type of program that needs to be highlighted to the powers that be in the NFL and the NFLPA and we, as former players, need to be pushing the NFL and NFLPA to focus on providing support for research teams that are seeking to develop new treatments such as MANF that have the potential to fundamentally treat the devastating results of the brain injuries."
Mr. Cook had an 11 year career in the NFL, playing for the New Orleans Saints, San Francisco 49ers and Carolina Panthers. Mr. Cook had an interception as a defensive back in the 1994 Super Bowl championship for the San Francisco 49ers. Since retiring from the NFL, Mr. Cook has worked primarily in Sports and Entertainment. He was Executive Vice President in the Sports Division at the Gersh Agency in Los Angeles from 2004-2006. He is the principle at Toi Cook Management Group, LLC (TCMG), which has consulted for Broadband Sports, A2A Holdings and Dreier Sports. He is currently a plaintiff in a lawsuit of former NFL players against the NFL in relationship to concussions sustained while playing. He served as the Player Representative for the NFLPA for eight years when he was a player in the NFL. He was a football and baseball star at Stanford University, where he graduated in Communications after winning the College World Series in 1987.
"Toi will be a great addition to our Board of Advisors," said Gerald E. Commissiong, President & CEO of Amarantus. "He has deep-rooted connections into the NFL and the NFLPA at the highest levels, and understands the need to bring the various communities involved in Traumatic Brain Injury together in order to effect meaningful change in the conversation related to TBIs from a discourse about blame, to a discourse about finding solutions through medical science. We will work together to bring the #C4CT program to the forefront of this discussion. There are treatments in development that need further support to ensure these programs have the necessary resources to move forward. We need leadership from groups like the NFL and NFLPA if we are to effect meaningful change in the area of TBI by bringing developers and patients together."In recent years, the link between multiple concussions and long-term disability or brain disease has received significant scientific support. Recent studies have made clear scientific links between football-style hits and long-term brain diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. Increasing evidence supports the notion that mis-folded proteins play a critical role in the long-term side effects of concussions. Amarantus believes that MANF, which is selectively upregulated by glial cells in response to ischemia-induced neural injury and protects brain cells from chemically induced brain injury, will play a role in protecting brain cells from injury within the context of Traumatic Brain Injury.