WESTPORT, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PreScience Labs, LLC (“PreScience”) announced today that it has closed on an initial tranche of its first institutional round of financing. The money raised will support the Company’s pursuit of an Investigational New Drug (“IND”) application from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) for evaluation of its new reformulated, systemically delivered anti-cancer drug known as PS-102. Camden Partners is the lead investor of this $2 million Series AA Round. Proceeds of this round will fund the Company to a Phase I clinical study.
This current round of financing is the initial stage of a larger and focused effort to accelerate PreScience’s development. Commenting on these events, Jeff Geschwind, MD, Founder and CEO of PreScience, stated, “Over the past several years, we have been dedicated to pursue a patentable systemic formulation of our core technology. This infusion of capital not only provides the needed resources to proceed with this development, but also validates our approach.”
Over the next few months, PreScience will work closely with Camden Partners’ lead investor in early stage biomedical companies, R. Jacob Vogelstein, PhD. Commenting on Camden’s involvement with this program, Dr. Vogelstein added, “We are thrilled to be working with such cutting-edge science, a tremendous scientific team, and look forward to adding value in the form of resources and strategic insight. As PreScience gains momentum and fills additional key executive positions, the Company will better position itself for success, and we are excited by these next steps.”
About PreScience Labs, LLC:
PreScience Labs is a bio-pharmaceutical company focused on the development of new drugs targeting the metabolism of tumors. Dr. Jeff Geschwind, Professor of Radiology and Oncology at Yale School of Medicine, founded the Company in 2008 to develop cancer therapies based on novel formulations of halopyruvates. The Company’s newest lead compound, PS-102, is a novel formulation of a particular halopyruvate called 3-bromopyruvate. PreScience has tested 3-bromopyruvate in numerous animal models and in limited human trials (through compassionate use protocols), and it has shown very high efficacy and tolerability. The data suggests that PS-102 will be effective against most, if not all, types of cancers, including pancreatic, lung, and breast cancer, because it attacks a fundamental component of the metabolic pathway of tumors. The Company already holds an IND for one formulation of 3-bromopyruvate (PS-101), and anticipates submitting a new IND application for PS-102 in 2017, with enrollment of a Phase I study targeting pancreatic cancer in 2018. PS-102 was created at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and the company has an exclusive license to the associated patent portfolio.
PS-102 is part of a patent portfolio fully and exclusively licensed from Johns Hopkins University by PreScience. PS-102 is one of a new class of drugs that targets the tumor glycolysis pathway. This pathway is a signature of cancer cells and is considered one of the hallmarks of cancer. Tumor glycolysis has been exploited for diagnostic purposes (PET imaging) and is now being explored for therapeutic intervention. One of the key enzymes in tumor glycolysis, GAPDH, is the primary target of PS-102. PS-102 irreversibly binds to GAPDH resulting in a multi-prong assault on cancer cells, ultimately leading to their death. The predominant effect of this interaction is the profound depletion of ATP, depriving the cancer cells of any energy. Because glycolysis is the dominant metabolic pathway in cancer cells, those cells are acutely sensitive to any disruption of that pathway. In addition, because normal cells do not rely on glycolysis, but rather on oxidative phosphorylation for their energy needs, disruption of glycolysis is highly specific to cancer cells. The combination of high sensitivity and specificity makes targeting tumor glycolysis highly attractive. Through its ability to inhibit GAPDH, PS-102 has proven extremely effective at shutting down the energy-producing capabilities of cancer cells which in turn destroys them. PreScience’s core technology and patent protection relies on both the novel PS-102 compound and other core technology licensed from Johns Hopkins University. The company plans to further evaluate PS-102 in a Phase I clinical study.