SciFluor Life Sciences Awarded U.S. Patent for KCNQ2/3 Activator Designed for Treatment of Epilepsy and Related Neurological Disorders

  • Patent-protected neuronal potassium channel activator could potentially become best-in-class treatment for multiple indications.
  • Current addressable markets are partial-onset epilepsy and the orphan disease, KCNQ2 encephalopathy, with additional indications under evaluation.
  • Issuance of second patent validates SciFluor’s innovative approach to small molecule drug discovery by the strategic incorporation of fluorine.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--()--SciFluor Life Sciences, LLC, an emerging clinical stage biopharmaceutical company that creates innovative therapeutics for patients with ophthalmologic and neurologic disease, announced today that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued U.S. Patent No. 8,916,133 with claims covering the novel compound SF0034. SciFluor’s SF0034 is a potent and selective neuronal potassium channel activator, designed to be a significantly improved version of the first-in-class KCNQ2/3 activator drug, ezogabine (POTIGA®). POTIGA was approved in 2011 for treatment of partial-onset epilepsy in adults, but its clinical use was severely restricted in 2013 due to latent toxicities which are not thought to be associated with its mechanism of action.

Scott Edwards, Ph.D., Vice President and General Manager, said, “The issuance of the patent covering SF0034 provides further validation of our fluorine-centered approach to rapidly discover new transformational therapies for patients with serious illnesses. SF0034 demonstrates how the appropriate fluorine-containing modifications can improve the potency and selectivity of a molecule to address efficacy and safety liabilities.”

Dr. Edwards is the lead on the SF0034 therapeutic program, which is targeted for development in partial-onset epilepsy and potentially for the recently identified orphan disease, a rare pediatric disorder known as KCNQ2 encephalopathy. The Company is also evaluating SF0034’s therapeutic potential for other diseases such as tinnitus and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease).

“The team’s ability to rapidly evolve this candidate and to obtain its second issued patent in a short period of time is outstanding. Protecting this lead compound in such an enormous field as epilepsy is highly impressive. We are excited to advance this compound into the clinic for multiple indications. This is the second of many opportunities at SciFluor that we are pursuing to strategically capitalize on the transformational power of fluorine through internal development. We are also now preparing for partnerships with other innovative pharma companies,” said Omar Amirana, MD, SciFluor’s Chief Executive Officer and Senior Vice President at Allied Minds.

SciFluor is a subsidiary of Allied Minds (LSE: ALM), an innovative U.S. science and technology development and commercialization company.

About SF0034

SciFluor is developing SF0034, a potent and selective small molecule activator of the neuronal potassium channel, KCNQ2/3. The improved selectivity reduces the likelihood of side-effects that are caused by activation of related potassium channels. SF0034 has also been shown to not form the “dimers” that have were reported at the 2014 American Epilepsy Society to play a role in the dermal and ocular toxicity that have been observed with ezogabine. SF0034 has been shown to be potent in a significant battery of in vivo models of epilepsy conducted by the National Institutes of Health.

About Epilepsy

Epilepsy is the 4th most common neurological problem with an estimated global prevalence of 65 million – only migraine, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease occur more frequently. It is best regarded as a spectrum of brain disorders ranging from severe, life-threatening and disabling, to more benign. A number of anti-epileptic drugs have been approved and for certain patients surgical intervention is helpful. However, roughly 30% of patients do not respond to any available therapy highlighting a significant need for new, safe, and effective therapeutic drugs to treat this debilitating condition.

About SciFluor Life Sciences LLC

SciFluor Life Sciences is a drug discovery company applying expertise in fluorine chemistry to create a portfolio of differentiated best-in-class therapeutics. The company creates new chemical entities (NCEs) directed towards precedented biological targets. SciFluor strategically incorporates fluorine or fluorine-containing groups to design drugs with improved pharmacological profiles that provide important benefits over existing therapies such as improved safety, efficacy, more convenient dosing, and better patient compliance. This capital-efficient and de-risked drug discovery approach has resulted in the generation of a proprietary pipeline of novel and differentiated small molecule drugs across a range of therapeutic categories and disease areas including retinal disease, CNS disorders, and inflammatory disease.

About Allied Minds

Allied Minds (LSE: ALM) is an innovative U.S. science and technology development and commercialization company. Operating since 2006, Allied Minds forms, funds, manages and builds products and businesses based on innovative technologies developed at leading U.S. universities and federal research institutions. Allied Minds serves as a diversified holding company that supports its businesses and product development with capital, central management and shared services. More information about the Boston-based company can be found at

Allied Minds Forward-Looking Statement

This press release contains statements that are or may be forward-looking statements, including statements that relate to the company’s future prospects, developments and strategies. The forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance and achievements to differ materially from current expectations, including, but not limited to, those risk and uncertainties described in the risk factors included in the company’s regulatory filings. These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions regarding the present and future business strategies of the company and the environment in which it will operate in the future. Each forward-looking statement speaks only as at the date of this press release. Except as required by law, regulatory requirement, the Prospectus Rules, the Listing Rules and the Disclosure and Transparency Rules, neither the company nor any other party intends to update or revise these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

POTIGA is a trademark of Valeant Pharmaceuticals North America LLC.


Media Contact:
ArcPoint Strategic Communications
Christine Dunn, 617-484-1660 x101

Release Summary

SciFluor Life Sciences announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued U.S. Patent No. 8,916,133 with claims covering the novel compound SF0034.


Media Contact:
ArcPoint Strategic Communications
Christine Dunn, 617-484-1660 x101