NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J., Feb. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Actinobac Biomed, Inc., has received a commitment for a second investment of $100,000 from Foundation Venture Capital Group (FVCG) to study the efficacy of the company's lead product, Leukothera®, in the treatment of veterinary white blood cell diseases , announced Dr. George F. Heinrich, vice chair and CEO of FVCG.
FVCG had originally invested $500,000 when Actinobac was first established in 2009 to develop pharmaceutical agents for the treatment of hematologic malignancies (leukemias & lymphomas), latent infections (HIV/AIDS & tuberculosis) and autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, type 1 diabetes, Lupus & psoriasis).
Leukothera® is a bacterial toxin that specifically targets and depletes disease related white blood cells (WBC). In laboratory studies to date, malignant and proinflammatory white blood cells have been determined to be more sensitive to Leukothera® than normal white blood cells. Animal studies carried out by Actinobac have shown Leukothera™ to possess significant therapeutic activity.
"We are contracting with Texas A&M Veterinary School to examine the use of Leukothera® for dogs suffering with white blood cell diseases," explained company founder Dr. Scott Kachlany. "Because of biological similarities, the data we obtain from these new studies will be applicable to dogs and support drug development for human applications also."
The latest $100,000 investment will fund proof of concept studies. According to Dr. Kachlany, early results indicate that Actinobac's drug candidate works very well in healthy dogs, using lower doses than previously expected.
"We are excited about Dr. Kachlany's results to date," explained James M. Golubieski, president of Foundation Venture Capital Group, "and are hopeful that Actinobac's work will provide a viable treatment in the not too distant future to increase survival rates for these white blood cell diseases."
Dr. Kachlany, also an associate professor of oral biology, microbiology and molecular genetics at UMDNJ-New Jersey Dental School, discovered the potential therapeutic uses of Leukothera® during the course of his research at the dental school.
"Our goal is to demonstrate that Leukothera® prolongs life and treats disease, in dogs and in humans," he explained.
About Foundation Venture Capital Group
Foundation Venture Capital Group, an affiliate of New Jersey Health Foundation, invests in commercially viable new start-up companies developing technology by faculty at or affiliated with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. In addition to Actinobac, FVCG portfolio companies currently include:
- Affineti Biologics, Inc., advancing research in the development of therapeutic and diagnostic products based on new discoveries in oral biology and dental medicine;
- CellXplore, Inc., engaged in the development of biomarker-based in vitro diagnostic assays for cancer;
- Celvive, Inc., working to develop technology to treat patients with chronic spinal cord injuries with their own adult stem cells;
- Durin Technologies, working to develop a blood test to diagnose Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases;
- GeneAssess, Inc., a company developing a diagnostic tool for more accurate breast cancer staging;
- Longevica Pharmaceuticals, Inc., developing a chemoprotective agent that may keep normal cells healthy during cancer treatments (FVCG's equity interest in Longevica was sold to Rostock International, LTD, a subsidiary of a Moscow (Russia) based global investment firm);
- MentiNova, Inc., working to reduce side effects of L-Dopa Induced Dyskinesia
- Snowdon Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a drug discovery company focused on several major therapeutic areas.
SOURCE New Jersey Health Foundation