BOSTON, Sept. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Arisaph Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on discovery and development of novel therapies for cardiometabolic diseases and cancer, announced today that it has been awarded a phase II Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant and a supplemental phase I grant, both from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health. The phase II award of $1,066,916 supports research and development for the Company's tumor-activated prodrug platform for the treatment of a variety of cancers. The supplemental phase I award of $160,721 funds additional preclinical studies of the Company's small-molecule immune modulators for the stimulation of tumor immunity following treatment with BRAF inhibitors in melanoma. Following the successful completion of the research, the Company may be eligible for additional funding from the NIH through the STTR/SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) program to support further research and clinical development of the Company's cancer drug candidates. To date, Arisaph has received a total of 6 awards from the NIH's STTR program for a total of approximately $2.1 million. The Company has raised in excess of $60 million of capital from nondilutive sources since inception, principally through grants, licenses and royalty monetizations leveraging the Company's DPP 4 inhibitor patent estate.
"We believe that the continued support from the NIH for these pioneering oncology programs validates the approach we are taking to advance two distinct treatment paradigms in cancer," said Christopher P. Kiritsy, President and Chief Executive Officer. "Both of these research and development efforts initially aim to improve the safety and/or efficacy of existing therapies to produce better outcomes for refractory cancer patients."
About Arisaph Oncology
Arisaph has leveraged its medicinal chemistry expertise to develop a portfolio of oncology products centered on improving the safety and/or efficacy of existing therapies and promising products in development. Specifically, the Company is developing tumor-activated prodrugs, which are largely inactive in general circulation but are selectively activated to release anti-cancer warheads at the tumor site by a specific enzyme – fibroblast activation protein (FAP) - that is up-regulated in tumor tissue. This platform technology has led to the discovery of a lead tumor-activated proteasome inhibitor (ARI-3996) and a lead tumor-activated doxorubicin (ARI-6000) for treatment of a range of cancers. Additionally, Arisaph has discovered a class of small molecule immune modulators that enhance the efficacy of both therapeutic antibodies, including mAbs mediating antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) for colon cancer and small-molecule anti-cancer agents, such as BRAF inhibitors to treat melanoma. Collaborating with leading cancer centers in United States, Arisaph has generated encouraging preclinical data demonstrating improved anti-cancer effects of its immune modulators when administered either alone or in combination with other cancer therapies.
Arisaph Pharmaceuticals, Inc., an emerging biopharmaceutical company located in Boston, Massachusetts, was founded by Dr. William Bachovchin (Professor of Biochemistry, Tufts University School of Medicine), Christopher Kiritsy (Former EVP Corporate Development and CFO Kos Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) and Michael Jaharis (Founder, Chairman Emeritus, Kos Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) to develop differentiated therapies for cardiometabolic diseases and cancer. Arisaph Pharmaceuticals is privately held and backed by Vatera Healthcare Partners among other private investors. Arisaph employs rational drug design approaches to develop differentiated new chemical entities (NCEs) that are highly potent and act on select, validated targets. By focusing its drug development activities on validated targets, the Company believes that the risks associated with new chemical entity development can be mitigated compared with developing first-in-class compounds for nonvalidated targets. The Company's vision is to create a fully integrated pharmaceutical company leveraging its drug discovery expertise to develop transformational, patent protected, medicines that offer distinct safety, efficacy and/or tolerability benefits compared with existing therapies for large markets, whose needs are not being fully met by current therapeutics.
Certain statements in this press release, including statements regarding the Company's research and development effort, the Company's ability to finance its development programs into initial human clinical testing, and the Company's ability to successfully capitalize on the early stage research are subject to risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include risks and uncertainties related to: our ability to discover and develop new compounds and products using a novel approach to drug discovery; the early stage of all of our discovery and development efforts; our ability successfully to complete preclinical and clinical development of our products; our ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approvals for our products; competition from other technologies and technologies similar to ours; obtaining, maintaining and protecting intellectual property utilized by our products; changes in legislation and regulations affecting our products and potential product candidates; our need to obtain additional funding to support our business activities; our dependence on collaborators and other third parties for development, manufacture, marketing, sales and distribution of products; the ability of our licensees to achieve developmental, regulatory and other milestones and to commercialize their products; the effect of conditions in the pharmaceutical industry and the economy in general, as well as certain other risks and uncertainties. Grants reported in this press release was supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Numbers 1R41CA174008-01A1, 3R41CA174008-01A1S1, 1R41CA174031-01, 3R41CA174031-01S1, 1R41CA156930-01A1, and 2R42CA156930-02.
Arisaph Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Chief Business Officer
SOURCE Arisaph Pharmaceuticals, Inc.