BERLIN, April 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- OctreoPharm Sciences GmbH, a specialist for contrast media in Nuclear Medicine, was able to successfully close a financing round for the clinical development of its cancer diagnostic SOMscan(R). With the nearly EUR 5 million which were brought up by three venture capitalists, clinical trials up to phase II shall be implemented in the next two years. If they are successful, the European approval of the radiopharmaceutical can be reached possibly already in 2014, after a further round of financing, to be followed by the U.S. approval. As a contrast agent for the Positron Emission Tomography (PET), SOMscan(R) is suitable for the detection and treatment control of neuroendocrine tumours.
"The product has a number of distinguishing features", explained Dr. Hakim Bouterfa, founder and Managing Director of OctreoPharm Sciences and responsible for the area of clinical development. "SOMscan (R) displays not only neuroendocrine tumours particularly safely and sensitively, but can be also perfectly combined with a promising new cancer medicine by a major European pharmaceutical company which is, at this time, already passing successfully through phase III tests." "As this new preparation has a molecular structure which is closely related to SOMscan (R), we are very optimistic with regard to the compatibility and applicability of our developing candidate".
Another special feature of SOMscan(R) is that it uses Gallium-68 as a signaller, which is a short-lived radioisotope that has been available only since recently in pharmaceutically pure quality and thus in an approvable shape. Approval of SOMscan(R) together with the Gallium-68 signaller would be a world premiere, which would create a new generation of nuclear medical diagnostics. Other than conventional PET contrast agents, Gallium-68 can be delivered in metal containers of the size of a food tin, and it does not rely on large linear accelerators, the so-called cyclotrons. This significantly simplifies the handling. Therefore, diagnostics can be performed with Gallium-68 also locally, away from the classical radio pharmaceutical centres.
"Our new site on the bio-medical campus in Berlin-Buch is ideal," said Udo Blaseg, founder and Managing Director of the OctreoPharm Sciences GmbH. "Berlin is an European Centre for the use of radioactive materials in medicine, and it convinces with good technical infrastructure, excellent hospitals and the proximity to specialised service providers. This location also facilitates cooperation with a major manufacturer of gallium generators, the company Berlin Eckert & Ziegler AG. Further, Berlin is also home to the VC Fonds Technologie Berlin AG which is managed by the IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft, and of the company Eckert Wagniskapital und Fruehphasenfinanzierung GmbH, both of whom are early-stage financers of this project. The third investor participating in the project is the KfW-Mittelstandsbank in Bonn".
About OctreoPharm Sciences GmbH:
The OctreoPharm Sciences GmbH is a biopharmaceutical company in the field of radioactively labelled pharmaceuticals. The company focuses in particular on the development of new radio pharmaceuticals for neuroendocrine tumours.
About Eckert Wagniskapital und Fruehphasenfinanzierung GmbH
Eckert Wagniskapital und Fruehphasenfinanzierung GmbH is a venture and early-phase financer who has specialised for over 20 years in technology-oriented manufacturing companies in the field of life sciences (biotechnology, medical technology, pharmacy), with life science being broadly interpreted, including adjacent topics and industries such as analytics, material science or clinical developments. Regional focus is Berlin and its hinterland, and investments are made, with regard to the life cycle, mainly into start-ups or early phases. Among the most successful EWK foundations are Eckert & Ziegler AG (http://www.ezag.de) and Glycotope (http://www.glycotope.com). In total, since 1990, the EWK portfolio has Supported nearly 20 companies and start-ups.
Contact: OctreoPharm Sciences GmbH Udo Blaseg Robert-Rossle-Strasse 10 13125 Berlin Phone: +49-30-9489-3360 Email: [email protected]
SOURCE OctreoPharm Sciences GmbH