BUFFALO, N.Y., Dec. 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- OncoTartis, Inc., a biotechnology company developing a novel category of anti-cancer drugs, has concluded a $6 million financing round to support the Phase 1 clinical trial of its lead drug candidate, OT-82. Participants in the round included Norma Investments, representing businessman Roman Abramovich, and Pharmstandard International S.A., a venture arm of the largest Russian pharmaceutical company, based in Luxembourg.
OT-82 has been isolated for its selective toxicity for a broad range of hematological malignancies. The drug candidate, a Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) inhibitor, has demonstrated high efficacy in a variety of pre-clinical in vivo and ex vivo models of leukemias and lymphomas. It has a favorable safety profile devoid of the toxicity especially reported for previously tested agents of this class, with a broad therapeutic window.
OT-82 was discovered as part of OncoTartis's program focused on tissue-specific drugs and its high selectivity for blood cancers resulted in a clearly-defined development path, both for adult and pediatric applications.
Andrei Gudkov, Ph.D., DSci, Chief Scientific Officer of OncoTartis, Inc. and Sr. VP of Basic Science at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, said: "The isolation of new, biologically-active molecules based on their desirable effects on the cell followed by the identification of their molecular targets is our signature approach that has important advantages versus 'conventional' target-based approaches. It enables us to identify molecular targets that are optimally suitable for a specific therapeutic task. In the case of OT-82, it was selective eradication of malignant cells originating from the hematopoietic tissue. We believe that, as a result, we were able to define optimal indications for NAMPT inhibitors."
Alexander Polinsky, Ph.D., President and CEO of OncoTartis, Inc., said: "This discovery was made through the combined effort of a multidisciplinary team of scientists, including high throughput screening experts, biochemists, molecular biologists, animal biologists and medicinal chemists. OT-82 has an opportunity to become first in class drug for a variety of hematological malignancies based on its high efficacy in vivo and wide therapeutic index."
Contact: Aleksandra Kotlyarova, (415) 760-8414
OncoTartis, Inc. is a private biotechnology company established in 2011. The Company's founding IP came from the laboratory of Prof. Andrei Gudkov at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute (Buffalo, NY). OncoTartis has built a strong international team of collaborators, including cancer biologists from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, unique animal models experts from the Children's Cancer Institute of Australia, and medicinal chemists from Russia. Prior to the latest fundraising round, the Company's work was funded by BioProcess Capital Ventures, a VC firm from Moscow, Russia.
SOURCE OncoTartis, Inc.