OXFORD, England, April 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Orca Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology start-up developing RORgamma inhibitors for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, has announced a further investment of $1.3 million from BioMotiv, a drug development accelerator based in Cleveland, Ohio and affiliated with The Harrington Project. Founded in 2013, the company's technology is based on intellectual property developed in the laboratory of Professor Dan Littman of New York University, a world leader in Th17 cell immunology. Orca also has close ties with Oxford University immunologists who are playing a key role in identifying promising therapeutic indications and selecting an optimised development candidate.
"This additional funding endorses the strength of the Orca program and provides resources for the advancement of a development candidate," said Roy Pettipher, PhD, founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Orca Pharmaceuticals.
Orca Pharmaceuticals is developing an oral drug to treat a range of autoimmune diseases, with psoriasis as the primary therapeutic target. Working with Evotec AG, the company has developed a series of potent and selective compounds with pharmaceutical properties that are amenable to clinical development. The additional investment will enable the company to select a clinical candidate optimised for activity on key pathogenic immune cells.
"The powerful combination of high quality medicinal chemistry, target structure analysis, and leading edge biological screening has enabled Orca to obtain potentially best-in-class RORgamma inhibitors targeting a variety of immune diseases," said David C. U'Prichard, PhD, Board Chairman of Orca Pharmaceuticals, and Chief Scientific Officer of BioMotiv.
Mick Hunter, PhD, CEO of Orca Pharmaceuticals, indicated that the company is now exploring additional development partnerships with pharmaceutical companies.
Orca Pharmaceuticals Ltd
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About Orca Pharmaceuticals
Orca Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization via partnership of targeted small molecule RORgamma inhibitor drugs to treat patients with autoimmune disease. For more information, please visit: http://www.orcapharmaceuticals.com
BioMotiv is the mission-driven accelerator associated with The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development, a $250 million national initiative for advancing medicine centered at University Hospitals of Cleveland. The focus is to accelerate breakthrough discoveries from research institutions into therapeutics for patients through an innovative model that efficiently aligns capital and collaborations. The company leverages an experienced team and advisory board to select, fund, and actively manage and advance a portfolio of programs. Products are advanced to clinical proof-of-concept and then partnered. BioMotiv is interested in early-stage therapeutics in all disease areas. Learn more at www.biomotiv.com.
SOURCE Orca Pharmaceuticals