ZUG, Switzerland, Jan. 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Quercis Pharma AG, a private, clinical stage biopharmaceutical company leveraging its novel antithrombotic platform, announced that it has entered into an exclusive, worldwide license agreement for two patents with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, for modulating and reducing thrombotic conditions and events in cancer patients. These patents are related to key thrombotic inhibitor pathways, including P-selectin. Terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.
The patents cover the inhibition of soluble P-selectin that helps to prevent and/or reduce thrombotic events. Importantly, these patents also relate to the transport of cancer cells in the blood stream and may be instrumental in preventing or reducing cancer tumor metastasis, the process by which cancer cells migrate throughout the body. The majority of deaths (around 90%) associated with cancer are due to the metastasis of the original tumor cells to sites distant from the initial or primary tumor1.
"Gaining the exclusive license to these patents is important to Quercis, not only because it expands the patent estate for our lead drug candidate from 2031 to 2039 in venous thromboembolism (VTE), but also as it relates to the role P-selectin plays in the cascade of events that leads to Acute Respiratory Disease Syndrome (ARDS) in COVID-19 patients," stated Stefan Wohlfeil, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Quercis Pharma. "We are delighted to be collaborating with the world-renowned researchers at BIDMC, as their cutting-edge research and development work is crucial in bringing potentially life-saving medicines to patients in need of new treatment options."
The release of protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) from endothelial cells and platelets is a hallmark in the initiation of the thrombo-inflammatory cascade. This has been borne out in a Phase 2 clinical trial, which demonstrated evidence that prophylactic administration of Quercis' investigational drug reduced levels of key markers of coagulation, without observed VTE or major bleeding events2. Gaining exclusive access to these BIDMC patents will significantly strengthen the mechanistic claims for Quercis' drug candidate in a variety of clinical indications of unmet need, such as VTE, COVID-19, sickle cell disease and Ebola, among others.
Quercis' lead drug candidate acts as an antithrombotic with significantly lower risk of adverse events than existing therapies. Quercis plans to initiate two Phase 3 clinical trials for the prevention of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in pancreatic cancer and glioblastoma patients in the first half of 2021 and will pursue U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for the prevention of VTE in all cancer types based on these two Phase 3 studies.
Quercis' novel class of antithrombotic drugs are also promising candidates to prevent and treat the clinical manifestations of ARDS associated with COVID-19. Quercis is working with a number of global healthcare providers to accelerate Phase 2/3 clinical studies to confirm these hypotheses. The studies aim to bring effective prophylactic and treatment options to patients in this global pandemic disease, which has resulted in significant loss of life in the past year.
About Quercis Pharma AG
Quercis Pharma AG is a private, biopharmaceutical company based in Zug, Switzerland. Quercis Pharma is advancing a development pipeline of late-stage clinical studies that focus on the prevention of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in cancer patients. In addition, Quercis targets other diseases associated with thrombotic events, such as sickle cell disease (SCD), Ebola and COVID-19. The Company's lead drug candidate acts as an antithrombotic with significantly lower risk of adverse events than existing treatments. Quercis plans to initiate two Phase 3 studies for the prevention of VTE in pancreatic cancer and glioblastoma patients and will pursue U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for the prevention of VTE in all cancer types based on these studies. In addition, the Company is preparing to conduct a number of studies for the treatment of SCD (Phase 2) and COVID-19 (Phase 2/3).
Ilias Läber, Ph.D.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Anne Marie Fields
Rx Communications Group
2 Zwicker et al. JCI Insight 2019
SOURCE Quercis Pharma AG