DURHAM, N.C., Dec. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Vast Therapeutics, Inc. (Vast) announced today that it has completed its Series A financing with a single investor, Shionogi & Co., Ltd. of Japan. The investment provides Vast with funding to advance their novel nitric oxide powder platform through pre-clinical testing and first-in-human clinical safety and efficacy trials during the next 2 years. As a result of this investment, the company expects to add several key positions, primarily in drug development, while continuing to operate an outsourced model to optimize fixed costs.
In-licensed from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and invented in the laboratory of Prof. Mark Schoenfisch who serves as President of Vast, the technology has eradicated, in vitro, more than 100 types of bacteria, including many superbugs. Identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as one of the biggest public health challenges of our time, superbugs are microorganisms that have developed resistance to antibiotics or other antimicrobials. Each year, at least 2 million people suffer superbug infections, and those infections kill at least 23,000 each year in the United States alone.
Neal Hunter, CEO and Chairman of Vast said, "Our objective is to completely disrupt the paradigm of treating infections. Our technology can solve a major problem at a time when that problem is creating a dire situation for public health." Hunter further stated, "We've always realized that it would take more than one company to optimize our technology and Shionogi's commitment to anti-infectives puts them in a small class of larger pharmaceutical companies who have an ability to develop advanced pharmaceutical products and bring them to market quickly. The number of significant diseases that can benefit from our respiratory products will create a large market opportunity. "
Dr. Takeshi Shiota, Senior Vice President, Pharmaceutical Research Division of Shionogi commented, "We've had a keen interest in nitric oxide technology for some time. In Vast we have found a technology, intellectual property portfolio, and management team that could help us change the anti-infective market."
Kyle Kimble, Vast's Director of Business Development and Intellectual Property, said, "From our first meeting with Shionogi earlier this summer, we were impressed with their scientific acumen and research-driven approach to drug development. Regarded as one of the top developers of anti-infective products, Shionogi showed us that they were nimble and capable of working with incredible pace and focus making them the right partner to fully develop nitric oxide pulmonary anti-infectives. "
The companies plan to complete a collaboration agreement in the coming months as well as license discussions in 2019.
For more information contact:
John Oakley, Chief Financial Officer
About Vast Therapeutics, Inc.
Vast Therapeutics, a subsidiary of KNOW Bio, LLC, formerly known as Novoclem Therapeutics, Inc., is an innovative, preclinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on helping people who suffer from severe respiratory diseases to breath better and live life more fully. The Company is initially focused on developing a nitric oxide-based drug to treat cystic fibrosis patients battling chronic Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections. The Company anticipates submitting an lnvestigational New Drug application and initiating First-in-Human clinical trials in 2019. More info available at www.vasttherapeutics.com.
About Shionogi & Co., Ltd.
Shionogi & Co., Ltd. is a Japanese major research-driven pharmaceutical company dedicated to bringing benefits to patients based on its corporate philosophy of "supplying the best possible medicine to protect the health and wellbeing of the patients we serve." The company currently markets products in several therapeutic areas including anti-infectives, pain, CNS disorders, cardiovascular diseases and gastroenterology. Shionogi's research and development currently target two therapeutic areas: infectious diseases and pain/CNS disorders. For more information on Shionogi & Co., Ltd., visit http://www.shionogi.co.jp/en/.
Except for historical information, all of the statements, expectations, and assumptions contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. Actual results might differ materially from those explicit or implicit in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include: risks associated with the drug development process; reliance on key personnel; the early stage of our business and our need to raise additional capital to complete development of our drug candidates; competition; and other risks described in other Company press releases and presentations. KNOW Bio and VAST Therapeutics assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.
SOURCE Vast Therapeutics, Inc.