Healthcare Industry News: Inflammatory Bowel Disease
News Release - September 18, 2007
Altheus Therapeutics Secures $3.6 Million in Venture CapitalBiomedical start-up will fund clinical trials of its treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
OKLAHOMA CITY, Sept. 18 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Altheus Therapeutics, Inc. has secured $3.6 million in venture capital financing to fund clinical trials testing the efficacy of its therapy for the treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. St Louis-based Prolog Ventures led the round and was joined by the Oklahoma Seed Capital Fund and Oklahoma Equity Partners.
About 1.2 million Americans suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disease. The two most common forms, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's Disease, are chronic lifelong conditions which significantly impact the quality of life. Current therapies are reportedly effective less than 50% of the time.
The Altheus therapy combines two FDA approved drugs in a novel way and has been shown to be highly effective in animal models. This therapeutic approach is based on the research of Dr. Richard Harty, Emeritus Chief of Gastroenterology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
"We are very enthusiastic about our investment in Altheus, which allows the company to conduct the clinical trials needed to prove its product," said Brian Clevinger, founder and managing director at Prolog Ventures. "The initial data that Altheus has gathered is quite compelling. This is one of the most exciting companies we have seen in our pursuit of early-stage life science opportunities."
"This funding provides us with the capital to move our drug candidates forward into clinical trials," said Adam Payne, CEO of Altheus. "Our initial animal data suggest that our mechanistic approach is far superior to conventional frontline strategies -- which, if proven in the clinic, will provide a significant step forward for treatment. Conventional therapies can take as long as eight weeks to develop a clinical response. Our therapy may cut this time in half and help a larger portion of the population that suffers from this disease."
The investment in Altheus is the first for the newly formed Oklahoma Seed Capital Fund, managed by i2E. The Oklahoma Seed Capital Fund was formed after the Oklahoma Legislature provided funding in 2006 to the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST) for the OCAST Seed Capital program, for the first time since it was authorized by Oklahoma voters in 1988.
Commenting on the transaction, i2E President and CEO Greg Main said, "This is a great example of Oklahoma's developing capacity to support strong commercialization opportunities by combining local sources of equity with capital from out of state. This is the first of what I think will be many more."
OCAST Executive Director Michael Carolina said, "It has been 20 years since Oklahoma voters approved a state-funded seed capital program. Closing of the recent round of fundraising for Altheus Corporation is the first example of seed capital investment to come from that effort. All Oklahomans should be excited about what such investments can mean for future generations who will enjoy improved health, wealth and the opportunity for quality jobs. This is a high water mark for Oklahoma's economic development. I believe this investment coupled with future announcements gives our state much to look forward to in the form of emerging advanced technology enterprise."
Altheus Therapeutics, Inc., based in Oklahoma City, is a pharmaceutical development company focused on innovative therapies for the treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
i2E, Inc. is a private not-for-profit corporation focused on wealth creation by growing the technology-based entrepreneurial economy in Oklahoma. i2E is a strategic partner of and is funded by OCAST, the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology.
Source: Altheus Therapeutics
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