Healthcare Industry News: RNAi therapeutics
News Release - August 4, 2008
Expression Genetics Inc., Specializing in DNA/RNAi Delivery and Therapeutics, Completes $12M Series B FinancingHUNTSVILLE, Ala., Aug. 4 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Expression Genetics, Inc., announced today that it has successfully completed its $12-million Series B financing. The final portion ($7M) of the financing was secured in July. The company plans to use this most recent funding to continue clinical development of its lead product EGEN-001, a cancer therapeutic, and to further advance its development of delivery technologies for siRNA and shRNA.
EGEN-001 is under development for the treatment of advanced recurrent ovarian cancer as well as other local or disseminated solid tumors. The product is based on proprietary TheraPlas® delivery technology. It is composed of an interleukin-12 (IL-12) gene expression plasmid and a biocompatible delivery polymer. IL-12 is a potent cytokine which works by multiple mechanisms of action to enhance the body's immune system against cancer and inhibit tumor blood supply. EGEN-001 has completed a Phase I monotherapy trial with promising results and is currently in the final stage of a Phase IA trial designed to evaluate safety and preliminary efficacy of the drug when administered in combination with conventional chemotherapy treatment. EGEN-001 received Orphan Drug Status from the FDA in 2005 and a $1 million FDA Orphan Grant in 2007.
The company is developing its proprietary TheraSilence(TM) delivery technology for RNAi therapeutics. Novel molecules, especially designed to deliver RNAi to cells, are being developed in company laboratories. Gene knock down in vitro and in vivo in animal models has been demonstrated and candidate systems targeting specific diseases are being screened for preclinical development.
"Successful completion of this financing was largely due to recognition and appreciation of our exciting progress in both the EGEN-001 human clinical trials and our research advances on RNAi delivery technology. We are pleased and grateful for this support," commented Dr. Danny H. Lewis, CEO of Expression Genetics. "This will allow us to expedite the overall clinical program for EGEN-001 and enable us to continue development of the promising technologies for delivery of therapeutic RNAi." Participation in the round was by VC and private investors.
About Expression Genetics, Inc.
Expression Genetics, Inc. (EGEN), is a privately held biopharmaceutical company specializing in nucleic acid (DNA and RNAi) delivery and therapeutics aimed at specific disease targets. The Company, with laboratories and headquarters in Huntsville, Alabama, is focused on developing therapeutics for the treatment of human diseases including cancer and cardiovascular disease. The Company has a significant intellectual property position in biocompatible polymers, their novel compositions with nucleic acids, and their therapeutic applications. EGEN has research pipeline products aimed at treatment of various cancers and cardiovascular disease involving siRNA, shRNA, tumor antigens, and angiogenic genes. EGEN has collaborations with outside investigators, biotech organizations, and universities on various projects in these areas.
Safe Harbor for Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements contained in this press release may be deemed to be forward looking statements under federal securities laws and Expression Genetics intends that such forward looking statements be subject to the safe harbor created thereby. Expression Genetics does not undertake an obligation to publicly update or revise any forward looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Actual events or results may differ from our expectations as a result of a number of factors, including but not limited to uncertainties in clinical trials and product development programs, ability and success level of the Company in securing adequate capital for operations, market place acceptance of any resulting product and other factors common to biotechnology research and development. There can be no guarantee that any product in our pipeline will be successfully developed.
Source: Expression Genetics
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