Healthcare Industry News: AVANIR Pharmaceuticals
News Release - October 7, 2015
Quartet Medicine Completes $23.25 Million Series A FinancingCompany well-positioned to advance pioneering therapeutic for chronic pain into early clinical trials
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(Healthcare Sales & Marketing Network)--Quartet Medicine, a biotechnology company focused on the development of novel treatments for chronic pain and inflammation, today announced the company closed an additional $6.25 million investment, finalizing its Series A funding at a total of $23.25 million.
The closing brought in three new investors including Dallas-based Remeditex Ventures, LLC and two undisclosed Shanghai-based strategic investors. Quartet plans to use the funding to advance its lead program focused on modulating tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) through early clinical testing over the next two years. In addition, John Creecy, Chief Executive Officer of Remeditex, joined Quartet’s Board of Directors and highly-regarded pharmaceutical industry executive Mark Corrigan, M.D., was appointed the company’s first independent Board member.
“At Remeditex, we seek out high quality, novel companies and through our investment support translational research to validate projects that have the potential to address significant needs in the healthcare marketplace,” said John Creecy. “We are very impressed with the cutting-edge science underway at Quartet as well as the pace of their research efforts. I look forward to representing Remeditex among such a distinguished group of investors and Board members.”
“This is an exciting time in Quartet’s evolution – in closing this financing we deepened our investor base and added the capital required to achieve both our near-term development candidate selection milestone as well as advance our first program through early clinical testing,” said Kevin Pojasek, Ph.D., Quartet’s President and acting Chief Executive Officer. “In addition, we have gained two exceptional Board members with significant business acumen, corporate leadership and operating experience who will be invaluable resources as the company evaluates a variety of strategic options for advancing our pipeline.”
“Quartet has made tremendous progress validating the BH4 pathway as an exciting target for pharmacological intervention,” said Dr. Corrigan. “The modulation of a discrete target in the peripheral nervous system has several key advantages in the therapeutic area of chronic pain management including the potential for better efficacy, a reduction in side effects, and the elimination of addiction issues associated with opiate-based pain medications. I look forward to working with the Quartet management team and Board to help deliver on the tremendous potential of this new mechanism of action for treating chronic pain and inflammation.”
Dr. Corrigan is Chairman of the Board of Epirus Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. a public biopharmaceutical company, and from 2010 to 2014, he previously served as a Director, President and Chief Executive Officer of Zalicus Inc. prior to their merger with Epirus Biopharmaceuticals in July 2014. Prior to Zalicus, Dr. Corrigan joined the specialty pharmaceutical company Sepracor Inc. in 2003 (now known as Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.) and served as Executive Vice President of Research and Development until December 2009. Prior to joining Sepracor, Dr. Corrigan spent 10 years with Pharmacia & Upjohn, where he last served as Group Vice President of Global Clinical Research and Experimental Medicine. Before Dr. Corrigan entered the pharmaceutical industry, he spent five years in academic research at the University of North Carolina, School of Medicine, focusing on psychoneuroendocrinology and maintains a faculty appointment as Adjunct Professor in the Psychiatry Department. He is also a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. In addition to Quartet, Dr. Corrigan serves on the Boards of Cardiome Pharma Corporation, Synereca Pharmaceuticals and Pamlico Biopharma. Previously, he served on the board of directors of Cubist Pharmaceuticals where he chaired the Scientific Committee and of AVANIR Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where he also served as their chair of the Scientific Advisory Counsel. Dr. Corrigan holds a B.A. and an M.D. from the University of Virginia and received specialty training in psychiatry at Maine Medical Center and Cornell University.
About Tetrahydrobiopterin and its Link to Chronic Pain and Inflammation
The de novo tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) synthesis pathway has been implicated in a range of chronic human pain and inflammatory conditions. Up-regulation of BH4 synthesis in response to injury or inflammation increases cellular levels of BH4, an important cofactor for several classes of enzymes, that results in neuronal hypersensitivity and chronic immune cell activation. Multiple human genetic studies have linked a haplotype in the gene encoding GTP cyclohydrolase I, a BH4 synthetic enzyme, to a reduced risk of developing chronic pain after nerve injury or chronic disease. Pharmacological modulation of either GTP cyclohydrolase I or sepiapterin reductase, another enzyme in the BH4 synthesis pathway, safely restores BH4 to normal levels leading to an improvement of pain symptoms in preclinical models.
Quartet is using human genetic and BH4-based biomarker tools, along with preclinical disease models, to select the ideal early clinical proof-of-concept indications for a modulator of the BH4 synthesis pathway. In addition, the company is enabling a translational biomarker strategy for clearly establishing human target engagement early in phase 1 clinical trials. This dual indication discovery and translational biomarker-based approach will help de-risk Quartet’s lead program as it advances through early clinical development.
About Quartet Medicine
Quartet Medicine is a private, biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing novel treatments for chronic pain and inflammation. Human genetics and preclinical target validation data point to increased tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) as a critical mediator of peripheral nerve dysfunction and immune cell regulation. Quartet is capitalizing on these insights by safely restoring BH4 homeostasis in neuronal and inflammatory cells.
Quartet was founded by scientists at Boston Children’s Hospital and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland in conjunction with Atlas Venture. Quartet’s Series A investors include Atlas Venture, Novartis Venture Funds, Partners Innovation Fund, Pfizer Venture Investments, Remeditex, and two undisclosed Shanghai-based strategic investors. The company is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and has research efforts underway with collaborators in Europe and Asia. For more information, visit www.quartetmedicine.com.
About Remeditex Ventures LLC
Remeditex is a company that seeks to develop transformative patient focused life science opportunities in need of commercial validation, guidance and capital. Its objectives are to accelerate the pace of commercialization research, to help create and support a thriving biotechnology industry not only in Texas but throughout the country, to encourage biotech venture capital to invest outside of the traditional hubs and to achieve returns to support the next generation of promising science. The company is located in Dallas, Texas. More information is available at www.remeditex.com.
Source: Quartet Medicine
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