Southampton, UK – 1 July 2007 – Innovative pharmaceutical company Karus Therapeutics Ltd has today announced the closing of a £0.82 million investment, led by the company’s Chairman, Drummond Paris. Investors also included a consortium of high net worth individuals and reference Angels and the IP Venture Fund. The investment will be used to further develop drugs to treat cancer and inflammatory diseases based on Karus’s optimized HDAC inhibitor platform (OS-HDI).
There is intense pharmaceutical industry interest in HDAC inhibitors, which can slow abnormal tumor-cell growth, cause tumor cell death and correct abnormal cell differentiation. Karus’s OS-HDI are expected to offer patients the promise of a potent and safer treatment for cancer and inflammatory diseases.
Karus’s OS-HDI are thought to be the most potent histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors known. They have a high selectivity for the HDAC super-family and have a distinctively prolonged pharmacodynamic effect. Karus has been able to show that its OS-HDI have a distinctive efficacy profile and are well tolerated in vivo. Consequently, Karus believes that these compounds have best-in-class potential in the treatment of cancer and inflammatory disease.
Karus has two development programs, one in cancer and one in psoriasis and has initiated further programs in other disease areas, including rheumatoid arthritis and organ transplant rejection.
“We are delighted to secure this investment” said Dr Simon Kerry, Chief Executive of Karus Therapeutics, “to-date we have made substantial progress on a relatively small investment and weaim to use these new funds to accelerate the application of our therapeutics platform to the discovery of new drugs to treat cancer and inflammation and to create a valuable company for our shareholders”.
Karus was created in July 2005 to develop a new family of highly potent, optimized HDAC inhibitors that were identified at the University of Southampton and Cancer Research UK as part of collaborative research conducted between Professor Graham Packham, Dr Ganesan and Dr Paul Townsend.