Global Health Sciences Fund (Quark Venture and GF Securities) provide key investment in Pi Therapeutics $19.7 million Series B financing for development of novel cancer drug
Jun 04, 2019
Vancouver, BC – May 30, 2019 – Quark Venture (Quark) and GF Securities participated in the $19.7 million Series B financing announced today for Pi Therapeutics (Pi), paving the way for further development of a promising new cancer drug. The investment, made through their Global Health Sciences (GHS) Fund is part of the Series B financing round led by Pontifax that also included Arkin Bio Ventures, CBG, and existing investor RMGP.
Pi’s lead asset is a protein degradation inhibitor holding promise for treatment of hematologic cancers as well as solid tumors. Hematologic malignancies represent 10 percent of new cancer diagnoses in Canada and are the third leading cause of cancer death1. While there has been progress in treatment of these cancers, they have remained stubbornly incurable. One of the lead indications of Pi’s research, multiple myeloma (MM), currently sees only a 50 percent survival rate at five years, post diagnosis.
Inhibition of protein degradation is a clinically validated approach in hematologic cancers, with proteasome inhibitors approved in MM and mantle cell lymphoma (MCL). Pi’s drug has a novel mechanism of action with current research suggesting it may be better tolerated than proteasome inhibitors, overcome resistance to these drugs and may also hold promise for treatment of solid tumors, where proteasome inhibitors have so far been ineffective.
“While inhibition of protein degradation is a clinically-validated approach, there is still a need to identify novel drugs in this space with new modes of action, a broad spectrum of activity and an improved safety profile”, said Dr. Ori Kalid, Chief Executive Officer of Pi. “We are excited by the potential of our new class of drugs to provide an effective and well-tolerated alternative to cancer patients.”
“At GHS Fund we are excited about the innovation emerging from companies like Pi Therapeutics who are doing truly ground-breaking work in finding treatments for cancers that – despite advances – have remained incurable”, says Ms. Karimah Es Sabar, CEO & Partner, Quark Venture and Director of the GHS Fund. “GHS Fund is happy to be a partner in advancing this promising technology which we are certain will change the face of hematologic and solid tumour cancer treatment.”
About Quark Venture
Quark Venture invests in innovative biotechnology and health technology companies and supports them with its expertise in bioscience commercialization and equity financing. The company’s strategic focus is global investments in disruptive platforms and technologies impacting human health. Through its China affiliate, Global Drug Commercialization Center (GDCC), Quark’s leading-edge Development Centre and SME Accelerator in China helps small- and medium-size enterprises successfully access the China market, grow, innovate and bring better health outcomes to millions of people. Quark Venture partners with scientific and commercial thought leaders across the globe. For more information visit www.quarkventure.com
About Global Health Sciences Fund (GHSF)
Global Health Science Fund was jointly established by Quark Venture and GF Securities in late 2016. Global Health Science Fund is a health sciences venture fund that invests globally in a diversified portfolio of innovative biotechnology and health sciences companies who are addressing unmet medical needs through innovations in drug development, medical devices, health IT and emerging convergent technologies.
About Pi Therapeutics
Pi Therapeutics is a preclinical-stage pharmaceutical company dedicated to the development of protein degradation modulators for the treatment of cancer. PI’s lead drug modulates pathways related to proteostasis, offering a unique approach to the preferential targeting of cancer cells. Preclinical data to date have demonstrated a compelling safety and efficacy profile which is differentiated from approved protein degradation inhibitors. The company was established in 2015 based on technology in-licensed from Johns Hopkins University and has raised a total of approximately $24 million to date.
For more information about Quark Venture please contact Kaley Wilson at email@example.com
1 Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada https://www.llscanada.org/sites/default/files/National/CANADA/Pdf/Blood%20Cancer%20Facts%202014.pdf