VANCOUVER, BC & MIAMI, FL- Quark Venture Inc. and GF Securities are investing US$1.6 million in Biscayne Neurotherapeutics , through the firm’s $656-million Global Health Sciences Venture Fund.
A clinical-stage company, Biscayne Neurotherapeutics (Biscayne) was established by Biscayne Pharmaceuticals to develop its biopharmaceutical assets for the treatment of neurological disorders. Biscayne’s lead compound BIS-001, is in clinical development as a novel anti-epileptic agent.
The Series B investment will help Biscayne initiate and complete a Phase 1b proof of concept trial of its new extended release formulation of BIS-001 in 2017. BIS-001 is a novel synthetic form of huperzine A, a traditional Chinese medicine that has been used as a treatment for cognitive disorders for centuries. Biscayne is initially developing BIS-001 to treat refractory forms of focal epilepsy, including refractory partial complex seizures and children with Dravet syndrome.
Huperzine A, which is a potent acetylcholinesterase inhibitor with high brain penetration, offers a unique mechanism of action for the treatment of epilepsy. BIS-001 has shown promising efficacy in highly predictive preclinical models of refractory complex partial epilepsy, providing 100 per cent elimination of seizures in the majority of the animals. In a Phase 1 trial in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy, BIS-001 appeared safe, and serum levels were obtained that support its development as an effective anticonvulsant. Biscayne has developed an extended release formulation to ensure convenient and compliant patient dosing.
“The goal of the Global Health Sciences Fund is to invest in the best science the world has to offer, so we are pleased to partner with Biscayne. whose innovative science was developed by researchers at Harvard and Yale,” said Karimah Es Sabar, director GHSF and CEO, Quark Venture. “We are impressed with the leadership, and their unique approach to finding a solution for this devastating disease for which there are currently no therapies available.”
Among the other investments made by Quark Venture and GF Securities are a January, 2017 US$25 million investment in Microbion Corp., and a $4 million investment into SQZ Biotech made in late 2016.