Developing treatments for chronic diseases
 

Peripheral artery disease pill from TheraVasc heading to phase 2a trials

TheraVasc plans to begin enrolling patients this month in a phase 2a clinical trial of its pill designed to treat peripheral artery disease. The clinical trial, which is expected to follow 50 diabetic PAD patients for 11 weeks, could lead to big things for Cleveland-based TheraVasc. CEO Tony Giordano hopes a successful trial will position the company for a development partnership with a big drugmaker or a venture round of between $10 million and $20 million. “We’re really excited that it’s finally getting rolling,” Giordano said. “Now we just have to get these patients in as quickly as possible, and see if the drug does what we expect it to do.” The company is reformulating a drug — sodium nitrite — for the treatment of PAD, a condition in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to the limbs. The condition often afflicts diabetics and can result in the amputation of patients’ feet. Advertisement Sodium nitrite is available in injectable form, but TheraVasc is working to commercialize the drug in pill form. A capsule or tablet would not only be more user friendly, it would allow for a sustained release that would help patients maintain adequate levels of the drug over time. In addition to measuring the drug’s safety and tolerability, the phase 2a clinical trial’s design calls for assessments of patients’ vascular integrity, walking ability and quality of life improvements at the end of the trial period, Giordano said. Cleveland Clinic likely will be the first of eight clinical sites that will go live, with patient enrollment and dosing expected to begin this month. The University of Pennsylvania is...

Peripheral artery disease drug developer TheraVasc raises $1.8M

TheraVasc Inc., which is reformulating a drug to treat vascular diseases, has raised $1.8 million in its first round of investment capital. The funding comes from existing investors JumpStart Inc. and Portal Capital, and new investors North Coast Angel Fund, Ohio TechAngels and Dayton-based Physician Investment Group. In addition, more than a dozen individual investors ponied up, CEO Tony Giordano said. But Giordano isn’t stopping there. He’s keeping the offering open through the end of the year in the hopes of raising another $450,000. His company began the round in January, winning $500,000 from venture development organization JumpStart and Portal Capital. The funding will go toward an ongoing Phase 1 clinical trial and a Phase 2a trial that Giordano hopes to begin in Cleveland early next year. The company is reformulating a drug — sodium nitrite — for the treatment of peripheral artery disease (PAD), a condition in which narrowed arteries reduce blood flow to the limbs. The condition often afflicts diabetics and can result in the amputation of patients’ feet. The disease is being treated with blood clot-busting drugs, but what sufferers need is better blood circulation. “There’s just nothing out there for many of these people,” Giordano said. “They have severe pain when they walk ,and they’re desperate for something.” Sodium nitrite is available in injectable form, but TheraVasc is working to commercialize the drug in pill form. A capsule or tablet would not only be more user-friendly, it would allow for a sustained release that’d help patients maintain adequate levels of the drug over time. The Phase 1 trial started in July and has completed the...

TheraVasc Awarded “Most Promising Life Science Technology Company” at Rice Alliance Life Science Venture Forum

Houston, TX, August, 19, 2009 – TheraVasc, LLC was named one of the most promising Life Science companies at the 8th Annual Rice Alliance for Technology & Entrepreneurship Life Science Venture Forum in Houston last week. Life Science companies showcased their new ventures for an audience of more than 400 attendees, including investors, venture capitalists, industry representatives, business leaders, advisors/mentors, service providers, and entrepreneurs.Cynthia A. Doerr, M.D., partner, Essex Woodlands Health Ventures said of the presenters, “This is one of the most mature groups of healthcare-related company presentations that I have reviewed in Houston, and I intend to follow their progress closely.” TheraVasc is developing repurposed drugs for vascular diseases for which no current treatments exist. Its lead compound, TV1001, licensed from LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, is moving into a Phase Ib clinical trial for the treatment of peripheral artery disease, a disease affecting some 12 million people in the US causing severe pain in the legs characterized by a loss of blood flow for which the current standard of care is exercise. TheraVasc treatment works to increase new blood vessel growth specifically in the affected limb. The trial will monitor safety and new blood vessel development. Tony Giordano, Ph.D., the President and CEO of TheraVasc said, “We are pleased to receive this recognition from the Rice Alliance. I have attended a number of these venture forums with a number of other companies I have been with and can say that the interactive format used here was a fantastic learning experience. Hearing all the other excellent presentations and still being recognized as one of the most promising...
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