Biopharmaceutical company Pulmokine has entered into a $1 million investment agreement with Broadview Ventures. The partnership is meant to accelerate the development of the lead drug candidate being developed by Pulmokine, PK10571, for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and enable the initiation of its phase 1 clinical trial.
The CEO of Pulmokine, Lawrence S. Zisman, announced the company’s receipt of the financing from the venture firm and said that “preclinical results of our inhaled PDGF receptor inhibitor are quite compelling, showing a meaningful decrease in pulmonary pressures in animal models of PAH.” In addition, he believes that “by interfering with the PDGF receptor pathway, our lead candidate has the potential to address an underlying cause of PAH, not merely to alleviate its symptoms.”
The therapy candidate is designed to inhibit the PDGF receptor kinase in order to decrease and possibly even reverse the proliferation of pulmonary cells that cause PAH. Pulmokine has already conducted preclinical studies revealing that patients dosed with PK10571 had their pulmonary artery systolic pressure reduced, a crucial indicator of PAH.
“We are very pleased to expand our cardiovascular portfolio with the addition of Pulmokine’s PAH program which we believe has the potential to be a truly disease-modifying treatment for patients with this life threatening disease,” added the managing director of Broadview Ventures, Christopher Colecchi. “We are especially pleased that this promising science is also being supported by the NIH.”
Pulmokine plans to file an Investigational New Drug (IND) application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration within the last three months of the year and expects to use the results from the phase 1 trials to support the clearance of the application. The company has also been granted a phase II SBIR grant from the National Institutes of Health to fund the development of PK10571.
In addition, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), a division of the NIH, awarded a Stage B Vascular Interventions and Therapeutic Advances (VITA) contract to Pulmokine. The award is a major funding channel for the company to enable the development of PK10571. The VITA contract is reported to be worth $1.5 million dollars over three years, and will specifically fund upcoming clinical trials in humans in the IND category.