PIQUR Therapeutics AG, a Swiss clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of innovative anti-cancer drugs based on PI3K and mTOR inhibition, today announced the closing of an oversubscribed CHF 18 million (USD 19M) round of Series A2 financing. This round was backed by several existing investors, including Versant Ventures, as well as new, private investors.
The new funding brings the total capital raised by PIQUR to date to over CHF 55 million (USD 60M). The company plans to use the funding to further strengthen its operational basis and to extend the financing horizon for additional Phase 2 studies for its lead compound PQR309, which has shown preclinical activity in different aggressive cancer cell lines inhibiting the PI3K/mTOR pathway, as well as clinical activity in phase 1. In addition, the new funding will support the preclinical safety and first clinical studies for one of its follow-up compounds.
“We greatly appreciate the continued support provided by our existing shareholders and welcome our new investors who bring valuable perspective, experience, and capital resources to the company,” said Vladimir Cmiljanovic, CEO of PIQUR. Gaudenz von Capeller, PIQUR’s CFO, commented: “This financing strengthens our balance sheet as we work to achieve important milestones for our lead candidate as well as the follow-up compound.”
Helping patients to survive cancer
PIQUR aims to help patients to survive cancer. Two out of three people are now living at least five years after their cancer has been diagnosed. Despite of significant medical innovations in the treatment of cancer, there remains a high unmet medical need for therapies that prolong patients’ survival and improve their quality of life. PIQUR targets both PI3K (phosphoinositide 3-kinase) and mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin), two key signaling molecules that are vital to several essential biological processes involved in malignant disease, such as cell growth, proliferation, survival and metastasis, making them attractive targets in cancer therapy.
PIQUR’s lead compound, PQR309, is a novel, oral, balanced pan- PI3K/mTOR inhibitor with excellent prospects to become a powerful anti-cancer drug. PQR309 compares favorably to current and clinically most advanced pan-PI3K/mTOR inhibitors with respect to the drug-like properties. Unlike most of its competitors, PQR309 crosses the blood-brain barrier, expanding its use to oncologic as well as hematologic malignant diseases involving the brain. PQR309 showed preclinical activity in different aggressive cancer cell lines inhibiting the PI3K/mTOR pathway, as well as clinical activity in phase 1.
PIQUR is a Swiss clinical-stage pharmaceutical company incorporated in August 2011 as a spin-off of the University of Basel, focusing on the discovery and development of innovative anti-cancer drugs based on lipid kinase (PI3K) and mTOR inhibition. PIQUR’s pipeline originates from one of the most promising research areas in oncology. Both PI3K and mTOR are clinically validated drug targets in oncology. PIQUR has a secured patent scope protecting many chemical compounds. www.piqur.com
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Gaudenz von Capeller
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