HemaQuest Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a San Diego and Seattle-based biopharmaceutical company focused on developing small molecule therapeutics to treat hemoglobin disorders, has closed a $13m extension of their Series B financing.
Backers include existing investors Aberdare Ventures, De Novo Ventures, Forward Ventures, Latterell Venture Partners and Lilly Ventures.
The company intends to use the capital to fund a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2b clinical study evaluating lead product candidate HQK-1001 in patients with sickle cell disease. According to HemaQuest, this financing, combined with existing cash balances, will be sufficient to allow completion of the Phase 2b trial and to fund operations through early 2014.
Led by CEO John P. Longenecker, Ph.D., HemaQuest is working to advance HQK-1001, an orally administered SCFAD which has been assessed in a number of clinical trials in sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia. These trials have established a safe and well tolerated dose which results in the induction of fetal hemoglobin. Induction of fetal hemoglobin production in red blood cells has been shown to reduce the frequency of pain crises and hospitalizations of patients with sickle cell disease.