K94 Discoveries, Inc., a Baton Rouge, La.-based biotechnology company applying hormone receptor-targeting technology to develop novel cancer therapies, closed a $300k seed financing.
The funds were provided by BVM Capital, LLC, through its Themelios Ventures II, LP fund. Ross P. Barrett, Managing Partner of BVM Capital, is interim President of the new company.
Based on proprietary hormone receptor-targeting discoveries by scientific founder William Hansel, Ph.D., a Professor at the William Hansel Cancer Prevention laboratory at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center of Louisiana State University (LSU), K94 is developing cancer therapies initially focusing on pancreatic cancer and conducting research in ovarian and breast cancer.
The company’s researchers are developing targeted drug conjugates by combining the luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) receptors with the naturally-occurring plant extract curcumin. Preclinical studies indicate that curcumin exhibits multiple anticancer properties, promotes cancer cell death and slows the growth of tumors. However, its therapeutic potential has been limited by its poor solubility, which the company’s novel drug conjugates are designed to overcome.
Toxicology testing on the company’s lead compounds is expected to begin soon, with human clinical trials targeted for 2015.