Panacea Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a Gaithersbrg, MD-based developer of novel therapeutic and diagnostic products for oncology and diseases of the central nervous system, closed its $15m Series E financing.
The company, which has also secured an additional $2m optional financing commitment in this round, will use the funds to complete the Phase 1 clinical study of its lead cancer immunotherapeutic drug, as well as pursuing its late-stage pre-clinical candidates toward integrated cancer management.
Led by Hossein Ghanbari, PhD, Chairman & CEO/CSO, Panacea Pharmaceuticals develops a nanoparticle-based anti-cancer therapeutic vaccine. This targeted drug candidate enables the immune system to control cancer cells by enhancing patients’ antibody and cellular defense mechanisms solely against cancer cells.
The company has met with FDA earlier in the year to discuss a pre-IND submission that included the manufacturing, animal toxicology and human trial strategies for the vaccine.
Based on the outcome of this meeting, Panacea is targeting 1st quarter 2016 to file an IND. Upon regulatory review, it plans to initiate the Phase 1 clinical study in cancer patients in the 2nd quarter of 2016.
Beyond the lead immunotherapeutic drug candidate, the company’s late-stage pipeline of products consists of:
– Radio-immunoimaging to determine the site and size of tumor, using a radioisotope-labeled all human anti-HAAH antibody,
– Radio-immunotherapy using high-energy short-lived alpha or beta emitting radioisotopes bound to the anti-HAAH antibody to specifically target cancer cells,
– BrainGuard, our neuroprotectant compound, to guard the brain against damages commonly caused by chemotherapy, and
– Anti-cancer antibody drug, using naked all human anti-HAAH antibody products.