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GEN News Highlights : Jun 1, 2011

Esperance Pharmaceuticals Secures $7.5M for Peptide Development

Lead candidate is in a Phase I solid tumor trial.

Esperance Pharmaceuticals closed a $7.5 million Series B financing round. Proceeds will support expansion of the firm’s pipeline and development of lead candidate EP-100. The compound, currently in Phase I, is a cancer-targeting drug based on the company’s Cationic Lytic Peptide (CLYP™) platform.

Sanofi led the Series B funding with an investment of $4.5 million, which includes $1.5 million in clinical and regulatory services to support further development of EP-100. In addition, all existing institutional investors in Esperance as well as new private investors participated in the syndicate.

Esperance is using the CLYP technology to develop membrane-disrupting peptides (tMDPs) that selectively destroy cancer cells expressing target receptors. EP-100 is designed to seek and destroy cancer cells that overexpress luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) receptors on their surfaces.

Esperance has additional tMDPs in preclinical development against various cancers. It also has an antibody-drug conjugate undergoing in vitro studies.