Funds will support registrational trial of elacytarabine in acute myeloid leukaemia.

Norwegian company Clavis Pharma raised NOK 129 million (approximately $20 million) in a private placement with new and existing institutional investors. The firm says that the heavily oversubscribed placement, effected through a bookbuilding process, represents some 80% of its current outstanding share capital.

Clavis will use proceeds from the fundraising to progress its clinical and preclinical pipeline. Priorities include completing the first part of a Phase II/III registrational study with its lead candidate, elacytarabine, in acute myeloid leukaemia as well as completing a randomized Phase II trial with intravenous CP-4126 (parent drug gemcitabine) in pancreatic cancer and a Phase I trial with oral CP-4216 in solid tumors.

Clavis is exploiting its Lipid Vector Technology (LVT) to chemically link specific lipids to established drugs, generating NCEs with enhanced properties and efficacy. It claims LVT-generated candidates have a number of potential advantages over their parent drugs. These may include more efficient cell penetration, circumventing drug-resistance mechanisms, enhancing cell activation, or sustaining pharmacological effects in vivo. In some cases LVT-derived drugs could even demonstrate new mechanisms of drug activity, Clavis believes. Study data suggests drugs currently limited to administration by injection may be absorbed orally, transdermally, or by inhalation as LVT derivatives.

LVT derivatives have also been shown to be active in tumors where the parent drug has no effect. Elacytarabine is an LVT derivative of cytarabine, but unlike unlike cytarabine, the Clavis drug has reportedly demonstrated activity in solid tumors in animal models and in Phase I trials.

Past Clavis News
Clavis Pharma and Mount Sinai School of Medicine to develop drugs for cancer and haematological malignancies (Sep. 18, 2006)

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