Dual NOX1/NOX4 inhibitor GKT137831 is expected to enter Phase I this year.

Switzerland-based GenKyoTex raised CHF18 million (about $20.4 million) in a Series C fundraising round led by Edmond de Rothschild Investment partners. The firm says the investment will be used to move its lead compound GKT137831 into clinical development for the treatment of diabetic nephropathy and to progress other preclinical programs.

GenKyoTex is focused on developing inhibitors of NADPH oxidases (NOX inhibitors) as therapeutics for the treatment of oxygen-radical mediated acute and chronic diseases, which feature improved specificity, safety, and efficacy over existing nontargeted antioxidative therapy. The firm is leveraging expertise in the field of NADPH oxidase isoforms (NOX1-5) and their two related analogues DUOX 1 and 2, in combination with a NOX screening platform to evaluate and select specific NOX inhibitors.

Lead candidate GKT137831 is a selective dual NOX1/NOX4 inhibitor in development primarily for the treatment of complications of diabetes including diabetic nephropathy, but also potentially for local administration in ophthalmic and pulmonary disorders. Phase I trials for the diabetic nephropathy indication are projected to start during 2011. In 2010 the FDA and European Commission granted GKT137831 orphan drug designation for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

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