Lead candidate is in two mid-stage studies for HPV-related conditions.

Helix BioPharma closed a private placement with net proceeds of approximately $9.5 million. The money will be used primarily to support the company’s clinical trial initiatives.

The private placement comprises 4,530,000 units at $2.43 per unit for a total of roughly $11 million. Each unit consists of one common share and one common share purchase warrant, with each warrant entitling the holder to buy one common share at $3.402 for up to three years after the closing date of the private placement. 

Headquartered in Toronto, Helix is developing treatments for cancer and precancerous conditions. The company’s lead candidate is a topical interferon alpha-2b, which has completed a Phase II study as a preventive treatment in patients with low-grade cervical lesions. It is intended to offer a superior means of delivering interferon-alpha therapeutically into diseased skin or mucosal tissues by leveraging the capabilities of the firm’s Biphasix™ drug delivery technology and eliminating the need to inject interferon-alpha.

Additionally, a Phase II investigation is ongoing to confirm that interferon alpha-2b does not reach the systemic circulation, and enrollment has been completed for another Phase II trial, which is evaluating topical interferon alpha-2b as a treatment for anogenital warts. Both cervical lesions as well as anogenital warts are are caused by HPV infections.

Helix’ second program is preclinical L-DOS47 for lung adenocarcinoma. The drug is based on Helix’ DOS47 platform technology, which leverages the action of urease on substrate compound urea.

Urea is a substance that is naturally present in the human body. By inducing the catabolism of urea in the body in the interstitial medium surrounding cancer cells, urease action is believed to promote the production of metabolites including ammonia and hydroxide ions. These metabolites are believed to stress cancer cells by a combination of effects including the induction of an alkaline microenvironment and by direct toxic effects.

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