29 Jan 2013, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: Dezima Pharma, a biotechnology company developing innovative drugs in the field of dyslipidemia, has in-licensed a cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitor DEZ-001 (formerly TA-8995) from Japan-headquartered Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma. Dezima Pharma, founded in 2012, is based in the Netherlands.
DEZ-001 has completed single and multiple ascending dose studies showing an unprecedented effect on high density lipoprotein and low density lipoprotein levels in healthy volunteers with a very favorable side-effect profile. The company plans to support clinical development of DEZ-001 to phase III clinical trials. Professor John Kastelein, founder of Dezima, co-founder of UniQure and advisor to Forbion Capital Partners, identified DEZ-001 as a potentially best-in-class, potent and safe CETP inhibitor.
Dezima has also strengthened of its scientific advisory board with the addition of two world-leading experts in the dyslipidemia space. They are Dr Philip Barter, president of the International Atherosclerosis Society and conjoint professor at The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, and Dr Bryan Brewer, director at Washington Cardiovascular Associates and senior research consultant of Lipoprotein and Atherosclerosis Research at the Medstar Research Institute, Washington DC, US.
"CETP inhibitors hold enormous potential to further normalize lipid levels in millions of dyslipidemic patients worldwide. This product was a compelling in-licensing prospect because of its promising early clinical efficacy and safety profile. By applying a smart development program, DEZ-001 could potentially enter the market at a time similar to competing CETP inhibitors," said Professor Kastelein, Dezima's CSO and chairman of its scientific advisory board.
Mr Sander van Deventer, Dezima's interim-CEO and General Partner at Forbion Capital Partners, who seed-financed Dezima together with BioGeneration Ventures, added: "The dyslipidemia space represents an attractive investment opportunity due to the continued high unmet medical need and the introduction of several next-generation therapeutic approaches. The addition of these two renowned experts to Dezima's SAB will support the company in advancing DEZ-001, and in helping to identify additional earlier-stage dyslipidemia assets in order to develop a range of promising therapies in the CVD field."