Velocity Pharmaceutical Development, LLC ("VPD") and Tigercat Pharma, Inc., ("Tigercat") announced today the submission of an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for VPD-737 for the treatment of chronic pruritus.
Tigercat licensed worldwide rights to VPD-737 (Serlopitant), an NK-1 receptor antagonist, from Merck (Essex Chemie) in 2012. Tigercat intends to develop VPD-737 through clinical proof of concept for the treatment of chronic pruritus, defined as itch lasting for more than 6 weeks. This condition results in more than one million doctor visits per year in the US. Chronic pruritus is associated with significant morbidity and can result in serious disruption of sleep and other activities of daily living.
"Preclinical studies and compelling clinical evidence about the use of NK-1 receptor antagonists led us to believe that treatment with VPD-737 may significantly and rapidly reduce pruritus associated with a variety of conditions" said David Collier, CEO of VPD. "We believe this drug has the potential to address a major underappreciated medical need."
Jean Tang M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Dermatology at Stanford University School of Medicine said "Chronic itch is a largely underserved indication with few effective treatments. The existing drugs to treat chronic itch are at best only modestly effective and in addition, they are poorly tolerated. Thus we are very excited to see VPD-737 approaching clinical testing."
Tigercat Pharma, Inc., is a largely "virtual" company which was created to hold the ownership of the VPD-737 development program. Tigercat is funded by Velocity Pharmaceutical Holdings, LLC, and Remeditex Ventures, LLC. The VPD-737 development program is managed under contract by VPD.
VPD is a pharmaceutical development organization dedicated to rapidly advancing promising drug candidates to clinical proof of concept using a highly virtual management model. VPD seeks to acquire promising drug candidates, generally within a year of their entering human clinical trials or after initial human clinical data have been generated. VPD then manages a highly virtual development program for each drug candidate intended to generate convincing human proof of concept data (generally by conducting a phase 2 clinical trial). Following successful human proof of concept, VPD then seeks a large pharmaceutical company acquirer for each program. VPD is staffed by a seasoned team of clinical drug developers with expertise identifying attractive drug candidates, target markets, and designing and managing outsourced clinical trials. This expert team manages multiple single asset companies to remove the costly overhead and misaligned incentives present in traditional biotechnology company structures. VPD operates on a rapid decision principle, which identifies drug candidates with the greatest promise and repurposes capital from those that don't work out early in the process. VPD believes this new capital-efficient model will yield attractive new drugs to treat patients with significant unmet clinical needs. The company is located in South San Francisco, California. More information is available at www.vpd.net.
Velocity Pharmaceutical Holdings, LLC, is an entity funded by CMEA Capital that makes investments in highly virtual, project-focused pharmaceutical development companies that are managed by Velocity Pharmaceutical Development, LLC. More information is available at www.vpd.net and www.cmea.com.
Remeditex is a company that seeks to develop opportunities in need of commercial validation, guidance, and capital. Its mission is to develop early stage biomedical science and make Texas and Colorado a preferred location for biotechnology companies, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs by accelerating the pace of commercialization of biomedical research; help create and support a thriving biotechnology industry; attract biotech venture capital to Texas and Colorado; and achieve significant returns to support the next generation of promising science. More information is available at www.remeditex.com.