BUFFALO, NY--(Marketwire - April 26, 2010) - Cleveland BioLabs, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBLI) today announced the opening of the U.S. office of Incuron, LLC, a joint venture between CBLI and Bioprocess Capital Ventures, LLC, which triggers the first tranche of investment ($5.7 million) into Incuron.
Incuron's mission is to develop anticancer therapies based on drug candidates of the Curaxin family, which have been transferred from CBLI to Incuron. Andrei Gudkov, Ph.D., D. Sci., Chief Scientific Officer of CBLI and principle author of the discoveries leading to Curaxins, commented, "Simultaneous targeting of several molecular pathways, which are critically important for cancer development and progression, is a unique property of Curaxins. This attribute makes them very promising drug candidates that may be effective against a wide spectrum of human malignancies and reduces the risk of development of tumor resistance to this class of compounds."
Michael Fonstein, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer and President of Cleveland BioLabs, stated, "Bioprocess Capital Ventures' $18 million investment commitment into CBLI's technology is considerable recognition of the potential value of our Curaxin platform. This investment will enable us to support Curaxin development through advanced human trials."
Askar Kuchumov, Ph.D., will serve as the Chief Executive Officer of Incuron. Dr. Kuchumov was formerly an Investment Manager at Bioprocess Capital Ventures. Before joining Bioprocess, he served in business development roles at BD Diagnostics (division of Becton Dickinson and Co., USA). Prior to BD, Dr. Kuchumov held sales and marketing positions in life science companies and co-founded a technology transfer organization focused on diagnostics and pharmaceuticals. He has a Masters of Science in Chemistry from Moscow State University (Russia) and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Wayne State University in Michigan.
"Incuron represents a significant step forward in the Russian Federation's commitment to foster innovation in medical and other technologies," stated Dr. Kuchumov. "This focus was recently highlighted by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in a speech where he declared that development of new medical technologies and pharmaceuticals is one of the five most important directions of technological breakthrough for Russia. I am proud to oversee Incuron's operations and contribute to its success."
Incuron's initial development strategy is to complete formal preclinical studies, submit an IND to the FDA and advance the next generation of Curaxin compounds to clinical trials. The joint venture will also pursue follow up trials with first generation Curaxin compound CBLC102 in Russia. CBLI will serve as a subcontractor to Incuron to support certain mechanistic studies and oversee clinical and preclinical formal development.
About Bioprocess Capital Ventures
Bioprocess Capital Ventures is a Russian Federation venture capital fund managed by the limited liability company, Bioprocess Capital Partners. The total size of the fund is 3 billion rubles (approximately $100 million). Fund shareholders are government corporations such as Russian Venture Company and VneshEconomBank (VEB), the Bioprocess group of companies, and other institutional and private investors. The fund focuses on investments in innovative technologies in the life sciences/biotechnology and fine chemistry sectors.
About Cleveland BioLabs, Inc.
Cleveland BioLabs, Inc. is a drug discovery and development company leveraging its proprietary discoveries around programmed cell death to develop treatments for cancer and protection of normal tissues from exposure to radiation and other stresses. The Company has strategic partnerships with the Cleveland Clinic, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, ChemBridge Corporation and the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute. To learn more about Cleveland BioLabs, Inc., please visit the company's website at http://www.cbiolabs.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements reflect management's current expectations, as of the date of this press release, and involve certain risks and uncertainties. The Company's actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of various factors. Some of the factors that could cause future results to materially differ from the recent results or those projected in forward-looking statements include the "Risk Factors" described in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 30, 2009.