CAMBRIDGE, MA--(Marketwired - July 30, 2013) - Sialix, Inc., a company developing products for the treatment and prevention of cancer and chronic inflammatory conditions, today announced the closing of a $1 million round of an angel-led financing. The investors included members of the following New England-based angel investor groups: Boston Harbor Angels, Mass Medic Angels, Launchpad Angels, and Maine Angels, as well as other undisclosed individuals. The company also announced that Brad Curley, a member of Boston Harbor Angels, joined the Board of Directors and that Richard Anders, founder of Mass Medic Angels, will serve as a Board observer. In addition, Dr. Peter Kiener, a biotechnology and pharmaceutical professional with extensive experience in both biologics and small molecule drug discovery across oncology, immunology and other therapeutic areas, will serve as a business and scientific advisor to Sialix.
"We are pleased to receive support from this group of investors who believe in our vision and the supporting research surrounding the role certain glycans play in cancer and inflammatory-mediated diseases," said Jeff Behrens, president and CEO of Sialix. "We are excited about the progress we have been making with our cancer therapeutic and nutrition programs and look forward to the guidance we will receive from Peter, Brad and Richard."
"The members of Boston Harbor Angels are very intrigued by the promise of developing nutritional products and cancer therapeutics based on the research conducted by Sialix and Dr. Varki's lab," said Brad Curley, member of Boston Harbor Angels. "As a Board member, I look forward to taking part in the company's progress as these products move through the development process."
Brad Curley is a member of Boston Harbor Angels and an adjunct professor at Boston College. He was with KPMG LLP for more than 25 years providing services to clients in many industries. Mr. Curley was Partner in Charge of KPMG's New England Area Internal Audit, Risk and Compliance Services practice and also served as the Firm's Advisory Services practice leader for Northeast Area middle market accounts. He is a member of the Corporate Directors Group and the National Association of Corporate Directors.
Dr. Peter Kiener has helped to build industry-leading protein and antibody engineering capabilities and has overseen the submission of multiple INDs and NDAs. Dr. Kiener's most recent position was President & CEO of Zyngenia, and prior to that he served as EVP & Head of Global Discovery, Research & Development, MedImmune Inc (A-Z biologics). Prior to MedImmune, he spent 18 years at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Dr. Kiener received his B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Lancaster, UK, and his D. Phil. in Biochemistry from Oxford University, UK. Dr. Kiener has published more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed journals, and is an inventor on more than 20 patents and patent applications.
About glycans in cancer and chronic Inflammation
Cancers consistently modify glycans (polysaccharides) on the surface of tumor cells. These cancer-associated glycans are attractive targets for antibody therapeutics. In addition, a specific glycan in the diet -- N-glycolylneuraminic acid ("Neu5Gc") -- is a common sialic acid associated with inflammation, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Most humans ingest Neu5Gc through dietary intake of red meat and dairy products. After ingestion, Neu5Gc can be incorporated into the surface of human cells and subsequently treated as a foreign antigen by the immune system, resulting in a chronic inflammatory response. This chronic inflammatory state may help explain the association between dietary red meat and the progression of cancer and cardiovascular disease, as well as other chronic inflammatory disorders. Neu5Gc is overexpressed in solid tumors and can modify cancer-associated glycans, thereby increasing their cancer specificity.
About Sialix, Inc.
Sialix, Inc is developing products for the treatment and prevention of cancer and chronic inflammatory conditions associated with ingestion of non-human sialic acids which are found in red meat and other dietary sources. The company is advancing two complementary programs: an oncology therapeutic targeting ovarian and other solid tumors, and a prophylactic nutritional supplement to reduce inflammation and the resulting risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Sialix has licensed a broad patent portfolio from UCSD and assembled a team of industry veterans and glycobiology experts to support the development of these products. The company is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Learn more at www.sialix.com