Viamet Pharmaceuticals Withdraws $75 Million IPO, Spins Off Cancer Program To Form Innocrin Pharmaceuticals
Published: Oct 22, 2014
October 22, 2014
By Krystle Vermes, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff
North Carolina-based Viamet Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today that it will withdraw its planned $75 million initial public offering and instead has the formed a privately held pharmaceutical company as a spin-out of its prostate cancer program, dubbed Innocrin Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Innocrin will be focused on the development of small molecule CYP17 lyase inhibitors. CYP17 lyase is an enzyme target for the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer. VT-464, which is Innocrin’s lead asset, is an oral drug candidate that is in numerous Phase II studies for the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer.
“The Board of Directors and our investors are pleased to announce the formation of Innocrin, which is focused on developing what we hope to be the best-in-class drug candidate for CRPC,” said Doug Reed, chairman of the board at Innocrin, in a statement. “VT-464 selectively inhibits a highly validated biochemical pathway required for prostate cancer growth. The molecule is the only member of the CYP17 inhibitor class clinically proven to reduce androgens without altering the synthesis of the mineralocorticoids or glucocorticoids.”
CYP17 may also have commercial potential for the treatment of breast cancer in patients, as well as non-oncologic syndromes that spawn as a result of excess hormones. Novartis Venture Fund, Lilly Ventures, Hatteras Venture Partners, Intersouth Partners, Lurie Holdings, and Astellas Venture Management are some of the many investors who are funding Innocrin and its work.
“I am delighted to lead the team that is devoted to discovering and developing novel, selective, oral inhibitors of CYP17 lyase that do not clinically block CYP17 hydroxylase, thereby avoiding the side effects and improving upon the efficacy observed with other CYP17 inhibitors,” said William Moore, president and chief executive officer of Innocrin. “Innocrin’s lead molecule, VT-464, is both a potent and selective CYP17 lyase inhibitor and AR antagonist that has outperformed the leading CYP17 inhibitor and AR antagonist CRPC drugs in advanced preclinical models.”
Innocrin wholly owns CYP17 and VT-464. In an ongoing Phase I/II open-label study, VT-464 is being evaluated for safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and efficacy in CRPC patients. A Phase II open-label study being funded by the National Cancer Institute is looking at the efficacy and safety of the drug in patients with CRPC who have been previously treated with another drug called Xtandi.