Gaithersburg, MD (PRWEB) March 20, 2005 -
Sequoia Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a pharmaceutical company focused on discovering novel drugs to combat drug-resistant viral infections, today announced that it closed on a $22 million Series B round of financing. The investment syndicate was led by Health Care Ventures of Cambridge, MA, and includes Sofinnova Partners of Paris; Aberdare Ventures of San Francisco; and the Wellcome Trust of London. The financing is expected to fund early stage clinical trials of the CompanyÂs novel drug designed to combat wild-type- and multi-drug-resistant strains of HIV, and to continue two additional drug discovery and development programs.
SequoiaÂs discovery team is led by Chief Scientific Officer John Erickson, PhD, who founded the anti-viral program at Abbott Laboratories in the 1980s and pursued structure-based drug design at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in the 1990s. EricksonÂs scientific team from NCI makes up the core of SequoiaÂs senior scientists. ÂThis investment is a major step for our company and a great validation for our technology,Â said Erickson. ÂIt offers us the opportunity to get our primary AIDS drug candidate into the clinic and to accelerate the development of our other drug programs.Â
The companyÂs novel Resistant-RepellentÂ® HIV protease inhibitor showed promise in preclinical tests of being effective the wild-type virus and against more than 95 percent of the drug-resistant HIV mutants isolated from patients that were failing highly active anti-retroviral therapy. These early stage successes were highlighted at the meeting for Frontiers in Drug Development for Antiretroviral Therapy, held in December 2004.
In addition to the HIV protease inhibitor program, Sequoia has initiated preclinical tests of a Resistant-RepellentÂ® drug to combat Hepatitis C, as well as a proprietary Molecular Cloaking technology that confers superior pharmacokinetic profiles on various therapeutic agents. The Cloaking technology was unveiled at the American Society for MicrobiologyÂs 44th Annual International Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy that took place in Washington, D.C. last October.
About Sequoia Pharmaceuticals, Inc.:
Sequoia Pharmaceuticals Inc. was founded in 2002 and is a drug development company focused on novel drugs to combat drug-resistant viral infections, especially HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C. Sequoia is developing revolutionary new treatments for viral diseases with a focus on the growing global problem of drug-resistant infectious diseases. Most anti-infective drugs were designed to block the most prevalent form of a pathogen. Those drugs are doomed to become obsolete due to the emergence of drug-resistant mutations. Sequoia's mission includes meeting this challenging problem by developing effective therapeutic solutions to combat the emergence of drug resistance.
For more information on Sequoia, please visit http://www.sequoiapharma.com.
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The statements in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including but not limited to, risks associated with the inherent uncertainty of pharmaceutical research, product development and commercialization, the impact of competitive products, patents, and other risks and uncertainties, including those detailed from time to time in periodic reports of the company.