Financing enables OnQuality to continue the development of targeted cancer supportive care products
Pharmaceutical leader Michael McCullar, Ph.D., MBA, joins the company as Chief Executive Officer
SEATTLE and SHANGHAI—March 31, 2021. OnQuality Pharmaceuticals LLC ("OnQuality"), a targeted cancer supportive care company developing medications to address specific side effects and improve the quality of life for patients receiving anti-cancer medications, today announced the closing of its Series A+ financing round securing an additional $20 million in funding. This brings the total amount of capital raised in Series A and A+ to $35 million. This financing round included participation from Shiyu Capital, Matrix Partners China, BioTrack Capital, CASH Capital, Sinovation Ventures, FreeS Fund, and additional biotech veterans. Proceeds from the financing will support the ongoing Phase II clinical trial of the company's leading compound OQL011, as well as multiple additional targeted cancer supportive care programs anticipated to enter different phases of clinical development over the next 18 months.
OnQuality also announced the appointment of pharmaceutical executive Michael McCullar, Ph.D., MBA, as its Chief Executive Officer. Dr. McCullar has over 20 years of experience in pharmaceuticals, having previously served as Chief Operating Officer at Tolero Pharmaceuticals, where he was directly involved in its acquisition by Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma. He has also held pivotal roles at Astex Pharmaceuticals, where he was involved in its acquisition by Otsuka, and at SuperGen, Inc., where his work paved the way for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of Dacogen as a treatment for myelodysplastic syndromes.
"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to join the dedicated team at OnQuality Pharmaceuticals. It is an honor to be leading the development of medications that we believe have the potential to improve the lives and outcomes of so many cancer patients in need," said Dr. McCullar, CEO of OnQuality.
The new round of financing will support the development of OnQuality's drug candidates, which are designed to selectively target key pathways leading to toxicities from cancer treatments.
The global market for cancer therapies is projected to reach US$220.5 billion by 2025, driven by the rise in cancer prevalence, advances in cancer detection, and innovation in cancer therapeutic development. This continued growth is expected to result in a corresponding increase in the need for innovative agents for cancer supportive care. Side effects from cancer therapeutics can be severe; treating them may have the unique potential to improve quality of life and patient outcomes by decreasing treatment discontinuation or dose reductions caused by side effects. We believe that OnQuality's pipeline may help cancer patients not only live longer but with a better quality of life.
OnQuality's lead pharmaceutical candidate portfolio features targeted cancer supportive care therapies for skin toxicities. OQL011, the company's leading candidate currently being evaluated in a multi-center, randomized, Phase II clinical trial in the U.S., is a topical ointment designed to treat moderate to severe hand-foot skin reaction (HFSR). HFSR is an adverse reaction to vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) inhibitors, a class of cancer therapeutics, that occurs in roughly 50% of patients receiving these drugs. Additionally, OnQuality is developing two other onco-dermatology agents: OQL023, for the treatment of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-inhibitor-induced skin rash, and OQL033, for chemotherapy-induced hand-foot syndrome (HFS) (a different condition than HFSR). Both of these agents are undergoing IND-enabling pre-clinical studies, and are expected to enter clinical trials over the next 8-12 months.
In addition to its onco-dermatology portfolio, OnQuality is developing additional targeted cancer supportive care agents designed to address gastrointestinal and bone marrow toxicities caused by chemotherapies, HER2/EGFR targeted cancer therapies and immuno-oncology agents. These agents are expected to enter into the clinical development phase over the next 18 months.
About the Study
The Phase II, multicenter, double-blinded, dose-ranging clinical trial of OQL011 is designed to assess the safety and efficacy of OQL011 as a topical ointment in treating HFSR for subjects currently receiving VEGFRi-based anticancer therapy (monotherapy or combination therapy), and whose HFSR severity (per NCI CTCAE v5.0 grading of palmar-plantar erythrodysesthesia) is grade 2 or higher.
Key objectives in the study include determining the efficacy, safety, pharmacokinetics of OQL011, and improvement in patient-reported outcomes including pain. Please refer to www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT04088318) for additional clinical trial details.
About OnQuality Pharmaceuticals
OnQuality Pharmaceuticals is dedicated to pioneering the discovery and development of targeted cancer supportive care therapies that address treatment-related toxicities at their molecular source. OnQuality's targeted cancer supportive care therapies may have the potential to improve both quality-of-life and outcomes for cancer patients. By treating on-target toxicities of anti-cancer treatments, we believe OnQuality's targeted supportive care candidates have the potential to reduce the severity and incidence of adverse events while sustaining the efficacy of the cancer treatments.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that are often identified by the words "may", "might", "believes", "thinks", "anticipates", "plans", "expects", "intends" or other similar expressions. In addition, expressions of our strategies, intentions or plans are also forward-looking statements. Although forward-looking statements contained herein are based upon what OnQuality Pharmaceuticals believes are reasonable assumptions, there can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. OnQuality undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should change except as required by applicable securities laws. The reader is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
Ignacio Guerrero-Ros, Ph.D.
Russo Partners, LLC
David Melamed, Ph.D.
Russo Partners, LLC
Source: OnQuality Pharmaceuticals
Related Links: www.onqualityrx.com