Washington Editor

Kadmus Pharmaceuticals Inc. said proceeds raised in its $15.3 million Series A financing will be put toward advancing the firm's clinical programs and expanding its therapeutic platform targeting endocannabinoid pathways.

Founded in 1998 in Irvine, Calif., Kadmus is 30 days away from completing a Phase II trial on its lead candidate, KDS-2000, a topical formulation targeting neuropathic pain.

Patrick Walsh, company CEO, told BioWorld Today funds from the Series A likely will carry the firm through "several years."

Furthermore, he said, "It allows us to move into a Phase III study for [KDS-2000] and into clinical trials for our next two products."

Kadmus, a privately held company, has $15 million in cash following the offering. Walsh would not disclose the firm's burn rate. The company has raised $6 million in two previous Series A tranches.

Other portions of the financing will be used to expand Kadmus' Canadian operation, which to date consists of a laboratory and one employee.

The company was founded by Daniele Piomelli and Kelvin Gee, two University of California at Irvine professors who contributed to the firm's initial technology.

Out of its endocannabinoid platform, Kadmus discovered and developed KDS-2000, a product that targets peripheral pain receptors without activating receptors in the central nervous system, thus avoiding side effects often associated with pain medications. KDS-2000 is being tested in patients with post-herpetic neuralgia.

Endocannabinoids are naturally occurring signaling molecules, which function to help regulate pain and body weight. Kadmus' compounds are against a range of afflictions, including disorders of the central nervous system and metabolic disorders.

Kadmus might consider partnering KDS-2000 down the road, said Walsh, who added there has been a high level of interest in the firm's technology in all three of the company's lead products.

Behind KDS-2000, Kadmus is conducting preclinical work on an orally available obesity candidate as well as a series of compounds called fatty-acid amide hydrolase inhibitors.

Company officials have not stated which products will follow KDS-2000 in the pipeline.

The Series A was led by Vengrowth Advanced Life Sciences Fund Inc., of Toronto. Joining Vengrowth as new investor was Softbank Life Science Ventures I LP, of Palo Alto, Calif. Others included Sanderling Ventures, of San Mateo, Calif.; NeuroVentures Capital LLC, of Charlottesville, Va.; CDP Capital Inc., of Montreal; Gray Ghost LLC, of Lutherville, Md.; and Bio*One Capital, the investment arm of the Singapore Economic Development Board.