InflaZyme Pharmaceuticals Ltd. raised U.S.$909,090 (C$1.2million) from its Canadian initial public offering of 1.2 millionshares at C$1 per share in December.
InflaZyme (VSE:IZP) of Victoria, British Columbia, is developingtherapeutic agents from natural sources and their chemicalsynthetic routes. The compounds are isolated from the body'sprotective mechanisms, and from plants, marine organisms andmicroflora.
The company has three drugs in preclinical development:Fitofosine, for treatment of colorectal and melanoma cancers;Robinosole, for topical and oral use in inflammatory diseasessuch as arthritis, gout, colitis, ileitis and general myalgia; andPneumocort, an inhalant or cream for treating asthma andallergy. The company also has a diagnostic for tuberculosis thatis expected to enter clinicals in the first quarter of 1994.
Rashid Aziz, InflaZyme's executive vice president, noted thatthe three drugs are a year away from clinical testing.
Fitofosine is a synthetic phospholipid analog of naturalmembrane lipids that is believed to act on cellular enzymesthat regulate cancer cell growth. It is active against both drug-resistant and drug-sensitive cancers, InflaZyme said. Thecompany plans to develop Fitofosine as a primary drug or foruse in a cocktail with other anti-cancer drugs, such as cisplatinand 5-FU, or in combination with cytokines.
Robinosole is a synthetic analog of polyphosphoinositidepresent in inflammatory cells that is a competitive inhibitor ofthe phospholipid hydrolyzing enzyme Phospholipase C.InflaZyme said the drug has only limited side effects, which isthought to be due to its resemblance to the body's naturallyoccurring lipids.
Pneumocort is a natural steroid isolated from marine animalsthat inhibits the phospholipases in bronchial tissue, preventingsmooth muscle contraction and blocking asthmatic reaction.
Founded in 1992 with technology licensed from the Universityof British Columbia, InflaZyme intends to develop thecompounds through Phase I clinicals and then either licensethem out or form strategic alliances or other collaborativeagreements for their further development. Aziz said thecompany has had discussions with two pharmaceuticalcompanies concerning the marketing and distribution of itstuberculosis diagnostic.
The company recently completed a study of the TB test in 350subjects at clinical centers in Vancouver and Mexico City andsaid preliminary results indicated that the test has a high levelof sensitivity and specificity.
InflaZyme was founded by its current president and director,Hassan Salari, who is also an associate professor at theUniversity of British Columbia. InflaZyme Pharmaceuticals Ltd.also announced in December that it completed the reversetakeover of parent company InflaZyme Pharmaceuticals CanadaInc., formerly Delphine Enterprises, a "shell" company ownedby Salari.
-- Brenda Sandburg News Editor
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