EJ Financial Enterprises Inc. has purchased a 30 percent equityinterest in CarboMed Inc. for an undisclosed sum.
CarboMed was founded in June 1990 to develop carbohydrate-based compounds to diagnose and treat infectious diseases andcancer.
The company's lead compound is GBS-toxin, a polysaccharidetoxin made by group B streptococcus, said Carl Hellerqvist, afounder of CarboMed. The drug is now in animal trials, andCarboMed hopes to begin clinical trials next year to treat solidtumors.
The toxin appears to work through receptors present only indeveloping vasculature, said Hellerqvist, who is an associateprofessor of biochemistry at Vanderbilt University. "The toxinseeks out only the tumor's developing blood vessels, binds andinduces an inflammatory response which destroys the bloodvessels," he said.
Vanderbilt holds a patent on the drug, which it licensedexclusively to CarboMed.
Jeffrey Sollender, vice president of EJ Financial, said thecompany hopes that the first-round funding will be sufficientto carry CarboMed through the first phase of clinical trials.
EJ Financial of Chicago is the sole investor in CarboMed. Thefinancial concern was formed by John Kapoor, former chairmanof Lyphomed Inc., as a vehicle for health care investments.Lyphomed was sold last year to Fujisawa Pharmaceutical Co.Ltd. for just under $1 billion, Sollender said. -- Karen Bernstein
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