Velocity Pharmaceutical Development and Remeditex Ventures have signed a collaboration to jointly evaluate pharmaceutical development opportunities for management by the VPD development team and potential funding from both parties. In conjunction with this collaboration, both VPD and Remeditex have announced an investment by Remeditex in a VPD-managed pharmaceutical development company, Tigercat Pharma. Funding terms were not disclosed.
"VPD has assembled a world-class group of scientists and drug developers," said Dennis Stone, chief scientific officer of Remeditex. "Everyone at Remeditex is thrilled to be working with the VPD team. We look forward to identifying and developing a series of promising pharmaceutical candidates in partnership with VPD."
VPD's strategy is to acquire promising drug candidates, generally within a year of their entering human clinical trials or after initial human clinical data have been generated, then manage a highly virtual development program intended to generate convincing human proof of concept data (generally by conducting a Phase II clinical trial). Following successful human proof of concept, VPD then seeks a large pharmaceutical company acquirer for each program.
VPD and Tigercat Pharma have submitted an IND for VPD-737 for the treatment of chronic pruritus. Tigercat licensed worldwide rights to VPD-737 (Serlopitant), an NK-1 receptor antagonist, from Merck (Essex Chemie) in 2012.
Tigercat intends to develop VPD-737 through clinical proof of concept for the treatment of chronic pruritus, defined as itch lasting for more than six weeks. This condition results in more than one million doctor visits per year in the US. Chronic pruritus is associated with significant morbidity and can result in serious disruption of sleep and other activities of daily living.
"Preclinical studies and compelling clinical evidence about the use of NK-1 receptor antagonists led us to believe that treatment with VPD-737 may significantly and rapidly reduce pruritus associated with a variety of conditions," said David Collier, chief executive officer of VPD. "We believe this drug has the potential to address a major underappreciated medical need."