Bethesda, MD, February 18, 2014 – Epidarex Capital, a leading international early-stage life science venture capital fund, has invested in Confluence Life Sciences Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the rapid discovery and development of drugs to address unmet needs in cancer and chronic inflammatory disease.
Confluence’s innovative KINect Technology Platform enables the identification and development of new protein kinase drugs in a fraction of the time of other approaches. Confluence’s team of world-class drug developers has created a pipeline of drug candidates which focus on creating kinase inhibitors targeting hard-to-treat cancers. Confluence’s lead program targets the kinase TAK1, which is important in cancer cell transformation, metastasis, tumor growth and drug resistance, especially in pancreatic and other cancers such as breast and colon.
Pancreatic cancer killed an estimated 38,460 people in the US last year. It is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the US, with an average survival time following diagnosis of 4-6 months, among the lowest for all types of cancer. Confluence’s goal is to develop an orally active, small molecule drug to significantly improve survival in pancreatic and other cancers, and to potentially treat chronic inflammatory disease.
Epidarex Capital’s financing will support Confluence’s identification and development of its lead drug candidates. Epidarex Managing Partner Kyp Sirinakis will join the Board of Directors at Confluence. Epidarex joins existing investors Mercury Fund, BioGenerator and Missouri Technology Corporation.
Confluence is Epidarex Capital’s second investment from its US fund. Epidarex focuses on providing early-stage risk capital to top researchers and entrepreneurs in the US and UK who are developing highly innovative solutions for the global healthcare market.
Kyp Sirinakis, Managing Partner at Epidarex Capital, said:
“Confluence’s KINect Technology Platform can develop kinase inhibitors far more quickly than other approaches. TAK1 is an important pathway and the Confluence team is exceptionally well placed to develop an effective solution. Epidarex Capital’s commitment to bringing this technology to the global healthcare market could transform patient outcomes for a number of hard to treat cancers.”
Walter Smith, CEO at Confluence Life Sciences, said:
“Our technology platform is applicable to hundreds of attractive kinase targets. Epidarex Capital’s investment provides significant support – in terms of finance and sector expertise – to our development of ground-breaking drugs to treat life-threatening diseases.”
About Epidarex Capital
Epidarex Capital invests in early-stage, high growth life science and health technology companies in under-ventured markets within the US and UK. Its international team is led by Sinclair Dunlop, Kyp Sirinakis and Liz Roper. With offices in the United States, United Kingdom and Japan, Epidarex Capital’s investors represent a cross-section of leading universities, international corporations, development agencies and financial institutions. Epidarex was created to meet the need for more sector-specific financial backing for young companies, including spin-outs from leading research universities. Epidarex provides early-stage capital to fund significant milestones in its portfolio companies’ development. For further information please visit www.epidarex.com.
About Confluence Life Sciences, Inc.
Confluence Life Sciences, Inc. is a technology-based company focusing on rational drug design to identify proprietary, mechanistically novel drugs. Confluence has assembled a team of world-class experts and developed a portfolio of projects to address unmet medical needs in cancer and chronic inflammatory diseases. The team focuses on the design and development of kinase inhibitors that target key enzymes involved in the regulation of cancer growth, survival and metastasis, or in modulation of chronic inflammation. Confluence utilizes a detailed structural and functional understanding of kinase enzymes and its proprietary KINect Technology Platform to design inhibitors in a fraction of the time of traditional approaches. For further information visit www.confluencelifesciences.com