BALTIMORE & WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Arginetix, Inc. and Immune Control Inc. today announced their merger to form Corridor Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which will develop novel treatments for vascular diseases with an initial focus on pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). Corridor will develop treatments based on the first-in-class arginase inhibition platform developed by Arginetix, and Immune Control’s serotonin antagonist technology. Gary Lessing, formerly the CEO of Arginetix, will serve as CEO of Corridor, and Stephen Roth, Ph.D., formerly CEO of Immune Control, will serve as executive vice chairman of the board of directors.
“These pathways are L-arginine, the major substrate involved in the formation of nitric oxide, and serotonin, a key regulator of vascular tone and pulmonary vascular remodeling.”
“This merger combines two talented teams and two complementary technology platforms to develop promising new therapeutics to treat pulmonary and vascular diseases,” says Lessing. “Together, we have the resources to advance our product pipeline and manage critical clinical, scientific and regulatory activities.”
C-122, Corridor’s lead candidate for PAH, has undergone extensive preclinical pharmacokinetic and toxicology testing. In animal models of PAH, the drug candidate prevents the elevation of pulmonary arterial blood pressure and reduces arterial hypertrophy and perivascular fibrosis. The Company plans to file an IND application for C-122 in the second half of 2010.
“Corridor Pharmaceuticals will apply two powerful, yet widely overlooked, biochemical pathways to vascular pathologies,” says Roth. “These pathways are L-arginine, the major substrate involved in the formation of nitric oxide, and serotonin, a key regulator of vascular tone and pulmonary vascular remodeling.”
In conjunction with the merger, Corridor Pharmaceuticals completed a $15 million Series A financing with all major investors of both predecessor companies, including: Domain Associates, Quaker BioVentures, MedImmune Ventures, NewSpring Capital, Maryland Health Care Product Development Corporation, Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern PA, Acidophil LLC, and Red Abbey Venture Partners. Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance C-122 into clinical development, and develop new drug candidates derived from both the Company’s arginase and serotonin platforms.
“Corridor Pharmaceuticals represents a rare opportunity to combine two promising technologies under a single, unified management team,” says Geeta Vemuri, Ph.D., Partner at Quaker BioVentures. “We are pleased to be able to provide the team with the capital needed to advance these unique technologies into clinical development.”
As co-founder and CEO of Arginetix, a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing and commercializing novel therapeutic small molecule inhibitors of arginase, Lessing completed license agreements with the University of Pennsylvania and The Johns Hopkins University, and completed two rounds of financings. Prior to joining Arginetix, Lessing was the executive vice president and chief financial officer of Avalon Pharmaceuticals and managing director at Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown.
Corridor is based in Baltimore, Md. with offices in West Conshohocken, Pa.
About Corridor Pharmaceuticals
Corridor Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel, small molecule inhibitors of arginase and serotonin to treat pulmonary and vascular disorders.