Edinburgh, Scotland, July 28, 2016: Epidarex Capital today announces the launch of Nodthera Limited, a new biotech company focused on the discovery and development of novel inhibitors of the NLRP3 inflammasome. Nodthera is based on world class research conducted within Selvita S.A. (“Selvita”), an international drug discovery company, with offices in Boston, San Francisco, Cambridge, UK and Krakow, Poland. Nodthera will be headquartered in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Inflammasomes are large multiprotein complexes which assemble in a cell’s cytoplasm in response to environmental danger signals and are considered an essential part of an organism’s innate immune response. Activation of an inflammasome assembly leads to the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, IL-1 and IL-18. Over-activation of the NRLP3 inflammasome is implicated in a wide range of diseases that are a substantial burden on modern healthcare systems such as type 2 diabetes, gout, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. Until recently, the NLRP3 inflammasome has been a difficult target. However, recent advances and insights from the scientific community has renewed and re-invigorated interest in targeting the NLRP3 inflammasome. Selective inhibition of the NLRP3 inflammasome rather than its downstream cytokines holds great therapeutic potential. Nodthera aims to become a key player in developing inhibitors of this protein complex.
Elizabeth Roper, PhD, a Partner at Epidarex Capital, led the deal and commented “Nodthera Limited has the potential to create first in class small molecule modulators of the NLRP3 inflammasome complex which could be a significant development in the field.” She further added, “Epidarex is delighted to be partnering with Selvita to bring this exciting science to market.”
“We are confident that Nodthera’s therapeutic approach is exceptional and addresses an important class of intracellular receptors implicated in variety of disorders with unmet medical needs. We’re excited to work with a partner such as Nodthera, who shares our vision and belief that in drug discovery joining forces and cooperation is the key to success.” – said Krzysztof Brzozka, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer at Selvita.
“As a limited partner in the fund, we are excited to have Epidarex invest in an opportunity to accelerate the development of a novel approach in this rapidly emerging area and potentially help patients with a wide range of diseases, including dementia where Lilly has 25 years of research and development experience,” said Johnston Erwin, Vice President of Corporate Business Development at Eli Lilly and Company.
About Epidarex Capital
Epidarex Capital invests in early-stage, high growth life science and health technology companies in under-ventured markets within the UK and US. Epidarex was created to meet the need for more sector-specific risk capital for young companies, including spin-outs from leading research universities. The fund’s international management team has a track record of successfully partnering with top scientists and entrepreneurs to develop highly innovative products for the global healthcare market. For further information, please visit www.epidarex.com
About Selvita SA
Selvita is a drug discovery company engaged in the research and development of breakthrough therapies primarily in the area of oncology, as well as provision of integrated drug discovery services. Selvita was established in 2007 and currently employs over 340 people, including 111 PhDs, with extensive experience in the area of life sciences. Selvita has currently several projects at early or late discovery stage and is expected to move its first candidates to the clinic in 2016. Drug discovery clients of Selvita include more than fifty large and medium-sized pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies from USA and Europe. Selvita offices are located in Greater Boston Area, San Francisco Bay Area, Cambridge, UK, as well as in Krakow and Poznan, Poland. The company is listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE:SLV). More information: www.selvita.com
This press release contains forward-looking statements about the investment of Epidarex Capital and various investors, including Eli Lilly and Company, in a biotech company focused on the discovery and development of novel inhibitors of the NLRP3 inflammasome. It reflects Lilly’s and Epidarex’s current beliefs; however, as with any such undertaking, there are substantial risks and uncertainties in the process of drug development. There is no guarantee Epidarex or Lilly will realize the expected benefits of the transaction, that the product will receive regulatory approval, or if approved, would be commercially successful. For further discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties, please see Lilly’s latest Forms 10-Q and 10-K filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The companies undertake no duty to update forward-looking statements.