Slater Technology Fund Invests in P&H Therapeutics
Fund Commits $500,000 to Startup Company Developing Innovative Treatments for Hypertension and Dyslipidemia
Providence, R.I., October 29, 2008 The Slater Technology Fund today announced that it has committed $500,000 to P&H Therapeutics, Inc., a Providence-based company developing next-generation drugs to treat hypertension and dyslipidemia.
Co-founded by William Park, Ph.D., and Daniel Holsworth, Ph.D., former Pfizer research scientists with extensive experience in hypertension and cardiovascular disease and a combined 24 patents between them, P&H is led by CEO Robert Valentini, M.D., Ph.D., an experienced entrepreneur who previously co-founded Cell-Based Delivery and Myomics. P&Hs core intellectual property is centered around small-molecule, orally available compounds.
The companys primary research focus is on developing next-generation drugs based on a proven class of compounds known as renin inhibitors, which have recently been approved for use in the treatment of hypertension. P&H is developing compounds that will improve bioavailability and decrease the side effects associated with currently approved therapies. The market for such therapies is huge and growing with 65 million Americans currently suffering from hypertension. While there are many approved drugs available to treat the condition, limited efficacy is common and most carry the risk of potentially serious side effects. As a result, there remain significant opportunities for the development of safer, more tolerable and more effective medicines for hypertension with improved patient response and end organ benefit.
A second program being evaluated by the company would involve development of improved therapies for statin-intolerant patients based on a class of compounds known as HMG CoA reductase inhibitors. The current market for compounds treating dyslipidemia, where statins represent first-line therapy, exceeds $23 billion worldwide.
P&H is characteristic of an emerging paradigm in drug development, said Richard G. Horan, senior managing director of the Slater Technology Fund. The company aims to capitalize upon continued restructuring in the research activities of major pharmaceutical companies, which increasingly look to companies focused on late-stage preclinical and early-stage clinical compounds as the source of new candidates for their R&D pipelines. Once proof of principle is established in the clinic, P&H plans to partner with pharma companies to advance its lead products into large-scale clinical trials. While challenging, the strategy offers tremendous upside potential if the companys research strategies succeed.
About Slater Technology Fund
The Slater Technology Fund is a state-backed venture capital fund that invests in new companies committed to basing and building their businesses in Rhode Island. Slater focuses its resources on the support of entrepreneurs who have the vision, leadership and commitment to build substantial commercial enterprises. Slater typically invests at the inception stage in the development of a new venture, often based upon ideas and technologies originating in academic institutions and/or government research laboratories located within the region. In most cases, investments are premised upon the possibility of raising substantial follow-on financing, from venture capital investors or from strategic partners, with a view toward accelerating the generation of significant numbers of high-value, high-wage jobs over the intermediate to longer-term. For more information, visit www.slaterfund.com.
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