BERLIN, April 12 /CNW/ - OctreoPharm Sciences GmbH, a specialist for
contrast media in Nuclear Medicine, was able to successfully close a
financing round for the clinical development of its cancer diagnostic
SOMscan(R). With the nearly EUR 5 million which were brought up by
three venture capitalists, clinical trials up to phase II shall be
implemented in the next two years. If they are successful, the European
approval of the radiopharmaceutical can be reached possibly already in
2014, after a further round of financing, to be followed by the U.S.
approval. As a contrast agent for the Positron Emission Tomography
(PET), SOMscan(R) is suitable for the detection and treatment control
of neuroendocrine tumours.
"The product has a number of distinguishing features", explained Dr.
Hakim Bouterfa, founder and Managing Director of OctreoPharm Sciences
and responsible for the area of clinical development. "SOMscan (R)
displays not only neuroendocrine tumours particularly safely and
sensitively, but can be also perfectly combined with a promising new
cancer medicine by a major European pharmaceutical company which is, at
this time, already passing successfully through phase III tests." "As
this new preparation has a molecular structure which is closely related
to SOMscan (R), we are very optimistic with regard to the compatibility
and applicability of our developing candidate".
Another special feature of SOMscan(R) is that it uses Gallium-68 as a
signaller, which is a short-lived radioisotope that has been available
only since recently in pharmaceutically pure quality and thus in an
approvable shape. Approval of SOMscan(R) together with the Gallium-68
signaller would be a world premiere, which would create a new
generation of nuclear medical diagnostics. Other than conventional PET
contrast agents, Gallium-68 can be delivered in metal containers of the
size of a food tin, and it does not rely on large linear accelerators,
the so-called cyclotrons. This significantly simplifies the handling.
Therefore, diagnostics can be performed with Gallium-68 also locally,
away from the classical radio pharmaceutical centres.
"Our new site on the bio-medical campus in Berlin-Buch is ideal," said
Udo Blaseg, founder and Managing Director of the OctreoPharm Sciences
GmbH. "Berlin is an European Centre for the use of radioactive
materials in medicine, and it convinces with good technical
infrastructure, excellent hospitals and the proximity to specialised
service providers. This location also facilitates cooperation with a
major manufacturer of gallium generators, the company Berlin Eckert &
Ziegler AG. Further, Berlin is also home to the VC Fonds Technologie
Berlin AG which is managed by the IBB Beteiligungsgesellschaft, and of
the company Eckert Wagniskapital und Fruehphasenfinanzierung GmbH, both
of whom are early-stage financers of this project. The third investor
participating in the project is the KfW-Mittelstandsbank in Bonn".
About OctreoPharm Sciences GmbH:
The OctreoPharm Sciences GmbH is a biopharmaceutical company in the
field of radioactively labelled pharmaceuticals. The company focuses in
particular on the development of new radio pharmaceuticals for
About Eckert Wagniskapital und Fruehphasenfinanzierung GmbH
Eckert Wagniskapital und Fruehphasenfinanzierung GmbH is a venture and
early-phase financer who has specialised for over 20 years in
technology-oriented manufacturing companies in the field of life
sciences (biotechnology, medical technology, pharmacy), with life
science being broadly interpreted, including adjacent topics and
industries such as analytics, material science or clinical
developments. Regional focus is Berlin and its hinterland, and
investments are made, with regard to the life cycle, mainly into
start-ups or early phases. Among the most successful EWK foundations
are Eckert & Ziegler AG (http://www.ezag.de) and Glycotope (http://www.glycotope.com). In total, since 1990, the EWK portfolio has Supported nearly 20
companies and start-ups.
SOURCE OctreoPharm Sciences GmbH
For further information:
OctreoPharm Sciences GmbH