Thetis Pharmaceuticals secures first round funding for diabetes drug
Southport, Conn., September 27, 2011 - Carter Morse & Mathias is pleased to announce that Thetis Pharmaceuticals LLC, a drug development company focused on diabetes, has secured first round funding from Connecticut Innovations and other institutional and angel investors. Carter Morse & Mathias, a co-founder and principal owner of Thetis, managed the financing effort on behalf of the company.
Thetis is advancing TP101, a novel first-line therapy for type 2 diabetes. TP101 is a new molecular entity that chemically combines metformin, the standard of care in type 2 diabetes, with a principal component of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. TP101 offers prospects for addressing the high incidence of cardiovascular complications, a major risk factor in type 2 diabetic and pre-diabetic patients. The company expects to begin clinical studies with TP101 in 2012, a rapid timeline made possible by certain regulatory efficiencies associated with the chemical composition of the drug candidate.
Frank Sciavolino, Ph.D., president, chief scientific officer, and co-founder of Thetis said, "TP101 represents an important potential contribution to diabetes therapy, offering physicians the prospect of a new first-line, oral treatment for diabetic patients with the potential to regulate blood glucose and slow the incidence of cardiovascular events. It also has the potential to offer a safe and effective approach to treat the rapidly escalating pre-diabetes population."
Thetis is led by Dr. Sciavolino, who previously held leadership positions at Pfizer in the areas of drug discovery and commercialization, including the successful Zithromax and Celebrex franchises. Members of scientific advisory board include Banavara (Larry) Mylari, Ph.D., an R&D executive specializing in diabetes and its long-term complications with 30+ years of experience at Pfizer, and G. Alexander Fleming, M.D., CEO of Kinexum, who brings 25 years of experience in clinical research and medical and regulatory affairs, including 12 years with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration where he was supervisory medical officer of the Division of Metabolic and Endocrine Drug Products.
Gary Mathias, managing director of Carter Morse & Mathias and interim CFO of Thetis, noted that, "Thetis should appeal to both venture capital investors and big pharma partners as viable diabetes candidate that has minimal development risk but with large commercial upside. We expect to secure additional capital in the 2nd half of 2012 to fund the company through clinical proof-of-concept. This compares favorably to most other pre-clinical drug development companies that generally require much greater capital and time to achieve the same milestone."
David Wurzer, managing director of investments with Connecticut Innovations, and Alan Mendelson, a general partner of Axiom Venture Partners, will serve on Thetis's board of directors, along with Dr. Sciavolino and Mr. Mathias.