The investment committee of Maxwell Biotech Venture Fund created with the participation of RVC has approved essential conditions of the deal and the amount of investments into Infectex. This is the fifth project that has received the fund’s investments for the past year. Infectex will concentrate on development and introduction to the market of the innovative drug for treatment of tuberculosis caused by multi-drug resistant mycobacteria. The approved financing round envisages allocation of 60 million rubles for the second phase of clinical trials.
The designed drug which basis has been formed by an American biotech company Sequella (www.sequella.com) represents a low- molecular compound of ethylendiamine class. The results of preclinical and first-phase clinical trials performed suggest that the characteristics of the drug candidate will enable it to become a new efficient antitubercular agent. In case of successful completion of the clinical trials and introduction of the drug to the market, the possibilities for causal treatment of tuberculosis with multi-drug resistance will be expanded significantly.
In the opinion of Dmitry Popov, Managing Partner of Maxwell Biotech Group, “the development and introduction of this drug to the Russian market is well-timed. In spite of the efforts of the Russian Government, the incidence of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis remains high in Russia. This situation creates serious social risks and has negative economic effects. By investing into such project, Maxwell Biotech Venture Fund fulfills one of its strategic tasks – providing Russian patients with an access to the world’s best innovative developments in the sphere of drug therapy”.
The American partners of Infectex also assess the deal positively. “We are happy to work with Maxwell Biotech Venture Fund as a reliable partner with an established international reputation, – noted doctor Carol Nacy, CEO of Sequella. – Considering the fearful rates of tuberculosis dissemination in general, and its multi-drug resistant form, in particular, the success of the new drug may be measured not only financially but in human lives as well. It’s a landmark date for TB patients in the territory of the former USSR and all those who, one way or another, are involved in the treatment of this dangerous disease”.
In the opinion of professor Vitaly Litvinov, RAMS Academician, chief specialist in tuberculosis of the Healthcare Department of the City of Moscow, Director of the Moscow Municipal Scientific and Practical Center for Tuberculosis Control, “the introduction of a new antitubercular agent developed by Infectex into the Russian market will expand the possibilities for treatment of patients with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, by ensuring efficiency upgrade, reduction of therapy timeframes and decrease in causal treatment adverse effects rate”.
“The top-priority task for Infectex is to organize and hold phases 2 and 3 of the clinical trials, and then, in case they are successful, introduce the drug to Russia and the CIS, – noted Yan Ryazantsev, Director of the Department for investments and expert examination of RVC. – This project requires the highest level of professionalism both from research scientists and from business units of the portfolio company, as well as active assistance on the part of the management team of Maxwell Biotech and RVC employees. The promising drug is very important for the medicine of our country and the medicine of the neighboring countries which have been struggling with tuberculosis for many years now”.