GUILFORD, CT -- (Marketwired) -- 06/06/13 -- LAM Therapeutics, the first biopharmaceutical company dedicated to identifying and developing drugs for the treatment of Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM), announced today that it has closed a Series A financing with private investors to launch operations. Proceeds from the financing will be used for identification of clinical stage drugs with potential activity against LAM and to conduct clinical trials.
LAM is a rare lung disease found primarily in women. Besides the lungs, LAM often affects other organs including lymph nodes and kidneys. LAM is characterized as a destructive, metastasizing neoplasm of smooth muscle-like cells that leads to progressive cystic lung disease. The disorder causes shortness of breath, lung destruction, respiratory failure and death.
LAM originates from mutations in tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) genes, resulting in the aberrant activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) complex 1 signaling network, which is also activated in the majority of human cancers. LAM can occur in otherwise healthy women (sporadic LAM) or in women who have TSC, a genetic disease associated with benign tumors of the brain, heart, skin and kidneys. Currently, there is no cure or FDA-approved drug for LAM.
Leading LAM Therapeutics as President and CSO is veteran drug developer Henri Lichenstein, Ph. D, who has held leadership positions at Amgen, CuraGen, Topotarget and BioPontis Alliance. The initial members of the LAM Therapeutics Scientific Advisory Board are Drs. Brendan Manning and Robert Spiegel. Dr. Brendan Manning is a leading researcher in mTOR signaling, TSC and LAM. He is a Professor in the Department of Genetics and Complex Diseases at the Harvard School of Public Health and obtained his Ph.D. at Yale University. Dr. Spiegel has greater than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, having played a significant role in the development of novel drugs as Senior VP of Worldwide Clinical Research and Chief Medical Officer at Schering-Plough. Dr. Spiegel obtained his M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. cum laude from Yale University.
"LAM is devastating to women that are of child-bearing age and older. New breakthrough drugs to treat and cure LAM will serve an unmet medical need. LAM Therapeutics is a product-focused company that will use an outsourced model of drug development. A superb network of advisors, contract research organizations, academic collaborators, patient advocate organizations and consultants will be utilized by LAM Therapeutics," said Henri Lichenstein.
"I look forward to working with LAM Therapeutics and helping to establish innovative screens that identify single agent and combination drugs that target the specific vulnerabilities of LAM cells to selectively eradicate these cells from LAM patients. Understanding the vulnerability that accompanies the proliferative and metastatic behavior of LAM cells may prove key to developing treatments for other cancers," said Dr. Brendan Manning.
"As new drugs are identified to treat LAM, I am delighted to aid LAM Therapeutics in the advancement of these agents through clinical development," said Dr. Robert Spiegel.
Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. serves as legal counsel to LAM Therapeutics.
About LAM Therapeutics
LAM Therapeutics is the first biopharmaceutical company dedicated to identifying and developing drugs for the treatment of Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM). LAM Therapeutics will use novel screening approaches to discover single agent or combination clinical stage drugs with potential to treat LAM. These drugs will be tested by conducting clinical trials in LAM patients. The primary focus of LAM Therapeutics is to develop drugs that provide long-lasting responses or remissions, thus improving length and quality of life for LAM patients. Because misregulated pathways in LAM cells may also be found in cancer cells, active drugs identified by LAM Therapeutics have the potential to be used in the treatment of other cancers. LAM Therapeutics is located in Guilford, CT. For more information, please visit the company's website at www.lamtherapeutics.com.
Henri Lichenstein, Ph.D.
President and Chief Scientific Officer
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