Raptor Pharmaceutical acquires initial clinical program and establishes subsidiary Bennu Pharmaceuticals to develop Clinical Phase Drugs
Raptor Pharmaceuticals Corp has acquired clinical-stage product and the formation of a wholly- owned subsidiary, Bennu Pharmaceuticals Inc. The subsidiary will be responsible for clinical development of internally discovered therapeutic candidates based on Raptor Pharmaceutical's novel drug delivery platforms and in-licensed clinical-stage products. Bennu will focus initially on a product targeting aldehyde dehydrogenase deficiency, a genetic metabolic disorder. The ALDH2 deficiency product candidate was among assets acquired by Raptor from Convivia, Inc. ("Convivia"), a California-based development-stage pharmaceutical company. Raptor also named Convivia's CEO and founder, Ted Daley, as President of Bennu.
Raptor Pharmaceuticals Corp.'s business consists of two segments: its 100% ownership of Raptor Pharmaceutical Inc. ("Raptor Inc."), a development stage biotechnology company which bioengineers novel drug candidates and drug- targeting platforms derived from the human receptor-associated protein ("RAP") and related proteins
The ALDH2 deficiency product candidate is a proprietary oral formulation of a drug previously approved to treat another indication by intravenous administration. Bennu plans to file an investigational new drug ("IND") submission to the Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") for the initiation of a Phase II clinical trial in 2008, subject to FDA approval of its IND.
Through the establishment of Bennu, Raptor Pharmaceuticals Corp. will be structured such that Raptor Pharmaceutical Inc. will drive research and development efforts, including preclinical studies, while Bennu will execute the clinical development of internal products and in-licensed candidates that are: 1) new chemical entities in mid-to-late stage clinical development; 2) currently approved drugs with potential efficacy in additional indications; and 3) treatments that Bennu could repurpose or reformulate as potentially more effective or convenient treatments for their currently approved indications.
To optimize the development path of the ALDH2 deficiency product candidate, Bennu has retained Pacific BioDevelopment, LLC, a drug development consulting firm. Pacific BioDevelopment will advise on product formulation, medical, clinical and regulatory execution related to the ALDH2 deficiency program.