Galectin-3 inhibitors offer new hope for an important unmet medical need
BURLINGTON, – G3 Pharmaceuticals, a development-stage biopharmaceutical company located in Burlington, MA, today announced the signing of an exclusive license and option agreement with Henry Ford Health System, based in Detroit, MI, for development and commercialization of galectin-3 inhibitors for treatment of diastolic heart failure, also known as heart failure with preserved ejection fraction or HFpEF.
The agreement grants G3 Pharmaceuticals the right to elect an exclusive license to US patent application 14/654,140 (allowed) and its continuations and related patents. In conjunction with this license and option regarding galectin-3 IP by G3 Pharmaceuticals Henry Ford Health System will acquire a minority equity position in G3 Pharmaceuticals.
Heart failure is a common and serious condition in which the heart muscle is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s nutrition and oxygen needs. Heart failure is typically classified in two forms: heart failure due to a weak heart muscle (HFrEF) or heart failure where the heart is too stiff to sufficiently relax and adequately fill with each heartbeat. This latter form is known as diastolic heart failure, or heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF). An estimated 3.2 million Americans over the age of 20 have HFpEF, representing approximately 50% of all heart failure. HFpEF is associated with poor quality of life, high health-care resource utilization, and high mortality. The risk of HFpEF increases sharply with age. Hypertension, obesity, and coronary artery disease are additional risk factors. There is no approved therapy for treatment of HFpEF.
“This recently allowed patent provided an important opportunity to expand our galectin-3 related IP portfolio,” said Pieter Muntendam, MD, President and CEO of G3 Pharmaceuticals. “The combination of composition of matter IP and indication or pathway-specific IP is generally desired but rarely achieved in the biopharmaceutical space.”
“HFpEF represents one of the largest unmet needs in cardiovascular medicine, with its epidemic proportions and no effective therapies,” said Bertram Pitt, MD, Professor of Medicine Emeritus at the University of Michigan School of Medicine and one of the co-founders of G3 Pharmaceuticals. “The effects of galectin-3 inhibition are the strongest ever observed at Henry Ford Health System in the heart failure animal model in over 20 years of testing numerous treatment strategies, giving us hope and optimism about this novel therapeutic option.”
“Henry Ford Health System is pleased to work with G3 Pharmaceuticals through its cardiovascular research division, directed by Dr. Hani N. Sabbah, to help to further develop this technology and make it available for patients with heart failure,” said Mark E. Coticchia, Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer of Henry Ford Health System.
Galectin-3 is an unusual protein, which was first discovered in the 1970s. It is characterized by its ability to bind to special complex carbohydrates through a site on the protein known as the carbohydrate recognition domain (CRD). Galectin-3 is found in all species from the round worm to humans. Its role throughout evolution was to protect the animal after major injury through the formation of fibrotic sheets. In modern man, with access to medical care, massive injury is no longer left to natural healing but is typically treated surgically. However, smaller injuries, such as a heart attack, micro injuries caused by hypertension, or activation of the renin-angiotensin aldosterone system (RAAS), can activate the galectin-3 fibrosis formation in the heart, kidneys, and lungs. In this way, a protective system that was vital during evolution has now become a cause of important disease. The CRD offers a path to inhibiting galectin-3 by certain complex carbohydrates. Natural and synthetic research compounds have been found to bind galectin-3 and, in doing so, neutralize its activity. G3 Pharmaceuticals is pursuing the development of novel, semi-synthetic pharmaceuticals galectin-3 inhibitors for oral use.
About G3 Pharmaceuticals
G3 Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a privately held biopharmaceutical company located in Burlington, MA. The company was founded by thought leaders in the fields of galectin-3 biology, cardiovascular pharmaceutical development, and carbohydrate drug synthesis and manufacturing. The founders have played a material role in advancing the understanding of the role of galectin-3 in cardiovascular and renal disease, and in the exploration of pharmaceutical inhibition of galectin-3 by carbohydrate compounds. Publications related to this galectin-3 research by the founders have been cited over 2,000 times, illustrating the importance of these contributions to advancing the science that forms the foundation of G3 Pharmaceuticals. For more information visit www.G3pharmaceuticals.com.
About Henry Ford Health System
Henry Ford Health System is a six-hospital system headquartered in Detroit, Michigan. It is one of the nation’s leading comprehensive, integrated health systems, recognized for clinical excellence and innovation. Henry Ford Health System provides both health insurance and health care delivery, including acute, specialty, primary and preventive care services backed by excellence in research and education. Henry Ford Health System is led by President & CEO Wright Lassiter III. Visit HenryFord.com to learn more.
SOURCE G3 Pharmaceuticals