HBC Immunology LLC (HBCI), a majority owned subsidiary of Hofseth BioCare ASA (HBC), has completed the required minimum seed capital financing of approx. $900,000 from external investors to commence preclinical animal trials with its patented peptides, FT-002 and FT-005.
These are analogs of peptides discovered by HBC in ProGo® bioactive peptides, which modulate iron metabolism and have Qualified Health claims granted for this mode of action, verifying their safety and efficacy.
HBCI was established as a subsidiary of HBC earlier this year, with a focus on the discovery and development of peptides that normalize tumor micro-environments, resulting in the improved performance of immunotherapies and chemotherapies. The first targeted indication is advanced prostate cancer with the aim to move into earlier stages of the disease and ultimately to both improve patient quality of life and survival. Other potential cancer indications with on-going in vitro work, include breast and ovarian cancer.
HBCI’s CEO, Dr. Bomi Framroze says: “HBCI is at the forefront of research in using peptides to modulate gene expression. Our first therapeutic target is resistant CRPC (castration-resistant prostate cancer). We hope to reinvigorate the sensitivity of these tumors to standard AR inhibitors via modulation of the FTH1 gene within the tumor micro-environment.”
“Although we are just at the pre-clinical phase of drug development, we are expecting significant results within the next 12 months to validate this investment. The foundation of HBCI cements our position as market leaders in the field of marine peptides research by building on our unique Qualified Health claims targeting iron deficiency and antioxidant benefits and taking them to the next level into the pharma space,” comments James Berger, CCO at HBC.
The objective of this round’s use of proceeds is to demonstrate the bioactivity of the lead peptides in animal xenograft models of prostate cancer. This seed capital is expected to fund HBCI to a decision to open a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigational new drug application (IND) by the end of 2024.