Knopp Neurosciences Completes Series B2 Financing, Raising Total Capitalization to $27 Million
November 19, 2008
PITTSBURGH, Pa., November 19, 2008--Knopp Neurosciences Inc. ("Knopp") said its current investors exercised $6.6 million in Series B2 warrants, raising the company's total capitalization to $27 million.
Proceeds from the offering will be used to advance Knopp's discovery research targeting mitochondrial mechanisms of neurodegeneration and to complete an ongoing Phase 2 study of KNS-760704 in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
"In a challenging financial time, we're pleased that our investors recognized our progress to date and our prospects for continued rapid milestone attainment," said Michael Bozik, M.D., president and CEO of Knopp. Investors participating in the recent round include Saturn Partners II and Kramer Capital Partners.
Knopp also said it had completed enrollment in its randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 safety and tolerability study of KNS-760704 in ALS patients, with 102 patients randomized across 20 U.S. study centers. In this study, subjects receive three months of study drug or placebo and are then re-randomized into one of two active dose groups for a longer-term study of safety, tolerability, and functional outcomes.
About KNS 760704
KNS-760704 is a small molecule shown to improve mitochondrial function and confer cellular protection in cells under stress. Currently in clinical development for the treatment of ALS, KNS-760704 is the chirally pure oral form of the synthetic amino-benzothiazole (6R)-4,5,6,7-tetrahydro-N6-propyl-2,6-benzothiazole-diamine. Like its S(-) optical enantiomer, pramipexole dihydrochloride (Mirapex®), KNS-760704 has been shown to be effective in a range of neuroprotective assays. Unlike Mirapex®, a selective, high affinity dopamine agonist approved for the treatment of Parkinson's disease, KNS-760704 exhibits very limited dopamine receptor affinity, making it possible to clinically evaluate its potential neuroprotective activity over a broad dose range. The compound's use in ALS has received orphan drug designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Phase 1 studies in healthy volunteers have been completed.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease or Charcot's sclerosis, is a rapid, universally fatal neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive muscle weakness and wasting. ALS affects adults in the prime of life and creates a substantial burden for caregivers. U.S. prevalence is approximately 30,000 and the incidence is nearly 2 per 100,000. Only a single drug has been approved for the treatment of ALS. Life expectancy after symptom onset is usually three to five years.
About Knopp Neurosciences Inc.
Knopp Neurosciences is a drug discovery and development company focused on delivering breakthrough treatments for neurological disorders through innovation, experience, and partnership. The company's lead product candidate is KNS-760704, an orally bioavailable small molecule in development for the treatment of ALS. Knopp's leadership includes experienced neuroscience drug development and discovery executives formerly associated with major pharmaceutical companies. Knopp's financing has been led by Saturn Capital Inc. of Boston as placement agent and Saturn Partners II as lead funder.
Mirapex® is a registered trademark of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma KG Corporation.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements," including statements relating to Knopp's planned regulatory filings and clinical development programs for KNS-760704. All forward-looking statements are based on management's current assumptions and expectations and involve risks, uncertainties and other important factors, specifically including the uncertainties inherent in clinical trials and product development programs, the availability of funding to support continued research and studies, the availability or potential availability of alternative therapies or treatments, the availability of patent protection for the discoveries and strategic alliances, as well as additional factors that may cause Knopp's actual results to differ from our expectations. There can be no assurance that KNS-760704 will be successfully developed or manufactured or that final results of clinical studies will be supportive of regulatory approvals required to market the products. Knopp undertakes no obligation to update or revise any such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Thomas Petzinger Jr.