CDRD Invests in Sitka Biopharma to Advance Bladder Cancer Treatment to Clinical Trial

CDRD, Canadas national life sciences venture, is pleased to announce an increased commitment to Sitka Biopharma with a $1.2M investment. This new investment will enable Sitka and its partner Cancer Research UK (CRUK) to accelerate critical development activities and rapidly enter clinical trials of STK-01, Sitkas lead product for the treatment of bladder cancer.

Preclinical studies have established that Sitkas candidate formulation significantly improved bladder tissue uptake when compared to the commercial docetaxel formulation. Furthermore, the proprietary hyperbranched polyglycerols (HPG)-docetaxel formulation demonstrated superior efficacy over commercial docetaxel “ providing a preclinical proof-of-concept. Sitka is currently completing its GMP and GLP campaigns in preparation for the CRUK CTA filing and start of clinical trials.

A spin-off of CDRD and the University of British Columbia (UBC), Sitka Biopharma is a preclinical biotechnology company focused on developing its breakthrough nanoparticle platform technology to increase absorption of drugs in difficult-to-penetrate tissues. While STK-01 is being developed for the treatment of bladder cancer, follow-on indications of the current core formulation include intraperitoneal delivery for ovarian cancer and other indications where localized drug delivery would be advantageous but currently ineffective due to those penetration challenges.

This investment exemplifies CDRD commitment to powering the countrys life sciences industry by creating and growing companies of scale for Canadian life sciences to lead the world. Sitkas initial program is focused on treating bladder cancer but has promising potential to be a platform for other difficult-to-treat cancers, said Gordon McCauley, President and CEO of CDRD.

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Dr. Michael Parr, Sitkas President and Chief Scientific Officer added, We thank CDRD for this additional investment as it means we can build on successful milestones and advance our lead therapeutic for bladder cancer into Phase 1 clinical trials. This investment also allows the company to scale up its operations and expand STK-01 to additional indications.

Bladder cancer is the 4th most common cancer in men, and has the highest per patient lifetime cost of all cancers. The challenge in bladder cancer is that because of the nature of the bladder, drugs are not well-absorbed and only stay in the bladder for as long as the patient does not void their bladder “ a critical issue addressed by the Sitka technology.

This technology was initially developed through a collaboration between the UBC and CDRD. Sitkas funding includes investments by Quark Venture and early-stage grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Genome British Columbia, and the National Research Council of Canadas IRAP Program.

About Sitka Biopharma Sitka Biopharma is a preclinical biotechnology company focused on developing its breakthrough nanoparticle platform technology to increase absorption of drugs in difficult-to-penetrate tissues. Initially targeting oncology indications, Sitka is developing its lead candidate (STK-01) to address the absorption challenge of intravesical chemotherapy for bladder cancer, and later intraperitoneal delivery for ovarian cancer. Sitka is a spin-off company of CDRD (The Centre for Drug Research and Development), and the University of British Columbia (UBC). For more information, visit www.sitkabiopharma.com.

About CDRD CDRD is Canadas national life sciences venture, powering the countrys life sciences industry by creating and growing companies of scale “ while training the scientific and business talent needed to drive them to become leading global anchors for Canada. We do this by building collaborations with the very best partners from academia, industry, patient foundations, the investment community, and other Key Opinion Leaders , and providing the specialized expertise and infrastructure to identify, validate and advance promising discoveries, and transform them into commercially viable investment opportunities for the private sector and ultimately into new therapies for patients. www.cdrd.ca

Julia White
Senior Manager, Communications, CDRD
604.827.1226
[email protected]