KalVista Pharmaceuticals announces closing of merger with Carbylan Therapeutics. The continued focus in 2017 will be on development of protease inhibitors with multiple molecules for oral treatment of hereditary angioedema.
KalVista Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of small molecule protease inhibitors, announced the closing of the previously announced merger with Carbylan Therapeutics, Inc. As a result of the completion of this transaction, Carbylan changed its name to KalVista Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
KalVista is now funded with more than $38 million to support its portfolio of drug development programs, initially focused on oral plasma kallikrein treatments for hereditary angioedema (HAE) and diabetic macular edema (DME). KalVista is developing a portfolio of drugs for HAE, with the first oral HAE candidate, KVD818, having commenced a Phase I clinical trial in the third quarter of 2016. Additional HAE candidates are planned to begin clinical trials in 2017 and beyond.
KalVista’s objective is to advance multiple oral drug candidates through Phase I, first-in-human studies in order to select those with the potential to deliver best-in-class status for further development. KalVista is also developing KVD001, an intravitreally-delivered therapy for DME. This program has completed a Phase I clinical trial in DME patients and is expected to progress to Phase II clinical development in 2017.
In conjunction with the closing, KalVista welcomed Benjamin L. Palleiko as the chief financial officer of KalVista. Mr. Palleiko has over 20 years of experience in the industry, as both a senior life sciences investment banker and chief financial officer of several public and private life sciences companies. He has raised more than $2 billion in capital and completed over 50 transactions in his business career.
“The transition of KalVista to the public markets is an important milestone in the strategic development of the company as we advance our pipeline of novel serine protease therapeutics,” said Andrew Crockett, KalVista’s chief executive officer. “With the capital raised in this transaction and an experienced leadership team, KalVista is even better positioned to accelerate our clinical programs to bring new treatment options to patients with hereditary angioedema and diabetic macular edema. We also are particularly pleased that Ben Palleiko has chosen to join us as CFO at this time, as his deep background and skills will help us as we enter the next phase of growing shareholder value as a public company.”
The executive leadership of the new company is comprised of members of the KalVista management team, with members of the Carbylan team departing the company. The management team is initially comprised of Crockett as chief executive officer; Christopher Yea, Ph.D. as chief development officer; and Palleiko as chief financial officer. The board of directors is comprised of seven members, consisting of five members designated by KalVista: Richard Aldrich, who will serve as chairman, Joshua Resnick, M.D., Rajeev Shah, Edward W. Unkart and Crockett; and two members designated by Carbylan, Albert Cha, M.D., Ph.D, and Arnold L. Oronsky, Ph.D. The company has offices in Cambridge, MA and Porton Down, U.K.
Hereditary angioedema is a rare and potentially life-threatening genetic condition that occurs in fewer than one in 10,000 people. HAE patients are susceptible to sudden and prolonged attacks of edema, which often occur in the hands, feet, face, gastrointestinal tract, and airway. Attacks can result in severe swelling and pain, airway blockage, and nausea.
Diabetic Macular Edema is a sight-threatening disease caused by disruption of the blood/retinal barrier leading to the accumulation of fluid in the macula and vision loss. DME affects an estimated 16% of diabetic patients within their lifetime, according to a 2012 study published in Diabetes Care. Approximately 900,000 patients in the United States alone have active DME and are at serious risk of vision loss, according to a 2013 study.
(Source: Globe Newswire)