BioVascular, Revitus join forces to target vascular disease

By Mike Nagle

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Clinical trial Blood

Two privately held biotech companies developing compounds to
prevent blood clots have merged as their second drug candidate
enters clinical trials.

BioVascular have been focussing on diseases mediated by platelets - cell fragments that cause blood clots - ever since it in-licensed an anticoagulant biopharmaceutical from Merck KGaA in 2005. However, that drug remained their only one in clinical development until yesterday, when it merged with Revitus, which has a first-in-class platelet count reducer, BVI-007, entering Phase I trials. "Both compounds target platelets, but with different mechanisms of action and therapeutic applications,"​ explained John Parrish, CEO of BioVascular. BVI-007 is a thrombopoietin blocker that reduces platelet production without impacting platelet function. The first subject in a Phase Ia clinical trial has recently been dosed with the drug. Two novel controlled release formulations of BVI-007 are being tested in the trial and it is hoped the compound may eventually prove effective at preventing heart attacks, thrombotic stokes and death in patients who have had a previous cardiovascular event. BioVascular's original drug, saratin, is a polypeptide originally discovered in leech saliva and now produced as a recombinant protein. It prevents platelets from sticking to arterial wall collagens in damaged blood vessels, a process mediated through Von Willebrand factor (vWF). Saratin is currently in two Phase I/II clinical trials for vascular graft failures due to intimal hyperplasia. "Together, Revitus and BioVascular are developing a synergistic portfolio of unique compounds that could potentially solve major problems in the treatment of a wide range of vascular diseases,"​ continued Parrish. As part of the merger, the CEO of Revitus, Dr Stephen Hanson, will join BioVascular's board of directors and the merged company will be headquartered in San Diego, BioVascular's current location. Terms of the merger were not disclosed. "Given the limited efficacy and bleeding side effects associated with current products used to prevent heart attacks, a clear need exists for improved therapies,"​ said Hanson. "Clinical evidence demonstrates that high numbers of circulating platelets are associated with an increased incidence of heart attack and thrombotic stroke. While most companies are developing drugs that interfere with how a platelet functions, BVI-007 simply reduces the number of circulating platelets. "This novel therapeutic approach should allow for the prevention of thromboembolic events without increasing the risk of bleeding, potentially enabling safer, more effective preventative treatments for at risk patients." ​ The newly enlarged company expects to begin a Phase Ib dose selection study in the final quarter of this year.

Related topics Preclinical Research

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