Starton Therapeutics

Transforming cancer treatment with proprietary transdermal t...


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Starton Therapeutics: Fast Facts

Starton Therapeutics is a clinical stage biotechnology company transforming standard of care therapies with proprietary transdermal technology, so people with cancer can receive continuous treatment to live better, longer.

Our proprietary transdermal technology can increase efficacy of approved drugs, using 75% less medicine, making them more tolerable and expanding their potential use.

1. Decision resources group, August 2019. 2. GlobalData, March 2019

An Unmet Need for Better Cancer Treatment

Starton is initially focused on blood cancers, its lead program is in development for Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and multiple myeloma (MM) - the most common blood cancers in the US.

While some oral treatments for these cancers are highly successful, they do not achieve optimal efficacy given that oral delivery leads to fluctuating levels of medicine in the patient. The initial high drug levels often cause adverse side effects and the periods of subtherapeutic levels may lead to diminished efficacy over time.

1. Cancer Net, 2021

If these side effects can be reduced, and efficacy increased, people with cancer can tolerate maintenance therapy for potential decades to help them stay in remission. These cancers that were previously a death sentence would instead become more like a chronic disease: with a longer lifespan and healthier quality of life.

Starton is looking to do just that.

More Tolerable, Continuous Treatment

Starton’s proprietary transdermal technology delivers treatment continuously, avoiding the fluctuating cycle of oral delivery and bringing the potential to increase the efficacy of approved drugs, make them more tolerable and expand their potential use.

Starton’s premier innovation is STAR-LLD: a proprietary, transdermal patch-based reformulation of oral REVLIMID® (lenalidomide), the blockbuster drug that slows the progression of MM. We are also developing STAR-LLD for continuous subcutaneous injection.

A proof-of-concept preclinical study for STAR-LLD showed unprecedented efficacy improvement using up to 90% less drug than the oral equivalent formulation, thereby unlocking the potential for patients to live better, longer.¹

This study is supporting a broad patent for the continuous delivery of the IMID class of compounds to which Revlimid belongs.

1. Data on file

STAR-LLD Potential

1) Expand into new segments of multiple myeloma (MM):
40% of people with high-risk smoldering multiple myeloma (SMM) treated with oral lenalidomide discontinued treatment due to drug-related side effects. STAR-LLD is able to mitigate these side-effects and allow patients to tolerate treatment longer.¹
1. Lonial S, et al. J Clin Oncol 2020;38:1126-1137.

2. Delforge M, Ludwig H. How I manage the toxicities of myeloma drugs. Blood 2017;129:2359–2367.
3. Raedler LA. Revlimid (Lenalidomide) Now FDA Approved as First-Line Therapy for Patients with Multiple Myeloma. Am Health Drug Benefits 2016;9:140–143.

STAR-OLZ Program

Along with STAR-LLD, our more advanced program STAR-OLZ continues to validate Starton’s delivery system as well.

STAR-OLZ is our multi-day transdermal delivery system of the atypical antipsychotic, olanzapine. Olanzapine has been shown to be a powerful treatment for nausea and vomiting and is recommended in treatment guidelines to alleviate the symptoms of chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV).¹

Based on the positive outcome of our phase 1 study, we expect to advance STAR-OLZ to a phase 2 clinical study in the second half of 2021.

1. Shumway, N.M; Terrazzino, S.E.; Jones, C. B. 27, 9633–9633

Promising Successes

Proprietary Algorithm | Our proprietary algorithm screened 88,000 FDA-approved drugs and identified 35 strong candidates for Starton's transdermal technology, creating a long-lasting, robust pipeline.

Advanced Clinical Stage Assets | Phase 2: STAR-OLZ (Q4 2021); Phase 1: STAR-LLD (Q4 2021); three products in preclinical development. Multiple milestones expected in the coming 12-18 months

Validated Technology and Market Opportunity | Starton's STAR-OLZ has a licensing deal with HAISCO Pharmaceutical Group in China for $7.5 million in upfront/milestones plus high single-digit to low-double-digit royalties.

3 year audited financials, no debt, no warrants | Starton has completed multiple financings at increasing valuations. Spun-out IP for non-core development program in US$15 million transaction.

Meet Our Team

Pedro Lichtinger, Chairman and CEO | Pedro is an industry executive with a 37-year career in biotechnology. He has a proven track record of developing turnaround and financing strategies and executing strategic alliances. He is the former President and CEO of two biotechnology companies and has 16 years of experience at Pfizer Inc. as President of Global Primary Care and President of Europe. 

Cidnee Vaykovich, COO | Cidnee is a 7-year biotechnology expert. She was previously a research analyst in New Product Development at Aequus Pharmaceuticals and an associate in seed and early-stage private equity at NorthView LifeSciences.

Jamie Oliver, Chief Medical Officer | Dr. Oliver’s experience spans 12 years in academia and 24 years in both the public and private sectors of the biotechnology/pharmaceutical industry and contract research organizations. He has served in numerous roles in clinical development operations including Chief Operating Officer, Senior Vice President of Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs and Chief Scientific and Medical Officer.

Keith Darragh, CFO | Keith brings 20 years of experience in the life sciences industry. He is the former CFO of two global, privately-held biopharmaceutical companies.

Andy Rensink, Chief Manufacturing Officer | Andy has more than 30 years of operational experience including 13 years in transdermal development and manufacturing. He is the former President and Chief Operating Officer of Tapemark, where he led development, strategy implementation for pharmaceutical contract development, and manufacturing organization.

Scientific Committee + Board Members

Mohamad Hussein, MD, Chair, Scientific Committee Board Member | Dr. Mohamad Hussein currently serves as a professor of medicine and oncology at the University of South Florida College of Medicine. He has over thirty years of combined academic and pharmaceutical experience. He is the former Medical Affairs leader of Calgene where he built a robust medical affairs division, created a Global Hematology physician group and drove the pipeline strategy for multiple myeloma.

Kenneth Anderson, Multiple Myeloma Lead, Board Member | Dr. Anderson is Kraft Family Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School as well as director of the Lebow Institute for Myeloma Therapeutics and Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. He has over four decades of experience researching multiple myeloma in both laboratory and clinical settings.

Asher Chanan-Khan, MD, CLL Lead, Board Member | Dr. Chanan-Khan is a professor of medicine and co-chairman of the Hematologic Malignancies Program at the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in Jacksonville. Dr. Chanan-Khan led the Phase 3 clinical studies of Revlimid in CLL.

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