RIDGEFIELD, CT AND NEW YORK, NY – (April 5, 2022) – Thetis Pharmaceuticals (“Thetis”), a pioneering therapeutics biotechnology company developing a first-in-class small molecule (TP-317) as a potential oral first-line therapy for treatment of Crohn’s disease, has secured $4.2 million in non-dilutive financing from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. Structured as a program-related investment in the form of a loan, the Helmsley funding supports the early clinical development of TP-317.
Current treatment options for people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease, have significant limitations: only a subset of people with IBD experience improvement with treatment, many people lose their response to treatment over time, many available treatments must be injected with a needle, and they can suppress the immune system leaving some people susceptible to infections and cancer. TP-317 is a stabilized small molecule of Resolvin E1, a naturally occurring lipid that promotes resolution of inflammation and tissue repair without suppressing the immune system. If successful, this project would bring a novel oral therapeutic closer to market with the potential to improve outcomes and quality of life for people living with Crohn’s disease.
Dr. Bruce Sands, Chief of the Division of Gastroenterology for the Mount Sinai Health System in New York and a paid clinical advisor to Thetis, commented, “Mechanistically, TP-317 has the potential to address a critical unmet need for safe, oral therapies for Crohn’s disease patients without the side effects associated with immune suppression.”
“The Crohn’s Disease Program at Helmsley is dedicated to addressing the needs of people living with the disease and invests in research and technologies that will improve care and treatment,” said Dr. Jessica Langer, Program Officer for the Helmsley Crohn’s Disease Program. “Ensuring that promising potential therapies are not lost in development due to lack of early-stage funding is an important part of this. We are excited to work with Thetis as we seek to improve treatment options and quality of life for people with Crohn’s disease.”
“TP-317 represents a paradigm shift in the treatment of IBD,” said Gary Mathias, co-founder and CEO of Thetis. “We are grateful to the Helmsley Charitable Trust for supporting our vision and providing an opportunity to validate this novel therapeutic approach.”
The active agent in TP-317 is Resolvin E1 (RvE1), a naturally occurring molecule discovered by biomedical researchers at Harvard Medical School. RvE1 is an agonist of the ChemR23 receptor that activates multiple pathways to resolve inflammation and promote healing without compromising the host’s ability to fight infection. Based on its unique, non-immunosuppressive mechanism of action, TP-317 is differentiated from drugs approved to treat IBD and investigational drugs currently in development. Phase 1 studies of other formulations of oral RvE1 indicate that it is safe and generally well tolerated in healthy volunteers. Thetis plans to begin clinical investigation of TP-317 in 2023.
About Inflammatory Bowel Disease
IBD is a chronic, progressive disease characterized by inflammation and ulceration of the intestines that includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Symptoms typically include diarrhea mixed with blood, abdominal pain, increased bowel movements and in severe cases, weight loss and fatigue. Currently available medications alleviate inflammation and reduce symptoms, but do not provide a cure or prevent long-term complications, and some have serious adverse effects, including increased risk of severe infection and malignancy. As a result, there continues to be a high unmet medical need for additional oral agents that are safe and effective for the induction and maintenance of remission of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
About Thetis Pharmaceuticals
Thetis is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to improving the lives of patients suffering from autoimmune diseases and cancer. Thetis’ proprietary HEALER™ technology platform enables the pharmaceutical development of Resolvins, a class of endogenous lipid mediators that promote the resolution of inflammation. Thetis’ HEALER™ technology overcomes the stability, manufacturing, and formulation hurdles that have limited the development of Resolvins as pharmaceutical agents, unlocking their robust pharmacology to be developed as first-in-class drugs with composition of matter patent protection.
For more information, please visit Thetis Pharmaceuticals’ website (http://thetispharma.com) and follow Thetis on Twitter (@thetispharma).
About the Helmsley Charitable Trust
The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust aspires to improve lives by supporting exceptional efforts in the United States and around the world in health and select place-based initiatives. Since beginning active grantmaking in 2008, Helmsley has committed more than $3 billion for a wide range of charitable purposes. Helmsley’s Crohn’s Disease Program supports impactful ideas and mobilizes a global community committed to improving the lives of Crohn’s disease patients while pursuing a cure. For more information, visit helmsleytrust.org.
Senior Director of Business Development
Helmsley Charitable Trust