Jivana Biotechnology raised $1 million for its preclinical work using targeted RNA-based therapies to treat a variety of cancers, according to a regulatory filing the Oak Park, Ill.-based company submitted this week.
The minimum investment from an outside investor was $50,000, the company reported, and it used an estimated $125,000 for payments to its executive officers. CEO Sidney Hopps filed the report, along with CFO Kenneth Templin.
The biotech company works on modifying a protein in cancer cells that controls cell death (apoptosis) using a process called gene silencing, in which researchers deliver RNA to specific cells to stop the cellular translation of particular genes. By stopping the production of the anti-apoptic protein, the company claims it can trigger spontaneous cancer cell death and increase cancer cell sensitivity to chemotherapy and inhibitory drugs.
The company’s website says it is filing multiple combination therapy and dosing patents, as well as filing for orphan drug designations for its therapies that it claims will target a $20 billion market.
In order to package the RNA therapeutics and deliver them to particular cells, Jivana needs a targeted delivery vehicle. The company has a targeted nanoparticle in its pipeline that it is testing in preclinical trials for breast, ovarian, lung and pancreatic cancers. Jivana is also working on 2 targeted molecular conjugates and 2 non-targeted liposomes.
“Jivana Biotechnology has exclusive global rights to a patent allowing us to deliver siRNA against a key gene target that is over-expressed in hepatocellular carcinomas (HCC), breast, prostate, pancreatic, ovarian, thyroid, melanoma, and numerous other cancers,” the company wrote on its website. “The delivery formulations are specifically engineered to accumulate in tumors throughout the body and mediate efficient delivery of the siRNAs to the RNAi machinery in the cancer cell cytoplasm. The delivery particles are well tolerated and manufactured by Jivana Biotechnology’s partners using well-established GMP operations to ensure commercial consistency and scalability.”