Denis Corin has spent the last 13 years in the biopharmaceutical industry watching and learning from scientists and companies that fail.
“I’ve seen so many promising and innovative young technologies really struggle along or die on the vine because they’re run by scientists who don’t really understanding capital raising,” he told Drug Delivery Business News. “They run out of ‘friends and family money’ and they get stuck in this limbo land of trying to raise the next round of capital to get their product to the next step in its product development evolution.”
“That’s why we put Q BioMed together – to establish a well-structured company with access to capital that could go and source what we thought were undervalued, underappreciated, and under-recognized biotechnology assets in the space and bring them some of those missing pieces, strategic resources, to help accelerate their development,” he explained.
One of those assets was a strontium chloride injection designed to relieve pain in patients with metastatic bone disease. It was approved as a generic by the FDA but was later shelved after one of the people who helped developed it fell ill.
“We had met them over the years in various iterations and when we put Q Biomed together, I remembered meeting them and I knew that this asset was sitting out there on the shelf,” Corin said.
The drug is given in a single injection and takes two weeks to reach its maximum potency within the body, according to Corin. There, it lasts for three to six months without the side effects and addictive qualities associated with opioid pain-killers.
“A lot of these patients are spending the final days of their lives in metastatic disease states really dosed heavily on opiates. It essentially leaves them in like a zombie-like state, because this is such a painful and debilitating condition to be in,” the chief executive said.
Q Biomed is positioning its Sr-89 injection as an affordable and effective alternative to opioids for patients with late-stage cancer. Although the drug is indicated as a pain reliever, Corin believes there is an opportunity to expand the label and market it as a therapeutic.
“The first step is to dust off the ANDA, establish manufacturing facilities, sort of rework it a little bit and get the drug ready for commercial availability, which we’re in the process of doing right now,” he said. “The drug should be available, with a little luck, by the end of this year, in terms of manufacturing, because we’ve had to re-establish manufacturing facilities and procedures, and SOPs and get all of that approved by the FDA as a change in manufacturer. But that should all be done by the end of the year. And then we’ll have that drug available commercially for its indicated use, which is in pain palliation from breast, prostate, and lung cancer.”
The company, named as a reference to James Bond’s gadget R&D division, isn’t just interested in bringing cancer drugs to the market. It’s also working on drugs for pediatric non-verbal spectrum disorder and glaucoma.
“It’s got to be more than just bringing money to the equation. There’s got to be a really great synergistic fit between us, our team, and theirs and the technology,” Corin explained.
“I don’t really want to be boxed into any of those therapeutic areas. We’ve got a really deep bench of clinical and scientific advisors that can help us assess technologies in multiple therapeutic areas. So we really want to be able to look where we think there’s great value and where we can bring some resources to the company and help accelerate it.”