16 Feb '18
Hemopharm, a Russian biotech company, is developing a drug candidate that might help multiple myeloma patients.
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells. Initially, often no symptoms are noticed; but when advanced, bone pain, bleeding, frequent infections, and anemia may occur. Complications may include amyloidosis. Believed to be incurable, the disease stays with the patient for as long as he lives, and all physicians can do is increase his life expectancy and improve the quality of life. Drugs currently available in the market are known for high toxicity and low efficacy, which necessitates the development of low-toxicity target drugs to boost the patient’s resistance.
The new Hemopharm solution is expected to evolve to be such a drug. No direct competition has been reported so far in the global pharmaceutical market. The drug candidate is a humanized antibody with purportedly outstanding anti-tumor activity and low toxicity with proven in vivo efficacy.
Last fall Primer Capital, a Russian VC fund that invests primarily in pharmaceutical and biotech projects, supported an early development stage financially. Primer Capital Executive Director Elizaveta Rozhdestvenskaya then said in an interview that the fund “expected preclinical trials to provide ample evidence to the high efficacy of the drug” and promised to “readily consider participating in the project’s next funding round to back the clinical trial stage.”