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CDRD Invests in Sitka Biopharma to Advance Bladder Cancer Treatment to Clinical Trial

Monday, February 11th 2019 at 5:00pm UTC

VANCOUVER, British Columbia–(BUSINESS WIRE)– CDRD, Canada’s national life sciences venture, is pleased to announce an
increased commitment to Sitka Biopharma with a $1.2M investment. This
new investment will enable Sitka and its partner Cancer Research UK
(CRUK) to accelerate critical development activities and rapidly enter
clinical trials of STK-01, Sitka’s lead product for the treatment of
bladder cancer.

Preclinical studies have established that Sitka’s candidate formulation
significantly improved bladder tissue uptake when compared to the
commercial docetaxel formulation. Furthermore, the proprietary
hyperbranched polyglycerols (HPG)-docetaxel formulation demonstrated
superior efficacy over commercial docetaxel – providing a preclinical
proof-of-concept. Sitka is currently completing its GMP and GLP
campaigns in preparation for the CRUK CTA filing and start of clinical
trials.

A spin-off of CDRD and the University of British Columbia (UBC), Sitka
Biopharma is a preclinical biotechnology company focused on developing
its breakthrough nanoparticle platform technology to increase absorption
of drugs in difficult-to-penetrate tissues. While STK-01 is being
developed for the treatment of bladder cancer, follow-on indications of
the current core formulation include intraperitoneal delivery for
ovarian cancer and other indications where localized drug delivery would
be advantageous but currently ineffective due to those penetration
challenges.

“This investment exemplifies CDRD commitment to powering the country’s
life sciences industry by creating and growing companies of scale for
Canadian life sciences to lead the world. Sitka’s initial program is
focused on treating bladder cancer but has promising potential to be a
platform for other difficult-to-treat cancers,” said Gordon McCauley,
President and CEO of CDRD.

Dr. Michael Parr, Sitka’s President and Chief Scientific Officer added,
“We thank CDRD for this additional investment as it means we can build
on successful milestones and advance our lead therapeutic for bladder
cancer into Phase 1 clinical trials. This investment also allows the
company to scale up its operations and expand STK-01 to additional
indications.”

Bladder cancer is the 4th most common cancer in men, and has
the highest per patient lifetime cost of all cancers. The challenge in
bladder cancer is that because of the nature of the bladder, drugs are
not well-absorbed and only stay in the bladder for as long as the
patient does not void their bladder – a critical issue addressed by the
Sitka technology.

This technology was initially developed through a collaboration between
the UBC and CDRD. Sitka’s funding includes investments by Quark Venture
and early-stage grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research
(CIHR), Genome British Columbia, and the National Research Council of
Canada’s IRAP Program.

About Sitka Biopharma
Sitka Biopharma is a preclinical
biotechnology company focused on developing its breakthrough
nanoparticle platform technology to increase absorption of drugs in
difficult-to-penetrate tissues. Initially targeting oncology
indications, Sitka is developing its lead candidate (STK-01) to address
the absorption challenge of intravesical chemotherapy for bladder
cancer, and later intraperitoneal delivery for ovarian cancer. Sitka is
a spin-off company of CDRD (The Centre for Drug Research and
Development), and the University of British Columbia (UBC). For more
information, visit www.sitkabiopharma.com.

About CDRD
CDRD is Canada’s national life sciences venture,
powering the country’s life sciences industry by creating and growing
companies of scale – while training the scientific and business talent
needed to drive them to become leading global anchors for Canada. We do
this by building collaborations with the very best partners from
academia, industry, patient foundations, the investment community, and
other Key Opinion Leaders , and providing the specialized expertise and
infrastructure to identify, validate and advance promising discoveries,
and transform them into commercially viable investment opportunities for
the private sector — and ultimately into new therapies for patients. www.cdrd.ca

Contacts

Julia White
Senior Manager, Communications, CDRD
604.827.1226
jwhite@cdrd.ca

Source: The Centre for Drug Research and Development


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