Valocor Therapeutics, Inc., a newly formed company focused on the development of innovative therapies for the treatment of dermatologic conditions, today announced the acquisition and license of certain dermatology therapeutic programs from QLT Inc. ("QLT") (NASDAQ:QLTI)(TSX:QLT). This transaction was facilitated by a seed financing for Valocor led by the Working Opportunity Fund, which is managed by GrowthWorks Capital Ltd.
“Despite research advances that have yielded new therapies in the fields of oncology, autoimmunity and other areas, there are still many common, yet serious skin conditions for which there are no approved or truly effective and safe treatments available”
Valocor Therapeutics was founded by Daniel Wattier, President and Chief Executive Officer, David Hunt, Ph.D., V.P. of Research and Agnes Chan, Ph.D., V.P. Project Direction and Operations. The company also announced that Julia Levy, Ph.D., former CEO of QLT, has joined the Valocor Board as Chairman. Dr. Levy co-founded QLT, Inc. and is the co-inventor of that company's lead product Visudyne®, which received FDA approval under her leadership.
Through the transaction, Valocor obtains an exclusive license to Lemuteporfin, a clinical stage topical photodynamic therapy (PDT) product candidate for moderate to severe acne and acquires a robust product portfolio of novel, topical small molecule therapeutics for acne, atopic dermatitis and vitiligo (pigment loss).
"Valocor's innovative portfolio of dermatologic therapeutic candidates provides an exciting opportunity to develop therapies for the dermatology field, long-neglected by the pharmaceutical industry," said Dr. Levy. "Despite research advances that have yielded new therapies in the fields of oncology, autoimmunity and other areas, there are still many common, yet serious skin conditions for which there are no approved or truly effective and safe treatments available," added Mr. Wattier. "Our mission is to fill this need by developing breakthrough therapeutics."
"Valocor brings together a dynamic and creative team of leaders to advance these promising programs, which are no longer a strategic fit with QLT," said Bob Butchofsky, President and CEO of QLT.
The Valocor portfolio was partially built on the premise that a great need exists for safe alternatives to Accutane® (isotretinoin) for moderate to severe acne. The two lead Valocor programs were developed by QLT through mechanistic studies to produce anti-sebaceous gland effects comparable to Accutane with the goal of having minimal potential for systemic toxicity or fetal defects. Valocor believes the market for such an agent is substantially larger than what was achieved by Accutane.
"Our initial funding allows for the acquisition and license of this highly innovative pipeline, and we will be following this with a Series A financing to support clinical trials of Lemuteporfin and prepare our small molecule programs to achieve key development milestones," said Mr. Wattier.