VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Feb. 11, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Quark Venture LP and GF Securities today announced that they have contributed to the $12 million seed financing to launch Volastra Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing novel therapies for the treatment of metastatic cancers. This investment, made through Global Health Sciences (GHS) Fund, was led by Polaris Partners with additional investment from DROIA Oncology Ventures and ARCH Venture Partners.
Metastatic cancer, also known as stage IV (four) cancer, is responsible for approximately 90 percent of cancer deaths but most oncology therapeutics target alterations widely found in primary tumors, not metastatic cancers. Utilizing technology and the scientific approach from the Cantley and Elemento Labs at Weill Cornell Medicine in collaboration with the Bakhoum Lab at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer
Center, Volastra will focus on developing therapies for metastatic cancers by targeting key pathways related to chromosomal instability, a hallmark of cancer metastasis. With this novel approach, Volastra hopes to shift the treatment paradigm for patients with advanced cancers.
Volastra Therapeutics will use a comprehensive library of organoids that have been derived from metastatic cancer samples. This library will help to clarify how tumors spread and help devise therapeutic strategies that target chromosomal instability during the process of cancer metastasis. The platform enables Volastra to carry out rigorous target validation, to advance first-in-class clinical candidates, and to identify biomarkers to stratify patients for clinical trials.
“Volastra Therapeutics is taking bold steps in the fight against the most devastating forms of cancer,” says Karimah Es Sabar, Chief Executive Officer & Partner, Quark Venture LP and Director of the GHS Fund. “Only in very special cases, such as this one, does the GHS Fund support such early investment. The breakthrough science for much needed treatment of metastatic cancers could profoundly impact
so many lives each year.”
Quark Venture LP CSO and Partner Zafi Avnur will join Volastra’s Board of Directors, serving alongside Clayton, Dubilier, and Rice Partner Sandra Peterson, who will serve as Executive Chair of the Volastra Board, Polaris Managing Partner Amy Schulman, DROIA Partner Luc Dochez and Dr. Samuel Bakhoum as the scientific founder.
“With the revolutionary insights into tumor biology, the scientific expertise of the founders and an experienced management team coming together, Volastra Therapeutics is uniquely positioned to shift the treatment paradigm in oncology,” said Ms. Schulman of Polaris.
“Together, we are committed to fundamentally changing the way that patients with metastatic cancer are treated.”
About Quark Venture LP
Quark Venture LP invests in innovative biotechnology and health technology companies and supports them with its expertise in bioscience commercialization and equity financing. The company’s strategic focus is global investments in disruptive platforms and technologies impacting human health. Through its China affiliate, Global Drug Commercialization Center (GDCC), Quark’s leading-edge Development
Centre and SME Accelerator in China helps small- and medium-size enterprises successfully access the China market, grow, innovate and bring better health outcomes to millions of people. Quark Venture LP partners with scientific and commercial thought leaders across the globe.
For more information visit www.quarkventure.com
About Global Health Sciences Fund
Global Health Science Fund was jointly established by Quark Venture LP and GF Securities in late 2016. Global Health Science Fund is a health sciences venture fund that invests globally in a diversified portfolio of innovative biotechnology and health sciences companies who are addressing unmet medical needs through innovations in drug development, medical devices, health IT and emerging convergent
About Volastra Therapeutics, Inc.
Volastra Therapeutics is a biotechnology company focused on developing novel therapies for patients with metastatic cancers by exploiting unique insights into chromosomal instability. Founded by Drs. Lewis Cantley and Olivier Elemento from Weill Cornell Medicine and Dr. Samuel Bakhoum from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Volastra is quickly advancing multiple programs towards the clinic. Volastra Therapeutics’ operations are located at Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS at New York City (JLABS @ NYC).
For more information please visit www.volastratx.com
For more information about Quark Venture LP please contact