January 27, 2021 – FORUS Therapeutics launches today, bringing a new pharmaceutical company onto the Canadian landscape. With a highly-experienced and proven team, an FDA-approved product already in its pipeline, and significant financial investment secured, the Toronto-based company looks to bring innovative cancer therapies to Canadian patients, new treatment tools for caregivers and physicians, and in the future, be a preferred partner for emerging Canadian-based research companies.
To support its launch, FORUS has raised approximately $20 million from investors that include adMare BioInnovations, Canada’s global life sciences venture, and sophisticated international and institutional investors.
FORUS has also secured an exclusive Canadian distribution agreement with Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: KPTI) for the commercialization of XPOVIO® (selinexor), an FDA-approved cancer medicine for adults with Multiple Myeloma and Lymphoma. “We are thrilled to launch on the heels of our first licensing agreement to deliver a novel cancer treatment for Canadians,” said Kevin Leshuk, Founder and President of FORUS.
Multiple Myeloma is the second most common blood cancer. Every year, 3,400 Canadians are diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, and sadly 1,600 die from the disease. FORUS will submit XPOVIO® to Health Canada for approval in the coming months.
“We are investing in and supporting the launch of FORUS to address a major gap in the Canadian life sciences ecosystem,” said Gordon C. McCauley, President and CEO of adMare BioInnovations. “We have an abundance of world-leading health research, a growing industry to translate that research into new therapeutics, but we have limited home-grown companies to bring these innovations directly to Canadian patients. FORUS begins to fill this gap by connecting medical innovations with the healthcare and patient communities across the country.”
“We’re turning the traditional start-up model upside down,” said Leshuk. Biopharmaceutical start-ups typically begin with early research, then undergo an arduous process of translating the research into a product, which can take at least a decade and have high associated failure rates. In this case, FORUS is starting on strong footing with an FDA-approved product already in place, considerable investment, and an experienced team. The company will move quickly to identify and secure development partnerships with Canadian research companies and globally-sourced innovations.
Leshuk brings over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. He and the FORUS founding team have delivered significant financial returns; and since 2009, secured 12 Health Canada approvals, including five in Multiple Myeloma. The FORUS goal is to continue this track record of success and bring important new medicines to Canadians to actively contribute to the Canadian life sciences innovation ecosystem.
About FORUS Therapeutics
FORUS Therapeutics is a Canadian biopharmaceutical company dedicated to advancing differentiated, novel medicines for hematologic malignancies and other forms of cancer. Our mission is to bring solutions to cancer patients, caregivers, physicians and our partners by accelerating unique and important treatments that meaningfully enhance life. forustherapeutics.com
About adMare BioInnovations
adMare BioInnovations is Canada’s global life sciences venture, building the Canadian life sciences industry from sea to sea. We do this by sourcing therapeutically and commercially promising research from leading academic and biotech partners to create new companies of scale, providing specialized expertise, infrastructure, and capital to help existing companies scale up, and drive the growth of those companies into Canadian anchors by training the next generation of highly qualified personnel. adMare’s ~20 portfolio companies have attracted more than $1.15 billion in investment and have a combined worth of over $2.3 billion. admarebio.com
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