Evestra Onkologia Sp., a Polish subsidiary of San Antonio, Texas-based biopharma Evestra, has been awarded a $4.6 million research grant co-financed by the European Union Regional Development Fund to support development of drug candidate EC313 for treating endometriosis.
Evestra Onkologia is primarily dedicated to developing oncology therapeutics.
An experienced research and development team at the Evestra Onkologia research facility in Lodz, Poland, led by Dr. Maciej Wierzbicki, is spearheading EC313 development in collaboration with Polish and international endometriosis experts.
“We are grateful to the Polish National Centre For Research and Development for awarding Evestra Onkologia this prestigious grant, and recognizing the innovative approach taken by Evestra to generate EC313 as a promising drug to treat endometriosis,” Evestra President and CEO Ze’ev Shaked said in a press release. “This grant validates the strategic approach we have taken to drug development since we launched Evestra in 2008.”
EC313 was designed through “intensive efforts in structure-activity relationships (SAR), which has led to a new generation of selective progesterone receptor modulator (SPRM) compounds and so-called mesoprogestins,” said Evestra’s chief scientific officer, Dr. Klaus Nickisch.
“These mesoprogestins have an optimal tailor-made ratio of agonistic to antagonistic activity, which is required for a particular gynecological treatment,” he added.
Shaked added that EC313 has demonstrated significant superiority over other SPRMs, and that Evestra “has completed the discovery stage of the EC313 development process and holds an international patent covering EC313 and other new chemical entities (NCE).”
According to the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, endometriosis is a common and often-painful gynecological disorder of unknown cause that affects an estimated 5 million women in the U.S.
In endometriosis, cells of tissue that normally forms the lining of the uterus migrates to another location, commonly in other pelvic regions. Endometriosis “colonies,” which are not cancerous, can cause pain, heavy bleeding, bleeding between periods, and are associated with infertility, although are thought to not necessarily cause infertility.
Evestra, a spin-off from the Texas Biomedical Research Institute Organic Chemistry Department, claims it has a competitive advantage in pharmaceutical research and development based on its founders’ extensive experience in the field and the company’s track record in commercializing women’s healthcare products.
Evestra is focused on developing products to address unmet medical needs such as treatments for endometriosis, fibroids, hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and hormonal-dependent breast cancer. For more information about Evestra, visit www.evestra.com.