Pittsburgh startup Globin Solutions, Inc. launches with $5 Million Series A round to develop carbon monoxide poisoning antidote
Pittsburgh, PA (April 30th, 2018) – Globin Solutions, Inc., a startup biotechnology company formed last year by scientists from the University of Pittsburgh, today announced completion of over $5 million in Series A funding for the creation of an antidote to carbon monoxide poisoning. The round was led by Tus S&T Service Group with participation from UPMC Enterprises, the commercialization arm of UPMC.
The funding will be used to support the further development of the lead compound recombinant neuroglobin developed by company founders Mark T. Gladwin, MD, Chair of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Dr. Jack D. Myers Professor of Internal Medicine; Jason J. Rose, M.D., M.B.A., Assistant Professor of Medicine and Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; and Jesus Tejero Bravo, Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. The intellectual property is owned by the University of Pittsburgh and exclusively licensed to Globin Solutions. The University of Pittsburgh has an ownership interest in the company as part of the license agreement. Initial studies of the molecule in late 2016, published in Science Translational Medicine, found that the engineered protein could improve survival when infused in mice severely poisoned with carbon monoxide (CO), the invisible, odorless gas found in house fires and car exhaust.
CO poisoning is responsible for more than 50,000 emergency room visits in the United States annually and is one of the leading global causes of poisoning death. CO exposure also results in debilitating effects on the body and the brain, including cognitive deficits that, in some cases, can persist months or years after a poisoning event.
“Despite being the most common poisoning worldwide, we still do not have an effective antidote for CO exposure,” said Dr. Gladwin, chair of the board of directors and principal stock holder of Globin Solutions. “Globin Solutions’ protein is extraordinarily effective at scavenging CO from the blood and could potentially prove to be a significant advance in the treatment of CO poisoning.”
Current treatment options for CO poisoning—administering 100 percent oxygen or using a pressurized hyperbaric chamber to administer oxygen at greater than normal air pressure—focus on trying to replace CO in blood with oxygen as quickly as possible. However, both these treatments are only moderately effective. Moreover, transporting patients to a hyperbaric chamber requires a significant amount of time, and many poisoned patients may not be stable enough for this therapy.
“There is a dire need for new options for patients with CO poisoning, especially one that could be given quickly in the field or when a victim arrives in the emergency room,” said company president, and chief executive officer, Dr. Rose. “We plan to leverage the Series A funding and our scientific expertise to rapidly develop our CO antidote program. Our next phase is the preclinical development of our lead compound. This will entail optimizing the manufacturing and ensuring that our agent is safe in animals. If successful, we hope to one day enter human clinical trials.”
Carbon monoxide is not just a problem in the United States, but the most common human poisoning in the world. This drew Tus S&T Group, an enterprise group based in Beijing, China to work with Globin Solutions. “In China, nearly 100,000 people are confronted with CO exposure and thousands die from CO poisoning each year. There is still no antidote. We are thrilled to support Globin Solutions’ innovation research and drug development program to potentially create an antidote that could be used around the world for carbon monoxide poisoning,“ states Tus S&T Group. “As Tsinghua University’s school-run enterprise group, our original aspiration is social responsibility and promoting human health. The investment in Globin Solutions is the embodiment of our mission: serving society by transferring technological achievements from the academic setting and bridging the technology to the market to help people”.
About Tus S&T Group:
Tus Science & Technology Service Group is an enterprise group in China that is jointly initiated by Tus Holdings and Tsinghua Holdings under the general objective of “To be the leader and global model of the high-tech service industry in China”. With the aims of building an open and collaborative innovation ecosystem in new industries such as environmental science, healthcare, and information technology, Tus has integrated many innovative resources from “governments, industry, universities, research, finance, intermediaries, trade and media” to create a special eco-system of innovation & entrepreneurship to provide complete value-added service to groundbreaking, high-tech enterprises.
About Globin Solutions, Inc.:
Globin Solutions, Inc. is a pre-clinical stage biopharmaceutical company that is committed to researching and developing a rapidly acting antidote for carbon monoxide poisoning, the most common human poisoning. Globin intends to aggressively develop its lead compound through preclinical testing with the goal to pursue regulatory clearance for clinical testing. Globin plans to partner with experts in globin chemistry and protein engineering through sponsored research agreements with the University of Pittsburgh to further develop their pipeline of agents for CO poisoning and other indications. More information can be found at http://www.globinsolutions.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements concerning the development of Globin Solutions’ products, the potential benefits and attributes of such products, and Globin Solutions’ expectations regarding its prospects. Forward-looking statements are subject to risks, assumptions and uncertainties that could cause our research and development programs, future results, working capital, performance or achievements to differ significantly from those expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the uncertainties inherent in the conduct of clinical studies, enrollment in clinical studies, whether clinical study results for obtained to date will be predictive of future results, regulatory risks and uncertainties and other matters that could affect the commercial potential of our drug candidates and our ability to raise capital.