WI Harper Group | September 13, 2021 | Source: XWPharma
WWI Harper-backed XWPharma, a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of therapeutics, announced its first-in-human study evaluating XW10508 – the Company’s novel, patented, glutamatergic NMDA antagonist and AMPA activator in development as an oral, once-daily therapy for the treatment of depression and chronic pain.
WI Harper initially invested in XWPharma’s Series B round in 2016. Other notable investors include: Panacea Venture, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, and CDIB Capital.
Over 264 million people worldwide suffer from major depressive disorders and roughly one-third of these patients are considered treatment-resistant, having failed two or more antidepressants. Additionally, one in five people worldwide experience chronic pain, while 8% of Americans suffer from chronic pain that frequently limits life or work activities. XW10508 is a new chemical entity derived from esketamine, designed for extended release, that is intended to deliver efficacy associated with esketamine in these populations without triggering the transient side effects that often accompany intranasal or intravenous administration.
“We are pleased to be dosing subjects in this Phase 1 study of XW10508, as we continue to execute on multiple programs across our innovative CNS drug pipeline,” said Leonard Blum, President and CEO of XWPharma. “Despite available therapies for treatment-resistant depression and chronic pain, many patients are unable to find adequate relief. In the case of depression, standard of care therapy can require the patient to take four to eight weeks of therapy before noting benefits. There remains a glaring need for an agent that can provide a rapid response after the initiation of treatment, particularly for patients in crisis. The abuse potential and safety risks associated with many highly effective pain treatments also drive demand for new solutions.”
The Company anticipates initial results from this study in early 2022, which will allow for rapid progression into a Phase 2a test of safety and efficacy in patient cohorts.
| About WI Harper Group
WI Harper is a pioneer and leading cross-border venture capital firm investing in early and expansion stage companies globally. With offices in San Francisco, Beijing, and Taipei, the firm actively oversees more than $1 billion in assets under management. Since inception nearly three decades ago, WI Harper has invested in over 400 startups and has successfully experienced more than 100 IPO and M&A exits.
We look for innovative companies and visionary founders in healthcare, technology and sustainability fields where there are high synergies and meaningful value added cross selling opportunities. While our healthcare team is presently honing on bioinformatics and digital biology, our technology team is focused blockchain, big data, analytics, artificial intelligence, AR/VR, IoT, robotics, drones, autonomous driving, as well as digital media and green energy projects.