Biofilm BUSINESS question - Quorex Pharmaceuticals

Rook, Tony Tony_Rook at steris.com
Fri Jun 22 07:17:31 EST 2001


To: Dr. S. Shapiro
cc: Biofilms newsgroup members
Please find several articles about Quorex Pharmaceuticals. Hope this helps=
=20
you to differentiate this company from Quorum Sciences Inc. They are=20
definitely two seperate companies.
Best regards,
Tony A. Rook
Scientist
STERIS Corporation
5960 Heisley Road
Mentor, OH 44060 USA
tony_rook at steris.com
____________________________________________________________________________=
___________________________________________________________________
ARTICLE #1
Quorex Pharmaceuticals Names Dr. Krzysztof Appelt Senior Vice President,=20
Drug Development
CARLSBAD, Calif.--(BW HealthWire)--April 12, 2001--In a move intended to=20
accelerate drug development, Quorex Pharmaceuticals Inc., a=20
biopharmaceutical company developing an entirely new class of=20
broad-spectrum anti-infective drugs, today announced the appointment of=20
industry veteran Dr. Krzysztof Appelt as senior vice president, drug=20
development.
Dr. Appelt will spearhead the continued aggressive research and development=
=20
of Quorex Pharmaceuticals' powerful inhibitors of a unique and widespread=20
bacterial ``quorum sensing'' signaling system. The Quorex system is based=20
on the recent breakthrough discovery that many pathogenic bacteria use a=20
common chemical ``language'' to communicate with one another and jointly=20
regulate infectious mechanisms. These bacteria begin their ``infection''=20
only after they have communicated with each other that a critical mass, or=
=20
``quorum,'' of bacteria is present in the host. When this signaling pathway=
=20
is interrupted, the pathogen's ability to cause infection is disabled.
Dr. Appelt will be responsible for advancing the research and development=20
of compounds that target and interrupt this common communication pathway as=
=20
a means to destroy the ``command and control'' center of the bacterial=20
``army.'' The resultant drugs are expected to represent a new class of=20
``ideal antibiotics'' that are non-toxic, broad spectrum, pathogen=20
specific, and which apply low selective pressure for the evolution of=20
resistance mechanisms.
``Dr. Appelt brings to Quorex Pharmaceuticals consummate stature and=20
immense experience in anti-infective drug development that will help=20
advance our company's research and leadership position in this emerging and=
=20
promising field,'' said Robert Robb, president and chief executive officer=
=20
of Quorex Pharmaceuticals. ``Quorex is on the threshold of discovering one=
=20
of the most significant developments in the anti-infective marketplace. Dr.=
=20
Appelt's background in all aspects of drug discovery and development=20
combined with proven interdisciplinary team management experience in=20
developing novel pharmaceuticals will further accelerate our pace in=20
rapidly testing and bringing our product to market.''
``Quorex Pharmaceuticals is in a unique and enviable position in the=20
biopharmaceutical industry -- poised to revolutionize the anti-infective=20
marketplace with a new class of drug capable of disabling virulence in a=20
broad array of pathogens,'' said Dr. Appelt. ``It is with great enthusiasm=
=20
that I join this industry innovator and become part of a company with such=
=20
enormous potential.''
About Dr. Appelt
A 21-year industry veteran, Dr. Appelt brings to Quorex Pharmaceuticals a=20
rich and productive background in all aspects of modern drug discovery and=
=20
development. He joins Quorex Pharmaceuticals after 15 years with Agouron=20
Pharmaceuticals Inc. (now owned by Pfizer), where he was one of the=20
pioneers of structure-based drug design methodology. During his tenure at=20
Agouron, Dr. Appelt led the discovery and clinical development of Viracept,=
=20
one of the most widely used anti-HIV drugs. More recently, he initiated and=
=20
led the research and development effort on several anti-angiogenic projects=
=20
for ophthalmic and oncology indications.
Prior to Agouron, Dr. Appelt was Assistant Professor in Research,=20
Department of Biology and Chemistry, at the University of California, San=20
Diego.
Dr. Appelt holds a Masters of Science degree in Biology and Biochemistry=20
from the University of Poznan, Poland, and received his Ph.D, at the Max=20
Planck Institute, Berlin, Germany.
About Quorex Pharmaceuticals Inc.
A biopharmaceutical company based in Carlsbad, Quorex Pharmaceutical's=20
mission is to discover, develop and commercialize an entirely new class of=
=20
broad spectrum antibiotics for the effective treatment of serious bacterial=
=20
infections including those that are resistant to presently available drugs.=
=20
The company's proprietary compounds inhibit a newly discovered bacterial=20
signaling pathway that regulates virulence in a broad array of human=20
pathogens.
Quorex Pharmaceuticals has demonstrated that its proprietary compounds=20
dramatically inhibit virulence factor production in both Gram negative and=
=20
Gram positive bacteria and in drug resistant strains of bacteria, in vitro.
Quorex has applied its proprietary technologies, including target molecular=
=20
structures, computational chemistry, high-throughput screening assays and a=
=20
powerful bioinformatics platform to effectively design, synthesize and=20
identify compounds that dramatically inhibit the quorum sensing pathway in=
=20
both Gram negative and Gram positive pathogens. The design and discovery of=
=20
these Quorex inhibitor compounds have enabled the initiation of animal=20
feasibility studies.
Although the company's primary objective is to develop stand-alone drugs,=20
recent findings indicate that Quorex compounds, when combined with existing=
=20
important antibiotics, significantly potentiate, by up to 60 fold, the=20
killing action of those antibiotics against key bacterial targets, in=20
vitro. If corroborated by ongoing animal feasibility studies, the planned=20
adjunctive and proprietary combination therapies are expected to result in=
=20
a significantly lower dosage regimen for important antibiotics, thus=20
potentially decreasing toxicity and increasing their effectiveness against=
=20
drug resistant bacteria.
Quorex Pharmaceuticals Inc., recently completed a second round of funding=20
for $20 million from lead investor Prism Venture Partners, Johnson &=20
Johnson Development Corp. (JJDC), the venture capital subsidiary of Johnson=
=20
& Johnson; Tullis-Dickerson & Co. Inc., one of the country's largest health=
=20
care focused venture firms; IngleWood Ventures; CDIB and Pacific Growth=20
Equities. JJDC, Tullis-Dickerson and IngleWood were investors in the first=
=20
round of financing.
Contact:
Quorex Pharmaceuticals Inc., Carlsbad
Kevin Denny, 760/602-1910, ext. 112
kdenny at quorex.com <mailto:kdenny at quorex.com>
or
Peacock Public Relations
Erin Peacock, 949/464-1096
peacockpr at yahoo.com <mailto:peacockpr at yahoo.com>
____________________________________________________________________________=
___________________________________________________________________
ARTICLE #2
Quorex Secures $18.5 Million in Funding To Develop Novel Antibacterial=20
Compounds
CARLSBAD, CA. February 26, 2001 =96 Quorex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a company=
=20
developing revolutionary antibiotics, today announced it has received $18.5=
=20
million in second round funding from lead investor Prism Venture Partners,=
=20
Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation (JJDC), the venture capital=20
subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson; Tullis-Dickerson & Co., Inc., one of the=20
country=92s largest health care focused venture firms; Inglewood Ventures;=
=20
CDIB and Pacific Growth Equities. JJDC, Tullis-Dickersen and IngleWood were=
=20
investors in the first round of financing. =93This latest round of financing=
=20
allows us to build on our discovery of powerful inhibitors of a unique=20
bacterial signaling system and to accelerate animal feasibility studies,=94=
=20
stated Robert Robb, President and CEO of Quorex Pharmaceuticals. =93We are=
=20
very pleased to have this outstanding group of investors join us and share=
=20
our tremendous enthusiasm for our recent developments and the potential of=
=20
Quorex technologies.=94 A biopharmaceutical company, Quorex=92s mission is=
 to=20
discover, develop and commercialize an entirely new class of broad spectrum=
=20
antibiotics for the effective treatment of serious bacterial infections=20
including those that are resistant to presently available drugs. The=20
Company's proprietary compounds inhibit a newly discovered bacterial=20
signaling pathway that regulates virulence in a broad array of human=20
pathogens. Quorex has demonstrated that its proprietary compounds=20
dramatically inhibit virulence factor production in both Gram negative and=
=20
Gram positive bacteria and in drug resistant strains of bacteria, in vitro.=
=20
=93It is readily evident that the discovery and development milestones=20
achieved by Quorex over the past several months are indeed significant and=
=20
the breadth, depth and potential of Quorex technology are compelling,=94=
 said=20
John Brooks, General Partner, Prism Venture Partners. =93The widespread and=
=20
frequent use of antibiotics has, in effect, created stronger, more=20
drug-resistant bacteria. By rapidly developing a treatment capable of=20
attacking the bacterial communications center =96 an element vital to a=20
pathogen=92s rapid proliferation and the infective process =96 Quorex is=
 poised=20
to revolutionize the antibiotic marketplace.=94 Quorex technologies include=
=20
the recent breakthrough discovery that many pathogenic bacteria use a=20
common chemical =93language=94 to communicate with one another and jointly=
=20
regulate infectious mechanisms. These bacteria begin their =93infection=94=
 only=20
after they have communicated with each other that a critical mass, or=20
=93quorum=94, of bacteria is present in the host. When this signaling=
 pathway=20
is interrupted, the pathogen=91s ability to cause infection is disabled.=20
Quorex compounds target and interrupt this pathway as a means to destroy=20
the =93command and control=94 center of the bacterial =93army=94 and=
 therefore have=20
the unprecedented potential to create a new class of =93ideal antibiotics=94=
=20
that are non-toxic, broad spectrum, pathogen specific, and which apply low=
=20
selective pressure for the evolution of resistance mechanisms. Quorex has=20
applied its proprietary technologies, including target molecular=20
structures, computational chemistry, high-throughput screening assays and a=
=20
powerful bioinformatics platform to effectively design, synthesize, and=20
identify compounds that dramatically inhibit the quorum sensing pathway in=
=20
both Gram negative and Gram positive pathogens. The design and discovery of=
=20
these Quorex inhibitor compounds have enabled the initiation of animal=20
feasibility studies. Although the Company=92s primary objective is to=
 develop=20
stand-alone drugs, recent findings indicate that Quorex compounds, when=20
combined with existing important antibiotics, significantly potentiate, by=
=20
up to 60 fold , the killing action of those antibiotics against key=20
bacterial targets, in vitro. If corroborated by ongoing animal feasibility=
=20
studies, the planned adjunctive and proprietary combination therapies are=20
expected to result in a significantly lower dosage regimen for important=20
antibiotics, thus potentially decreasing toxicity and increasing their=20
effectiveness against drug resistant bacteria.
____________________________________________________________________________=
___________________________________________________________________
ARTICLE #3
Quorex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Quorex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. <http://www.quorex.com> is a biopharmaceutical=
=20
company whose focus is to develop an entirely new class of broad-spectrum=20
anti-infective drug that disables disease-causing mechanisms in pathogenic=
=20
bacteria. The original technology on which Quorex was founded is based on=20
the breakthrough discovery that a wide variety of pathogenic bacteria=20
communicate via a universal "language" required to coordinate and regulate=
=20
the onset of pathogenesis. A key element of this discovery was the finding=
=20
of a new regulatory molecule and signaling pathway (AI-2 system) that=20
permit bacterial cells to sense when they have achieved a threshold=20
population density (a "quorum") needed to initiate a successful infection=20
in the host. The discovery of this new molecular signaling system, upon=20
which the company is based, was made by Dr. Bonnie Bassler of Princeton=20
University and Dr. Michael Surette of the University of Calgary. Quorex is=
=20
distinct from traditional drug discovery companies in that it is not=20
developing drugs that kill bacteria directly. Instead, Quorex drugs are=20
intended to rapidly shut down the production of virulence factors and then=
=20
disable a pathogen's ability to survive in a host by destroying its ability=
=20
to communicate, obtain nutrients, and to initiate immune system counter=20
measures. This advanced approach of killing pathogens indirectly is=20
expected to be less disruptive of the body's natural, benign microbial=20
flora and is far less likely to result in the emergence of drug resistant=20
pathogens.
____________________________________________________________________________=
___________________________________________________________________
ARTICLE #4
Company Profile
Quorex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company whose focus is=
=20
to develop an entirely new class of broad-spectrum anti-infective drug that=
=20
disables disease-causing mechanisms in pathogenic bacteria. The original=20
technology on which Quorex was founded is based on the breakthrough=20
discovery that a wide variety of pathogenic bacteria communicate via a=20
universal "language" required to coordinate and regulate the onset of=20
pathogenesis. A key element of this discovery was the finding of a new=20
regulatory molecule and signaling pathway (AI-2 system) that permit=20
bacterial cells to sense when they have achieved a threshold population=20
density (a "quorum") needed to initiate a successful infection in the host.
Quorex is creating a new paradigm in anti-infective drug discovery by=20
developing compounds that disrupt a pathogen's communication system,=20
thereby preventing them from carrying out their infective processes. The=20
company has identified significant inhibitors of the "quorum-sensing"=20
system and has demonstrated that these compounds disable the production of=
=20
virulence factors in both gram negative and gram positive bacteria. It is=20
expected that this new class of drug will inactivate a broad range of=20
pathogens including those that are resistant to conventional antibiotics.
Quorex is distinct from traditional drug discovery companies in that it is=
=20
not developing drugs that kill bacteria directly. Instead, Quorex drugs are=
=20
intended to rapidly shut down the production of virulence factors and then=
=20
disable a pathogen's ability to survive in a host by destroying its ability=
=20
to communicate, obtain nutrients, and to initiate immune system counter=20
measures. This advanced approach to killing pathogens indirectly is=20
expected to be less disruptive of the body's natural, benign microbial=20
flora and is far less likely to result in the emergence of drug resistant=20
pathogens

The Need
The explosion of multi-drug resistant bacterial pathogens ("superbugs") has=
=20
created a crises in modern healthcare. This proliferation has come about=20
largely through the over application of traditional antibiotics directed=20
against "essential" targets in the pathogens. Because of the strong=20
selective pressure that these drugs apply to the pathogens, it is=20
inevitable that even recently discovered antibiotics directed against=20
essential targets will be rapidly rendered ineffective. Moreover, since the=
=20
number of classes of essential targets is limited, and dwindling quickly=20
due to the rapid evolution of bacterial pathogens, there is a clear need=20
for newer, smarter approaches to anti-bacterial drug discovery.

Venture Funding
The company was founded in February 1999 and established research=20
facilities in Carlsbad, California in November 1999. In February 2001,=20
Quorex Pharmaceuticals, Inc., completed a second round of funding for $20=20
million from lead investor Prism Venture Partners, Johnson & Johnson=20
Development Corporation (JJDC), the venture capital subsidiary of Johnson &=
=20
Johnson; Tullis-Dickerson & Co., Inc., one of the country's largest health=
=20
care focused venture firms; IngleWood Ventures; CDIB and P.G.E. Ventures.=20
JJDC, Tullis-Dickerson and IngleWood were investors in the first round of=20
financing.





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