Press Release

Visionary Pharmaceuticals and BioBlocks announce a drug discovery collaboration targeting Serum and Glucocorticoid-Regulated Kinase 1 for triple negative breast cancer and other tumor types

San Diego, CA – Jan 7, 2014 – Visionary Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and BioBlocks, Inc., announced today the companies have established a collaboration for the discovery and development of novel small molecule inhibitors of Serum and Glucocorticoid-Regulated Kinase 1 (SGK1). This kinase has been implicated in tumorigenesis of various solid tumors including non-small cell lung cancer, breast, prostate and  colorectal cancer. Importantly,  SGK1 is a critical mediator of chemoresistance in triple negative breast cancer and other cancers. Together these cancers represent a significant unmet medical need.

The parties will combine their respective technologies and expertise to generate superior leads in novel patentable space. BioBlocks’ contribution includes its Leap-to-Lead™ small molecule lead discovery platform comprised of its proprietary physical fragment libraries and the Syntheverse™ virtual library, a vast database of feasible molecules providing solutions for fragment evolution. Visionary’s contributions include its BindingSIGHTS™ technology platform comprised of a suite of computational algorithms and knowledge engine which identifies critical inhibitory hotspots in kinase enzyme active sites.

“Visionary’s leadership has demonstrated success in taking kinase inhibitors through IND and into the clinic. Our structure-based drug design capabilities and deep knowledge of non-classical kinase inhibitor drug discovery provide a rapid path to novel drug-like molecules,” said Gordon Alton, Ph.D., President and CEO of Visionary. “BioBlocks brings state-of-the-art novel fragment libraries and dynamic fragment evolution technology to the collaboration. This has already  provided high ligand efficiency chemical matter to initiate the triple negative breast cancer program.”

“BioBlocks has significant proven medicinal chemistry capabilities to yield novel chemical matter which is a critical need in the area of kinase inhibitor drug discovery.” said Peter Pallai, Ph.D., President and CEO of BioBlocks. “Together BioBlocks and Visionary have assembled a veteran team with well established expertise in small molecule drug optimization, kinase biology and oncology drug discovery. Collectively this experience has resulted in more than a dozen novel therapeutic agents either marketed or in clinical trials.”

About Visionary Pharmaceuticals

Visionary Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a privately held drug discovery company focused on new small molecule therapies in inflammation and cancer. Visionary’s computational BindingSIGHTs™ technology provides advanced structural biology capabilities to optimize the development of drug candidates. Visionary is currently developing retinoic acid related orphan receptor (ROR) modulators targeting TH17 cells in a variety of diseases. To learn more about Visionary, please visit www.visionarypharmaceuticals.com.

About BioBlocks

Founded in San Diego in 2002, BioBlocks provides medicinal chemistry expertise and high value intermediates to partners in the drug discovery community.  Aided by a results-based lead optimization model, BioBlocks scientists have developed mulitple preclinical candidates for its partners. The Company’s Leap-to-Lead™ platform addresses fundamental issues in drug discovery – the high attrition rate and lack of novelty found in typical high throughput screening hits – by providing an alternative source for high quality tractable leads with multiple possible optimization pathways.  For more information on BioBlocks and its lead discovery capabilities please visit www.bioblocks.com.

Contacts:

Visionary Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Gordon Alton, Ph.D.
President and CEO
858-335-8120
gordon@visionarypharmaceuticals.com
www.visionarypharmaceuticals.com                              

BioBlocks, Inc.
Peter Pallai, Ph.D.     
President and CEO
858-558-5900
ppallai@bioblocks.com
www.bioblocks.com

 

2016

July 7, 2016 – Visionary Pharmaceuticals has been awarded a Phase 1 SBIR grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health for the development of RORg antagonists for the treatment of Liver Fibrosis and NASH.

June 6, 2016 – Visionary Pharmaceuticals invited by the NIH to present at BIO 2016 International Convention in San Francisco on the commercial readiness of Visionary’s RORgt program. The title of the oral presentation is “IND ready RORgt antagonists for the treatment of Psoriasis and IBD”.

May 21, 2016 – Visionary Pharmaceuticals invited to present at Digestive Disease Week meeting 2016 in San Diego. The title of the oral presentation is “Efficacy of a Novel Small Molecule ROR Gamma T Inverse Agonist in Mouse DSS and TNBS Models of IBD”.

April 16, 2016 – Visionary Pharmaceuticals invited to present at the American Association of Cancer Research 2016 meeting in New Orleans. The title of the presentation is “Drug-like inhibitors of SGK1: Discovery and optimization of low molecular weight fragment leads”.

April 12, 2016 – Dr. Alton authors an invited publication entitled “Novel small molecule inhibitors of the OLIG2 transcription factor: promising new therapeutics for glioblastoma.” Future Oncol. 2016 Apr;12(8):1001-4 Click link here .)

February 9, 2016 – Visionary Pharmaceuticals is nominated by Xconomy as one of the hottest San Diego biotech companies of 2016 “12 San Diego Life Sciences Startups to Watch in 2016”; Xconomy.com

2015

Feb. 1, 2015 – Dr. Michael Fitch joins Visionary Pharmaceuticals as Director of Biology. Dr. Fitch, formerly of Fate Therapeutics, is an expert in Stem Cell Biology and Molecular Biochemisty.

August 26, 2015 – Dr. Zapf and Dr. Batova author an invited publication entitled “A New Era for Immune Research.” J Immun Res 2014, 1 (2), 2. Click here for the PDF file.

May 16, 2015 – Visionary Pharmaceuticals invited to present at Digestive Disease Week 2015 in Washington DC on Visionary’s small molecule RORgt program for Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

2014

September 8, 2014 – Visionary Pharmaceuticals receives a notice of award for a Phase 2 SBIR grant totaling $1,500,000. This will fund the development of a RORℊt Inverse Agonist clinical candidate for Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

May 2, 2014 – Dr. Michael Karin joins Visionary Pharmaceuticals Scientific Advisory Board. Dr. Karin is a professor at University of California San Diego and member of the National Academy of Sciences. 

April 1, 2014 – NIH sponsored clinical trial funded “An Open-Label Study of Ursolic Acid for Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis”. Visionary Pharmaceuticals is collaborating with Dr. Chris Bowlus at University of California Davis on this important patient trial.

January 19, 2014 – Gordon Alton, PhD (CEO), presents an invited talk at the 2014 Keystone Symposia – Inflammatory Diseases: Recent Advances in Basic and Translational Research and Therapeutic Treatments. The title of the talk was “RORgt Inverse Agonists for the Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease”

January 11, 2014 – Chris Buhr, PhD, joins Visionary Pharmaceuticals as Senior Director of Medicinal Chemistry.

January 7, 2014 Visionary Pharmaceuticals and BioBlocks announce a drug discovery collaboration targeting Serum and Glucocorticoid-Regulated Kinase 1 for triple negative breast cancer and other tumor types. See press release above.

2013

November 22, 2013 – Visionary announces the successful collaboration with Dr. Leo Fitzpatrick at Penn State University for proof-of-concept in vivo efficacy in murine TNBS animal models of inflammatory bowel disease.

June 1, 2013 - David Anderson, PhD,  VP of Research at Ignyta joins the Scientific Advisory Board.

March 5, 2013 - Visionary Pharmaceuticals has been awarded a Phase 1 SBIR grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health for the treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. The grant abstract is here.

January 1, 2013 - Djamal Bouzida, PhD, joins Visionary Pharmaceuticals as Director of Lead Discovery.

2012

October 8, 2012 - Visionary Pharmaceuticals presents research results on novel RORgamma inverse agonists at the 2012 La Jolla Immunology Conference at La Jolla, California.

September 27, 2012 - Visionary Pharmaceuticals and IMGENEX Corporation announce the assignment of a worldwide exclusive license for IMGENEX to distribute Visionary Pharmaceuticals ROR immunomodulator VPR-66. Press Release

September 17, 2012 - Visionary Pharmaceuticals has successfully completed the CONNECT Springboard program. The full story is here.

September 1, 2012 - David Webb, PhD,  Adjunct Professor at the Scripps Research Institute and Board of Directors at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology joins Visionary Pharmaceuticals Scientific Advisory Board.

August 26, 2012 - John K. Westwick, PhD,  President and CEO of OdysseyThera, Inc. joins the Board of Directors.

May 14, 2012 -  BioCentury Publications highlights Visionary Pharmaceuticals as an Emerging Company in their BioBusiness report  press release.

February 6, 2012 - Visionary Pharmaceuticals presents research results on small molecule RORgamma modulators at the TH17 Cells in Health and Disease Conference at Keystone, Colorado.  Click here to see the poster.

January 24, 2012 - Visionary Pharmaceuticals has filed a Provisional Application for "Novel Triterpene Compounds, Compositions and Uses Thereof" for therapeutic treatment of an Orphan autoimmune disease.

January 9 - 12, 2012 - Visionary Pharmaceuticals attends the JP Morgan Global Healthcare Conference 2012 in San Francisco, California.

2011

September 7, 2011 - Visionary Pharmaceuticals is a 2011 Finalist for the San Diego Tech Coast Angels Quickpitch Investor Event on October 6, 2011.

July 27, 2011 -  PR Newswire press release for Visionary Pharmaceuticals Seed Round Financing.  Press Release

July 26, 2011 - Dushyant Pathak, PhD, MBA President of VentureEdge, LLC joins the Board of Directors.

July 25, 2011 – Visionary Pharmaceuticals launches full-scale TH17 cell directed drug discovery activities.

July 1, 2011 – Visionary moves into a state-of-the-art laboratory facility located in Biotech Beach (San Diego). Facilities include cell and biochemical screening bays and BSL2 mammalian tissue culture labs.

June 21, 2011 – Visionary Pharmaceuticals opens Seed Financing investment round.

May 22, 2011 – Visionary Pharmaceuticals purchases a collection of laboratory capital equipment to perform advanced inflammation and cancer cell screening.

February 28, 2011 – Jennifer McAlpine, PhD, joins Visionary Pharmaceuticals as Head of Project Management.

January 5, 2011 – Louis Tommasino, CPA, joins Visionary Pharmaceuticals as acting CFO.

2010

November 17, 2010 – David W. Anderson, PhD, former CSO/VP of Research at Proprius joins the Scientific Advisory Board.

October 21, 2010 – John K. Westwick, PhD, President and CEO of OdysseyThera joins the Scientific Advisory Board.

July 14, 2010 – Visionary Pharmaceuticals incorporates as a Delaware S Corporation.