Company benefits from research with large pharma partner
Nitric oxide powder technology will have broad applications for unmet needs in gastrointestinal health
Durham, N.C., February 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- KNOW Bio, LLC., (the Company), a North Carolina developer of nitric oxide-based medical technology and related biotechnology companies, announced today that the Company has formed a new wholly-owned operating subsidiary, Digestive Health Therapeutics, Inc, to develop the Company’s technology in the field of gastroenterology.
Dr. Mark Schoenfisch, inventor of the enabling technology and KNOW Bio Director stated, “Nitric oxide is a cellular messenger with important roles in a number of physiological processes within gastroenterology and hepatology, including altering the gastrointestinal microbiome, malignancy, motility, mucosal function, inflammatory responses, and blood flow regulation. Our technology delivers nitric oxide to organs in the body in a unique way to enable modulating processes with local concentrations of nitric oxide previously not achievable. Our initial interest is developing treatments for conditions known to be associated with nitric oxide deficiency. We have a broad range of therapeutically active compounds that provide tunable nitric oxide release. The rate of release, the payload, and release location are each important considerations depending on the biological origin of dysfunction. We are actively working to identify the optimal nitric oxide release properties to achieve the greatest benefit for specific gastrointestinal disorders. While the nitric oxide release chemistry is predictable, the effects of payloads and release kinetics on restoring specific gastrointestinal functions require careful evaluation.”
Neal Hunter, Managing Director and CEO of KNOW Bio noted “KNOW Bio’s strategy is to expand our technology into therapeutic areas based on the likelihood nitric oxide can benefit patients with unmet or underserved medical needs in those areas. The creation of an operating company comes after years of scientific, technical, medical, and business development. It marks the end of a period of preparation with almost a year of testing in conjunction with a large pharma partner in both invitro and animal models. With patients in mind, the therapeutic potential of our technology must be developed in the context of alleviating medical conditions adversely affecting digestive health.”
Stephen DeCherney, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology at UNC School of Medicine and a Director of KNOW Bio, stated, “KNOW Bio is first and foremost focused on improving the human condition. Conditions and dysfunctions of digestive health impose a significant burden on human health as they tend to broadly impact the overall well-being of patients. The formation of this entity reflects KNOW Bio’s commitment to this important field with challenging afflictions and significant unmet medical need.”
KNOW Bio is based in the Research Triangle Park area of North Carolina and is a nitric oxide life science incubator for operating companies utilizing leveraged drug development models using small teams with high quality service contractors and suppliers.
About Mark Schoenfisch, PhD
Mark Schoenfisch, PhD, is both Professor of Chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Director of KNOW Bio. He is the inventor of multiple macromolecular nitric oxide-release systems and an active entrepreneur, guiding these technologies from research discoveries in his academic lab to manufacturing and clinical trials. With 20 years of experience working with nitric oxide chemistry, he has published more than 100 peerreviewed articles on the synthesis, characterization, and application of nitric oxide-modified biomaterials. Known for his broad expertise spanning chemistry, pharmaceutical sciences, and medicine, Dr. Schoenfisch regularly serves on scientific review panels for the National Institutes of Health. He co-founded Novan, Inc. and helped successfully guide the company to an IPO as a member of its Board of Directors.
About Stephen DeCherney, MD, MPH
Stephen DeCherney is both a Director of KNOW Bio and a Professor of Medicine at the UNC School of Medicine. Prior to joining the faculty at UNC, Dr. DeCherney served in a number of positions at Quintiles Transnational Corp including President of Global Clinical Research and Chief Innovation Officer. Prior to Quintiles, he held research positions at the National Institute of Health as well as a number of management roles in the Christiana Care Health Systems in Wilmington, Delaware until he joined PRA International. In addition to serving on several Boards of Directors for companies in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology markets, he has been advisor to several medical colleges and hospitals, including at the University of London, and the University of Delaware. Dr. DeCherney has been the author or co-author of over 100 publications.
About Neal Hunter
Neal Hunter, Managing Director and CEO of KNOW Bio, has a 25-year track record of successfully raising capital for and building technology companies in both the public and private markets beginning as a Co-founder of Cree, Inc. Mr. Hunter served multiple roles at Cree, including as the public company CEO and Chairman from 1994 to 2001 and then Chairman until 2005. He was also instrumental in the creation and start-up of LED Lighting Fixtures, Inc. which he co-founded in 2005 to accelerate the use of LEDs in general illumination applications and sold in 2008 for over $100M. In total, Mr. Hunter has been either co-founder, founder, co-founding investor or founding investor in over ten significant start-up ventures in the areas of semiconductor materials and devices, aesthetic materials, software, commercial and residential real estate, LED lighting systems and life sciences.
About KNOW Bio, LLC
KNOW Bio, LLC is a life science incubator focused on using its extensive intellectual property
developed internally as well as licensed patents and applications in the field of nitric oxide across
a vast majority of therapeutic applications to redefine the standard of care in a number of diseases
and conditions. Corporate strategy involves forming subsidiaries to focus on specific diseases and conditions, assemble teams of experienced personnel in each and incentivize them to succeed by granting them equity in their respective subsidiary, with KNOW Bio retaining controlling ownership of each unless and until an appropriate opportunity for a subsidiary sale, IPO or other financing makes sense. Vast Therapeutics, Inc. and PhotonMD, Inc. are two companies that have emerged from the KNOW Bio platform.
Except for historical information, all of the statements, expectations, and assumptions contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. Actual results might differ materially from those explicit or implicit in the forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include: risks associated with the drug development process; reliance on key personnel; the early stage of our business and our need to raise additional capital to complete development of our drug candidates; competition; and other risks described in other Company press releases and presentations. KNOW Bio assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by law.
Darlene Dendy, Director of Administration
John Oakley, Chief Financial Officer