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New Canadian Venture Formed to Develop Therapy for Heart Disease and Stroke


Ottawa, April 14, 2000
Milestone Medica and the University of Ottawa announced today the launch of a partnership aimed at developing new therapies targeting heart disease and stroke. Zinc Therapeutics is a new private corporation that has been formed based on a $625,000 initial investment from Milestone Medica Corporation.
Dr. David Shindler, Milestone’s CEO, stated, “We are excited by the prospect of working with the University of Ottawa to expand ground-breaking research into the potential application of proprietary zinc compounds in the treatment of circulatory system diseases.
Milestone Medica’s current financial commitment is expected to last two years and, and will provide the resources for the pre-clinical development program, ultimately leading up to the IND regulatory filings and first clinical trials. Shindler noted “Milestone Medica will contribute management support in addition to financing. This will ensure that this new venture gets off to a good start and is equipped to begin the multi-year drug development process”.
As part of her responsibilities as Milestone’s VP – Quebec and Maritime Region, Monique Laliberté will serve as part-time President of Zinc Therapeutics. “This is Milestone Medica’s first investment at the University of Ottawa and reflects the high quality research being carried out in important disease areas”, she said.
Henry Fliss, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor in the Department of Cellular & Molecular Medicine at the University of Ottawa Faculty of Medicine, has been appointed Vice President Research & Development of Zinc Therapeutics. Dr. Fliss will supervise the initial development work at University of Ottawa, in conjunction with several collaborators. Dr. Fliss is an expert in the area of cellular damage, as well as the biochemistry and physiology of inflammation in organs, which resulted in this latest breakthrough. The name of the new venture was chosen to reflect the fact that the action of the element zinc is implicated in the newly discovered therapeutic effects, details of which will be available as the development work progresses. “This project aims to demonstrate novel pathways for the prevention of damage caused by circulatory disease, an area in which my laboratory has received recognition and substantial support from a number of agencies over the past several years, including the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario and the Medical Research Council of Canada,” stated Dr Fliss.
Gilles Morier, Assistant Director, Research Services, University of Ottawa noted the “excellent partnership formed involving the University and Milestone Medica and the relatively large size of investment for this early stage project.” Both organizations will contribute to the management of this project, and have an equity stake in Zinc Therapeutics.
This is Milestone Medica’s second development project involving circulatory diseases. Last year a new venture led by cardiologist Dr Simon Rabkin at University of British Columbia was launched based on an issued patent. Milestone Medica’s CEO Shindler indicated that the two projects are complementary and involve different physiological mechanisms and potential therapies.
See full disclosure here.