Pano Therapeutics, Inc. Announces the Strategic Acquisition of NovaTarg Therapeutics, Inc. and the Appointment of Ken Batchelor, PhD, as Head of Research & Development

Pano Therapeutics, Inc. ("Pano", or the "Company"), a biotech platform company focused on the discovery and development of small molecule drugs targeting mtTOB - Mitochondrial Target of Biguanides - is pleased to announce its strategic acquisition of privately-held NovaTarg Therapeutics, Inc. ("NovaTarg"). The transaction consisted of Pano acquiring 100% of the outstanding shares of NovaTarg by way of share exchange. As a result of the acquisition, Pano will continue as the operating entity and Ken Batchelor, PhD, will join Pano as its Head of Research & Development. 

Acquisition Summary and Rationale

  • Strengthens Pano's drug discovery and development capabilities by adding Ken Batchelor to Pano's senior executive team. 
    • Ken brings over three decades of drug discovery and development experience in senior pharma and entrepreneurial biotech roles. 
    • Prior to founding NovaTarg, Ken spent 10 years as SVP R&D at GSK for its Center of Excellence for Drug Discovery ("CEDD"), based in North Carolina, that was focused on metabolic, oncology, and anti-viral therapeutic areas. In this role, Ken was responsible for all discovery, development, and clinical functions that supported CEDD projects through human proof of concept in Phase 1 / 2 clinical studies. Ken has achieved 13 positive clinical proofs of concept for drugs to treat metabolic diseases, cancer, and HIV, and is the co-inventor of avodart, a medication used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia.
  • Pano and NovaTarg have been built around a common mission of developing enhanced drugs with a common mitochondrial mechanism of action as Metformin, a biguanide drug that is perhaps the world's most-prescribed oral therapy for type 2 diabetes.
    • Pano has been focused to date on the discovery of drugs optimized for their action at mtTOB (Mitochondrial Target of Biguanides) based upon the discovery and preliminary characterization of mtTOB, as well as the development of a proprietary mtTOB drug screen assay, by Pano's scientific founder/CSO Francesca Fieni, PhD. 
    • NovaTarg has been focused to date on the discovery and development of novel biguanides optimized for PK/ADME, including selective tissue distribution and exposure through their highly selective activity across a suite of organic cation transporters ("OCTs"), as well as their activity in modulating mitochondrial respiration. 
    • The synergistic combination of these capabilities enables the implementation of a rational drug discovery and lead optimization platform to develop biguanide drugs and other classes of compounds optimized for both their activity at mtTOB and OCTs for a broad range of therapeutic applications.
  • Brings to Pano preclinical programs based upon three selected lead novel biguanide compounds in orphan and high prevalence kidney diseases as well as select female reproductive cancer indications.
  • Brings to Pano an issued (USPTO) composition of matter patent specifying the lead indole-containing biguanide series of compounds constituting Pano's current lead preclinical programs.

About Pano

Pano is a biotech platform and preclinical stage company focused on the discovery and development of small molecules targeting dysregulated cellular energetics to treat orphan diseases, highly prevalent chronic diseases, and even the aging process itself. Pano was founded upon the discovery by its scientific founder of a novel mitochondrial ion channel associated with mitochondrial Complex I that we have named mtTOB (Mitochondrial Target of Biguanides). Pano believes that mtTOB is an important, accessible drug target and links biguanide potency, mitochondrial bioenergetics, and downstream pathways such as AMPK activation and mTOR suppression.

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Pano Contact:

Ben Gibson, CEO


Source: Pano Therapeutics, Inc.