INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., (September 17, 2019) – – When Salarius Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: SLRX) President and Chief Executive Officer David Arthur rang the opening bell at Nasdaq in New York City on July 30, recognizing the company’s successful merger with Flex Pharma and listing on the public exchange, another group was celebrating in Indiana: VisionTech Angels. The angel investors are realizing a surprisingly quick liquidity event on their investment in Salarius in the form of common stock with the value based on the current stock-trading price.
The merger provides VisionTech Angels’ investors with the opportunity to retain their stock and wait for the next chapter to be written or cash in on their investment by liquidating some or all of their holdings. Commenting on the merger, VisionTech Angels Executive Director Ben Pidgeon said, “Given the potential of Salarius to bring new therapeutic options to children and young adults with Ewing Sarcoma and other cancers, I anticipate many of our investors will retain their shares in the company.”
He added, “This is a significant win for the VisionTech Angels members who invested in Salarius in December 2018. The biotech drug development industry typically requires tremendous patience as it can take as long as a decade to get a new drug from the lab to pharmacy—if it ever does. There’s also a small likelihood of success; only five percent of all prospective new drugs are commercialized. For our investors to realize liquidity on their investment in Salarius in less than ten months is remarkable.”
Salarius is a clinical-stage oncology company targeting the epigenetic causes of cancers and has active clinical development programs for patients with refractory and relapsed Ewing sarcoma and advanced solid tumors. Ewing Sarcoma is a rare bone and soft tissue cancer that afflicts children and young adults that Salarius believes has no approved targeted therapies. The advanced solid tumor clinical program includes patients with prostate, breast, ovarian, and other solid tumor cancers who have not responded or are no longer responding to standard-of-care treatment.
Epigenetics refers to the regulatory system that affects gene expression. In some cancers, epigenetic regulators often become dysregulated and incorrectly turn genes on or off leading to cancer progression. Drugs that are able to safely modify the activity of these epigenetic regulators may correct the gene changes that are driving the disease.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Salarius’ lead drug candidate, Seclidemstat, Orphan Drug and Rare Pediatric Disease designations, which confers regulatory benefits and commercial advantages upon FDA approval. The company recently enrolled its first patient in a Phase 1 clinical study of its lead compound, Seclidemstat, in patients with advanced solid tumors. The company’s Ewing Sarcoma program is progressing in a dose escalation/dose expansion Phase 1 clinical trial. Salarius has financial support for its research and development efforts from the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas and National Pediatric Cancer Foundation.
Salarius will continue to follow its clinical plan with the goal of reporting early patient cohort data in 2020.
VisionTech Angels has 32 companies in its investment portfolio, including four added thus far in 2019. The Indianapolis-based angel network has more than 130 members across Indiana and Ohio. Membership is open to accredited investors. Members choose the companies they want to invest in and the amount invested. Those interested in joining are encouraged to contact VisionTech Angels. The group’s next Pitch Week is October 21-24.