Struggling Ambrilia sells early-stage cancer program

A little more than five months ago, the small, struggling Canadian biotech Ambrilia Biopharma lopped off its operations in France, laid off a group of employees that included its CSO and hunkered down at its Montreal headquarters with 15 staffers as the company concentrated on "strategic alternatives," including a possible sale or merger. Yesterday evening the developer announced that it had sold its experimental prostate cancer program--dubbed PCK3145--for $200,000 upfront and up to $15 million in milestones to Kotinos Pharmaceuticals.

"We are eager to continue the development of this exciting compound and to expand on the positive clinical findings obtained by Ambrilia in the conduct of their Phase I program," said Kotinos CEO Nicholas G. Bacopoulos, Ph.D., the former head of the Cancer Research Group at Pfizer. "We are especially pleased that Dr. Chandra Panchal, coinventor of PCK3145, has joined our Scientific Advisory Board, bringing continuity to the project."

More deals may follow.

"This agreement is part of our ongoing strategic realignment, allowing us to focus on external opportunities for our remaining assets," said Dr. Philippe Calais, president and CEO of Ambrilia. Ambrilia Biopharma was created through a merger with Procyon Biopharma three years ago that included $18 million in fresh financing. The developer lists a dozen development program on its Web site. A 'going concern' warning for Ambrilia was issued at the end of last year.

- check out the Ambrilia's release