Pharma Focus Asia

Harrow Health Forms Stowe Pharmaceuticals Subsidiary to Develop Broad Spectrum Anti-Microbial Ophthalmic and Otic Therapeutics

Saturday, August 03, 2019

Harrow Health, Inc. today announced that its newly formed subsidiary, Stowe Pharmaceuticals, Inc., has entered into an agreement with TGV Health to acquire worldwide rights to the Zian™ anti-microbial molecule for ophthalmic and otic uses.  Zian™ is a patented small molecule that is water soluble, colorless and odorless, and was developed to treat various complex bacterial, fungal, and viral infections, including in the eye and ear.  The initial primary indication for Stowe’s initial drug candidates is expected to be adenoviral conjunctivitis, with secondary indications for mixed bacterial-viral infections, keratitis, endophthalmitis, and corneal ulcers.

“Currently, there is a large unmet need – globally – for a single medication that can treat various types of microbial ocular and otic infections.  For example, there are no FDA approved drugs for use in the management of acanthamoeba keratitis and adenoviral Epidemic Keratoconjunctivitis (EKC),” said George Tets, MD, PhD, co-inventor of the Zian™ molecule.  “In pre-clinical ophthalmic studies, our initial drug candidate based on the Zian™ molecule – STE-006 – successfully killed broad spectra of bacteria and inactivated ranges of viruses, including enveloped and non-enveloped viruses, within 15 seconds.  We believe that if FDA-approved, STE-006 could potentially become a ‘one-stop-shop’ solution to quickly fight ophthalmic bacteria, fungi, and viruses, having sight-saving implications for people worldwide.”

Harrow Health board member and ophthalmologist Richard L. Lindstrom, MD, commented, “Serious sight threatening infections like acanthamoeba, fungal and bacterial keratitis, viral infections of the cornea and conjunctiva and endophthalmitis need better treatments.  In many cases, if left untreated, these types of infections can and often do lead to blindness and other complications.  Ocular infections are on the rise worldwide and anti-bacterial resistant pathogens are showing up in national headlines with increasing frequency.  STE-006 has the potential to be an important weapon in our armamentarium against these threats.”

Harrow Health CEO, Mark L. Baum, added, “The development of Zian™ for ophthalmic and otic uses is one of the most exciting and potentially impactful opportunities we’ve seen.  The performance of STE-006 in rabbit keratitis, rabbit adenoviral keratoconjunctivitis, and anti-biofilm models – which included a comparison against many of the leading current therapies – was incredibly impressive.  It is our belief that Stowe could develop several first-in-class medications that could affect millions of people in the U.S. and worldwide.  We look forward to our new subsidiary, Stowe Pharmaceuticals, pursuing the full potential for this first-in-class therapeutic in U.S. markets that we estimate to be well north of $2 billion per year.”

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