Our mission is to develop best in class drugs that have the potential to improve patients’ lives by transforming the treatment of overactive bladder (OAB) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Velicept Therapeutics is a privately held, clinical development company focused on advancing best-in-class compounds with high promise in large unmet markets. The Company is focused on clinical development and optimizing commercialization through partnerships. The Company’s lead program, solabegron, is a highly potent and selective beta-3 adrenoceptor agonist that is being developed for overactive bladder (OAB). OAB is a condition that affects the quality of life for more than 80 million people worldwide − a number that will continue to grow as the population ages.
Solabegron was discovered and first developed by GlaxoSmithKline. It was acquired by AltheRx, which merged with Velicept in 2015 to continue development of the program. Solabegron has been tested in over 800 study subjects in a twice-a-day formulation and demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of OAB as well as IBS. A once daily formulation designed to optimize patient convenience as well as efficacy has been developed and is currently being evaluated in a phase 2b dose ranging clinical trial. A Phase 2b dose ranging study with the twice daily formulation also began enrollment in Q1 2018.
The company’s leadership team has decades of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.
Overactive Bladder (OAB)
Overactive bladder (OAB) is a common condition that affects the quality of life of an estimated 80 million people worldwide, including more than 35 million Americans. Because OAB occurs more frequently in older adults, the number of cases is expected to increase as the population ages.
The symptoms of OAB include an urgent need to urinate, frequent urination, and sometimes leaking urine before reaching the toilet, a condition also known as urge incontinence.
Treatment of OAB often includes behavioral modification, surgery and medication. However, the side effects associated with current OAB medications, which have limited efficacy, are so significant that up to 80 percent of patients stop therapy and discontinue treatment.
Patients are often uncomfortable discussing OAB symptoms with their physicians, which contributes to the disorder being under-diagnosed and therefore under-treated. Despite this, Americans in 2012 spent more than $2B on prescription medications for the treatment of OAB.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
More than 70 million people worldwide, including about one in every six Americans, suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), making it the most common disorder treated by gastroenterologists, physicians who specialize in diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.
Symptoms of IBS include chronic, recurring and sometimes debilitating abdominal pain, cramping and changes in bowel habits. IBS often begins in adolescence or early childhood, and is far more common in females than in males.
IBS may be caused by problems with intestinal muscles or because the intestine may be particularly sensitive to stretching or movement. In some instances, IBS occurs after an intestinal infection, a condition called post-infectious IBS. There may also be other triggers.
Because the colon is connected to the brain through the nerves of the autonomic nervous system, IBS and stress may be related; IBS sufferers may have colons that are over-responsive to these nerves.