12:00 AM
 | 
Jul 08, 2002
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

BioXell: Leveraging vitamin D3

Roche's latest spinout, BioXell S.p.A., looks more like a relatively mature biotech company than a startup. The Italian biotech, founded in March, has a compound in clinical trials, preclinical programs close to the clinic, and an interesting arrangement with Roche for drug discovery.

BioXell's main focus is developing vitamin D3 analogs as therapeutics for bone-related diseases, psoriasis, and cancer. In addition, the company plans to exploit expertise in TREM receptors (Triggering Receptor Expressed on Myeloid cells) and gene expression profiling.

"Roche, one of the leaders in vitamin D3 chemistry, has transferred to BioXell intellectual property concerning more than 200 vitamin D3 analogs made over the last 15 years," said BioXell CEO Francesco Sinigaglia. Roche (ROCZ, Basel, Switzerland) owns 17% of the company and has a right of first negotiation on all products in development.

Vitamin D3, which is synthesized by skin cells, can act as...

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