Sitka Biopharma is a preclinical biotechnology company focused on developing its breakthrough nanoparticle platform technology to increase absorption of drugs in difficult-to-penetrate tissues. Initially targeting oncology indications, we are developing our lead candidate (STK-01) to address the absorption challenge of intravesical chemotherapy for bladder cancer, and later intraperitoneal delivery for ovarian cancer.

Our nanoparticle platform technology is highly versatile, offers unique benefits over other nano-delivery systems, and is particularly well-suited for treating relatively localized diseases where local administration of the therapeutic is possible but is currently ineffective or unsafe. Bladder cancer was chosen for our lead program because it is characterized by therapies that exhibit limited uptake and efficacy, or are associated with significant tolerability issues and side effects. Sitka’s novel product (STK-01) is designed to overcome these issues and improve treatment outcomes by delivering a much higher concentration of the chemotherapeutic docetaxel into the bladder wall.

Sitka Biopharma was established in 2013 as a spin-out company from The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD). Our platform technology and its application were initially developed through a collaboration between the University of British Columbia (UBC) and CDRD, and further advanced toward a product candidate by CDRD.

The collaboration was led by Dr. Helen Burt, Associate Vice President of Research at UBC, Dr. Martin Gleave, Executive Director of the Vancouver Prostate Centre at Vancouver General Hospital/UBC, and Dr. Don Brooks, Professor of Pathology at UBC, who together formed the genesis of the bladder cancer application for the polymer platform. Dr. Jay Kizhakkedathu, Associate Professor of Pathology UBC joined as part of the polymer development activities, along with. Dr. Alan So, Associate Professor, Department of Urologic Sciences, at the Vancouver Prostate Center/UBC to perform the preclinical bladder cancer studies and provide clinical feedback. CDRD/CVI played a central technology development role by carrying out the critical drug development activities, including pK, ADME and toxicology studies, directing the preclinical proof-of-concept studies and selection of a lead candidate, filing additional patents, and securing funding to support these development activities.

Sitka Biopharma is located on the University of British Columbia campus in a state-of-the-art facility within The Centre for Drug Research and Development.