Ventoux Biosciences

Ventoux Biosciences Announces Positive Pre-Clinical Results, Initiates Fundraising Round to Advance Development

Ventoux Biosciences, Founded by Dupuytren’s Patient, Announces Positive Anti-Fibrotic Effects with VEN-201 and Initiates Initial Fundraising Round

ENCINITAS, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES, March 12, 2024 / — Ventoux Biosciences Announces Positive Pre-Clinical Results for Fibrosis Treatment, Initiates Fundraising Round to Advance Development

VEN-201 Demonstrated Positive Anti-Fibrotic Effects in a Bleomycin-Induced Dermal Fibrosis Model

Ventoux Biosciences, Inc., a privately held specialty pharmaceutical company developing innovative, first-line, disease-modifying therapies for Dupuytren’s and related fibrotic diseases is pleased to announce promising results from its recent pre-clinical study evaluating potential treatments for fibrosis.

The pre-clinical study demonstrated efficacy and safety profiles for VEN-201 in reducing the progression of fibrosis. These results represent a significant milestone in Ventoux Biosciences’ mission to identify and develop novel, first-line, disease-modifying treatment options to provide essential therapeutic options for patients and healthcare professionals.

“This is an important proof of concept study for VEN-201 demonstrating desirable anti-fibrotic effects with a positive safety profile

-Kurt Harrington

Based on these promising results, Ventoux Biosciences is initiating a fundraising round to support further development of VEN-201 including formulation optimization, pre-clinical studies, intellectual property, and regulatory activities. These funds will enable the company to advance development of VEN-201 and accelerate development timelines in order to bring this potential treatment to patients with Dupuytren’s.

Dupuytren’s disease

is a fibroproliferative disease affecting the palmar fascia of the hand leading to permanent flexion contracture and deformities of the fingers. The deformity can significantly limit activities of daily living, employment, and reduce health-related quality of life. Despite the common, chronic, and debilitating nature of Dupuytren’s disease, no cure is available and surgery remains the mainstay of treatment. No FDA approved disease-modifying, pharmacologic treatments are available for patients living with Dupuytren’s disease.

Utilizing an established pre-clinical model for dermal fibrosis and scleroderma, fibrosis was induced in mice using daily injections of bleomycin for 28 days. Animals were assigned to four different treatment groups: saline, bleomycin + vehicle, bleomycin + VEN-201, and bleomycin + VEN-202. Masson’s Trichrome (MT) and Hematoxylin and Eosin (H&E) stains were used for the initial qualitative histopathologic evaluation of fibrosis and collagen. Quantification of fibrosis within dermal and epidermal regions was completed from MT stained images.

Bleomycin-treated mice administered VEN-201 daily exhibited reduced tissue remodeling, as demonstrated by decreased epidermal and dermal fibrosis, collagen density, and epidermal and dermal thickness, relative to bleomycin-treated mice administered vehicle control. These improvements were achieved with a benign safety profile that is consistent with the known human safety of VEN-201. VEN-202 did not demonstrate desired effects therefore, the company does not plan to advance this compound.

Kurt Harrington, CEO of Ventoux Biosciences, shares, “This is an important proof of concept study for VEN-201 demonstrating desirable anti-fibrotic effects with a positive safety profile. We are excited to advance the development of VEN-201 with focus on additional research to support regulatory discussions, intellectual property, and formulation optimization.”


Latha Satish, M.Sc., M.Phil, Ph.D.

Dr. Satish is a trained biotechnologist with several years of experience in cell and molecular biology. Dr. Satish’s interest has been in skin research with a special focus on skin inflammation, infection, and fibrosis. The other arm of Dr. Satish’s research has been to study the molecular determinants of palmar fascial disease, Dupuytren’s contracture.

Her long-term interest has been to develop therapeutic agents to help alleviate the pain and distress of patients with Dupuytren’s. Her studies on Dupuytren’s disease were funded by a private donor, which moved the research forward to study this disease in an animal model, which was not feasible earlier. Dr. Satish’s research on Dupuytren has identified small molecules that can be used as a target to intervene with the progression and development of the disease.

Dr. Satish received her Ph.D. from a prestigious institute in India and did her post-doctoral training at the University of Pittsburgh. Currently, Dr. Satish serves as a faculty at the Division of Asthma Research, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital; named as the top hospital in the US. At Cincinnati Children’s, Dr. Satish researches Atopic Dermatitis, a chronic inflammatory skin disease affecting children and adults. Dr. Satish has published over 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals, review articles and book chapters.

Dr. Keith Denkler

Dr. Denkler is an accomplished, board certified plastic surgeon with expertise in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery. Dr. Denkler is a clinical professor of plastic surgery at UCSF and has a private practice in Marin County.

He is internationally renowned for his use of multiple approaches in treating the debilitating and disabling effects of palmar fibromatosis (Dupuytren disease). Dr. Denkler is an expert in needle aponeurotomy (NA), a minimally invasive procedure that uses subcutaneous needles to release the contracture as well as use of subcutaneous injection of collagenase. He has treated over 10,000 Dupuytren’s fingers, authored >35 publications and book chapters, presented internationally and domestically and is often cited for expert opinion in national and international news discussing Dupuytren’s. HIs pioneering investigational work documenting the safety of epinephrine with local anesthesia contributed to the origination of “wide-awake hand surgery”.

Dr. Denkler trained at prestigious medical institutions in the United States and Europe. He attended Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, followed by residency training in plastic and reconstructive surgery with the Cronin, Bauer, and Biggs group, also in Houston. Additionally, Dr. Denkler completed a hand surgery fellowship with Dr. Eugene Kilgore in San Francisco and one year of fellowship training in craniofacial surgery with Dr. Paul Tessier in Paris, France.

Dr. daiva bajorunas

Daiva Bajorunas MD is an endocrinologist with more than 25 years of experience in the biopharmaceutical industry.  She has a strong interest in advancing therapeutic options for conditions of significant unmet medical need. 

For the past decade, Daiva has been engaged as a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry, currently as Founder and Principal, DBMD Consulting, and previously as Chief Medical Officer / Chief Scientific Officer for Vault Bioventures. She has provided her expertise to enhance large, mid-size and small pharmaceutical company product development, clinical/regulatory, and life cycle strategies for both drugs and devices, including oral, transdermal, injectable and inhalative delivery systems, working across multiple therapeutic areas and geographies. She has considerable experience chairing Data Safety Monitoring Boards.   

In the past she held various R&D positions of increasing responsibility at Rhone-Poulenc Rorer, BMS, Aventis (acquired by Sanofi), and Kos Pharmaceuticals (acquired by Abbott). Before she joined industry, she held academic appointments at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Cornell University Medical College (CUMC), and was Director of Clinical Care, Endocrinology Service, Memorial Hospital (MH), New York, NY. Daiva received her MD degree at the University of Michigan Medical School, did her residency training at St. Vincent’s Hospital & Medical Center in NY, her metabolism fellowship at Stanford University Medical Center, CA and her endocrinology fellowship at MH/CUMC, NY.