Areteia Therapeutics, Inc. (“Areteia”) today announced $75 million in additional Series A financing to support expansion of the current Phase III development program of dexpramipexole in eosinophilic asthma, bringing total Series A funding to $425 million. Viking Global Investors and Marshall Wace join the original syndicate of investors led by Bain Capital Life Sciences with participation from Access Biotechnology, GV, ARCH Venture Partners, Saturn Partners, Sanofi, Maverick Capital, and Population Health Partners.
The additional capital raised will fund significant expansion of the ongoing Phase III program, to include adding clinical development in Japan along with several additional global markets, expansion of manufacturing activities and additional life-cycle management including development of a once daily formulation.
“We are delighted that leading biotech investors like Viking Global Investors and Marshall Wace have joined the syndicate. Their investment in Areteia further deepens our already strong capitalization position,” said Jorge Bartolome, President and Chief Executive Officer of Areteia. “We are pleased with the strong demand in this investment expansion round as our phase III program in eosinophilic asthma continues to make excellent progress.”
About Areteia Therapeutics
Areteia Therapeutics, Inc. (areteiatx.com) is a clinical stage biotechnology company whose purpose is to develop and deliver novel Inflammation and Immunology therapies that put respiratory patients in better control of their disease and back in control of their lives. Our initial focus is developing the first potential oral drug for severe eosinophilic asthma.
Areteia’s lead drug candidate is dexpramipexole, and if approved, will be a first-in-class oral eosinophil maturation inhibitor that targets eosinophilic inflammation by lowering blood and tissue eosinophils.
Areteia was created by Population Health Partners and Knopp Biosciences. A syndicate of leading life sciences and strategic investors led by Bain Capital Life Sciences with participation from Access Biotechnology, GV, ARCH Venture Partners, Saturn Partners, Sanofi, Maverick Capital, and Population Health Partners, committed to invest up to $350 million in Series A financing to establish Areteia and advance dexpramipexole through Phase III clinical trials, secure commercial supply, and pursue potential next-generation medicines. $75 million in expanded financing has now been committed by Viking Global Investors, Marshall Wace and the original syndicate. As a result, the Series A total financing now commits up to $425 million.
Areteia has initiated late-stage development of dexpramipexole in eosinophilic asthma, including three Phase III clinical trials in partnership with Population Health Partners’ development unit, Validae Health.
Dexpramipexole is an oral small molecule eosinophil lowering drug currently in Phase III development for eosinophilic asthma. Dexpramipexole inhibits the maturation of eosinophils in the bone marrow, based on evidence from cell cultures and human biopsies, thereby lowering peripheral blood eosinophil levels. Most recently in a Phase II study in patients with moderate-to-severe eosinophilic asthma, treatment with dexpramipexole resulted in a significant, dose-dependent reduction in blood absolute eosinophil count at all doses tested compared to placebo. Dexpramipexole was well tolerated in the trial, with adverse events balanced across treatment and placebo groups, no serious adverse events, and no adverse events leading to discontinuation.
About Eosinophilic Asthma
Asthma disrupts the lives of more than a quarter of a billion people worldwide. More than half of asthma patients have eosinophilic asthma, which is driven by an oversupply of eosinophils, a type of white blood cell, in blood and tissue. By inhibiting the maturation of eosinophils, oral dexpramipexole acts to lower eosinophils. Similarly, currently approved injectable anti-IL-5/5R biologic therapies provide clinical benefit through eosinophil lowering. The asthma biologic market is valued today at around $8 billion, with IL-5 biologic therapies approaching $4 billion of that figure. If approved as a first-to-market oral, dexpramipexole could provide a compelling alternative to injectable biologics, and could potentially expand the use of targeted therapy to address Type 2 eosinophilic inflammation in asthma.
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