Gelesis racks up $12 mln

Gelesis said Friday that it has raised $12 million in funding. Investors included the Pritzker/Vlock family office and PureTech. Based in Boston, Gelesis is a developer of obesity therapeutics.

PRESS RELEASE

BOSTON, May 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Gelesis, Inc., a clinical stage company developing a new category of therapy to safely treat overweight, obese and diabetic patients, has raised $12M as it advances the development of its lead product, Gelesis100, toward commercialization, bringing the total amount Gelesis has raised to over $42M.
GELESIS100 is a smart pill that is designed to treat the physiological symptoms of hunger without surgery, invasive procedures or systemic absorption. To date, Gelesis100 has generated compelling safety and efficacy data through a series of rigorous clinical, preclinical and in vitro studies.
“I am particularly enthusiastic about the product Gelesis is developing. This approach is so unique that it’s not just ‘first-in-class,’ rather represents a whole new class of therapies that has the potential to be a game changer in our arsenal for treating overweight, obese and pre-diabetic patients,” said Dr. Caroline Apovian FACN, Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics, in the section of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Nutrition, at Boston University School of Medicine.
Gelesis has also expanded its leadership team with the hiring of Dr. Rob Armstrong, former Vice President, Global External R&D at Eli Lilly, as Chief Business Officer. Dr. Armstrong spearheaded a number of innovative initiatives at Lilly including the development of an integrated global network of R&D partnerships and the creation of external funding mechanisms to develop innovative drugs in the Chorus translational medicine engine.
“We’re so glad to have Rob join us. He was an important entrepreneurial force within Lilly and his initiatives represent a movement towards smarter approaches to therapeutic research and development,” said Yishai Zohar, Founder & CEO of Gelesis.
Investors included the Pritzker/Vlock Family Office as well as founder PureTech and a group of prominent senior leaders from the pharmaceutical, biotech and finance sectors.
“We’re very excited both by Gelesis100′s development to date and by its path forward to commercialization, as supported by this funding,” said Dr. John Lamattina, Chairman of Gelesis and former President of R & D at Pfizer, “at a time when tremendous unmet needs exist in the treatment of obesity and diabetes, we see this as a critical opportunity to advance a safe and effective treatment with potential to dramatically improve outcomes.”
About Gelesis
Gelesis is a clinical stage company developing a new category of therapy to safely treat overweight, obese and diabetic patients. The Gelesis executive and advisory team includes the world’s top experts in obesity research and clinical development, former regulatory leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators in advanced materials. Gelesis was co-founded by PureTech, a venture creation company tackling tomorrow’s biggest healthcare problems.

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