Chiasma Inc., a biotech company focused on enhanced oral delivery of proteins and small molecules, has raised $11 million in Series B recap funding ($9m called so far). Return backers include ARCH Venture Partners, MPM Capital, 7 Health Ventures, Ofer Hi-Tech and F2-ventures. The company had previously raised over $55 million, including a $44 million Series C round.
Chiasma, Inc. today made the following announcements:
— Using the Company’s proprietary Transient Permeability Enhancer
(TPE) technology, scientists at Chiasma have delivered drugs orally in
animal models that previously had only been available via injection.
The TPE platform has successfully transported proteins, peptides,
polysaccharides and non-soluble small molecules into the blood to
achieve clinically meaningful bioavailability levels. The TPE
technology is protected by 2 families of patents owned by Chiasma.
— The investors in the Company’s Series A Preferred Stock — ARCH
Venture Partners, MPM Capital, 7 Health Ventures, Ofer Hi-Tech and
F2-ventures — have invested a total of $9 million and committed an
additional $2 million, subject to certain milestones, through the
purchase of the Company’s Series B Preferred Stock. This financing
takes into account a recapitalization of the company’s equity
structure to reflect that all previous preferred investments are now
categorized as part of the Series A Preferred Stock.
— Chiasma has reorganized its Board of Directors and Management team,
which is now led by Fredric Price, Executive Chairman and Acting CEO.
Mr. Price was formerly Chairman of Omrix Biopharmaceuticals and Chairman
& CEO of BioMarin Pharmaceutical. Roni Mamluk, PhD, has been
promoted to General Manager and Vice President, R&D. Scott Minick
of ARCH, Todd Foley of MPM, Dalia Megiddo, MD, of 7 Health Ventures and
Bard Geesaman, MD, PhD, of GPC-RX and F2 have been elected to the Board;
Shay Dubi, MD, PhD, of Ofer HiTech has been named a Board Observer.
— The Company has moved into state-of the-art facilities in Jerusalem that
provide room for expansion of its biology, chemistry and animal
laboratories as well as office space to accommodate growth.
Fredric Price said, “Chiasma has undergone a successful transformation recently with the evidence that the TPE system has applicability to a wide range of molecules in multiple animal models. Our challenge is to achieve results in humans that are as effective as what we have been able to accomplish in animals, and we are focused on entering the clinic later this year. We are proceeding with drugs that, if approved with the TPE system, will be the first oral delivery for each particular molecule. Our first-to-market strategy relates to both drugs which we license to third parties as well as drugs for which we initiate development activities on our own and subsequently seek to enter into partnerships in which we retain certain development and commercialization rights.”
“Most macromolecular drugs such as peptides and proteins cannot be taken orally and have to be administered by intravenous, subcutaneous, or intramuscular injection,” noted Roni Mamluk, PhD. “Bypassing the biological hurdles preventing oral delivery of such drugs may improve a patient’s quality of life through the elimination of injections and, in specific cases, even reduce undesired side effects.
“We have recently demonstrated that administration of protein drugs formulated with the TPE technology to rats and pigs resulted in blood levels comparable to those achieved after injection of these drugs. The similarity in outcomes in both rodents and large animals as well as the capability to use the technology with drug molecules of varying sizes and characteristics is encouraging and paves the way for our first trials in humans.”
Dr. Mamluk continued, “Chiasma has established a well-controlled, simple and cost-effective manufacturing process in which no chemical modification of the drug takes place, and the drug is released in its original form to the blood. Moreover, the process is designed to ensure the activity and stability of the drug substance.”
About Management, Investors and the Board
Fredric Price joined Chiasma as Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2008 and is also Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Peptimmune, Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors of Glycadia, a member of the Board of Directors of Enobia Pharma, and a member of the Board of Directors of Pharmasset. In 2008, he stepped down after almost 4 years as Chairman of the Board of Omrix Biopharmaceuticals. Previously, he had been Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of BioMarin Pharmaceutical. He received a BA from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Roni Mamluk, PhD, joined Chiasma in 2006 as director of preclinical development. Since that time, she has taken the leading role in establishing Chiasma’s TPE oral delivery platform and is one of the primary inventors of this technology. She was promoted to General Manager & VP, R&D in 2008. Dr. Mamluk joined Chiasma from Adnexus Therapeutics, where she established and headed up preclinical research and development. Dr. Mamluk received a BA and a PhD (summa cum laude) from the Hebrew University and she held a post doctoral fellowship at Children’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School in the field of angiogenesis.
Information on Investors and Board members from ARCH, MPM, 7 Health, F2 and Ofer can be found at: www.archventure.com; www.mpmcapital.com; www.7healthventures.com; www.f2-ventures.com; and www.oferhitech.com; respectively.
Chiasma creates proprietary oral drug products that aim to lengthen the life cycle of compounds (increase market size and share) by addressing significant unmet clinical needs of injectable macro- and small molecules through the use of its Transient Permeability Enhancer (TPE) platform.
Chiasma’s press releases and other company information are available online at www.ChiasmaPharma.com. Information on Chiasma’s website is not incorporated by reference into this press release.