Cytochroma, a Markham, Ontario-based drug company focused on diseases and disorders related to vitamin D deficiency, has raised C$45 million in Series C funding. Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corp. led the round, and was joined by return backers Vengrowth Advanced Life Sciences Fund, Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, Novo AS, Canadian Medical Discoveries Fund, BDC Capital, VentureLink and GrowthWorks.
ytochroma today announced the closing of a CDN $45 million Series C financing. The financing was led by a new investor, Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation (“MTPC”), and supported by a number of existing investors including Vengrowth Advanced Life Sciences Fund Inc., Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec, Novo A/S, Canadian Medical Discoveries Fund Inc., T(2)C(2)/Bio 2000 Limited Partnership, GrowthWorks Canadian Fund Ltd., BDC Capital Inc., and VentureLink Brighter Future Fund Inc.
Charles W. Bishop, PhD, Cytochroma's President and CEO stated, “We are grateful for the strong support of MTPC and our existing investors as we work to achieve our goal of becoming an integrated specialty pharmaceutical company. This latest funding provides Cytochroma with the financial capability to aggressively drive the development of our clinical-stage therapeutic pipeline.”
The new funding will be used to advance Cytochroma's portfolio of vitamin D-based therapeutics into mid- and late-stage clinical trials. Cytochroma's product candidates target disorders related to altered vitamin D metabolism in chronic kidney disease (“CKD”) patients, and include CTA018 and CTAP201 for the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism (“SHPT”), and CTAP101 for the treatment of vitamin D insufficiency. These three lead products address significant markets that are expected to grow to more than $1.4 billion annually by 2013 in North America.
In connection with the financing, Seiichi Kiso, PhD, MBA, General Manager, Business Development & Licensing Department of MTPC, and Joseph Regan, GrowthWork's Vice President, Investments, have joined Cytochroma's Board of Directors bringing the number of directors to six. Elizabeth Douville, PhD, Vice President of GeneChem Management Inc., has retired from the Board after more than nine years of service with the Company.
Alan Lewis, Ph.D., Chairman of Cytochroma's Board of Directors, commented, “I would like to thank Elizabeth for her guidance in helping to bring Cytochroma to this important point in its development. I am also pleased to welcome Seiichi Kiso and Joe Regan to our Board and look forward to benefiting from their experience and expertise, as we continue to build a strong CKD-focused specialty pharmaceutical company.”
Dr. Kiso joined Tanabe Seiyaku Co., Ltd. in 1982, where he served in managerial positions across Product Development, R&D Planning, and Corporate Development & Licensing. He has been General Manager, Business Development & Licensing Department, at MTPC since October 2007. Dr. Kiso received his MSc from Kyoto Pharmaceutical University, an MBA from Kobe University, and a PhD from Nagoya University School of Medicine.
Mr. Regan joined GrowthWorks in early 2003, and brings 15 years of life sciences venture capital and pharmaceutical industry experience. He has been active in both company creation and the strategic growth of portfolio companies. Mr. Regan has an Honours BSc from the University of Guelph and an MBA from McMaster University.
About Chronic Kidney Disease
According to the National Kidney Foundation, more than eight million patients in the U.S. suffer from moderate CKD (Stages 3 and 4) to severe CKD (Stage 5). Stages 3 and 4 CKD are characterized by progressively decreasing kidney function as measured by glomerular filtration rate. In Stage 5, kidney function is altogether absent and patients require regular dialysis or kidney transplant for survival. An estimated 70-90% of CKD patients have vitamin D insufficiency, which can lead to SHPT and resultant debilitating bone diseases. Mounting evidence continues to link vitamin D insufficiency with progression of CKD and death. CKD is caused most frequently by diabetes or hypertension, both of which are consequences of a growing obesity epidemic in countries worldwide.
Cytochroma is a clinical stage specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing proprietary products to treat and prevent the clinical consequences of vitamin D insufficiency and SHPT associated with CKD. The Company's vitamin D-based therapeutics are designed to safely and effectively treat patients with Stage 3, 4 or 5 CKD. In addition, Cytochroma is developing novel therapies to treat hyperphosphatemia in these same patients. For more information, please visit www.cytochroma.com.