PeptImmune Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based drug company focused on chronic autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, has raised $8.2 million in the first close of a Series D round. Return backers included New Enterprise Associates, MPM Capital, Hunt Ventures, Boston Medical Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank Capital. The company had previously raised in VC funding since its 2003 spinout from Genzyme, with other investors including Prism VentureWorks, Vanguard Ventures and Itochu Corporation.
Peptimmune, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company, announced that it has completed a first close of $8.2 million of a Series D preferred stock offering with its investor syndicate led by New Enterprise Associates, MPM Capital, Hunt Ventures L.P., Boston Medical Investors and Silicon Valley Bank Capital, as well as certain other investors, including its Chairman of the Board. The Company expects a second close in Q2/2008, which may involve an additional new investor. The proceeds of the financing are primarily being used to advance clinical development of Peptimmune's PI-2301 for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
“We are pleased with the level of continuing support from our existing investors and the opportunity to expand our syndicate,” stated Thomas P. Mathers, President and CEO. “The Series D investment will provide the necessary capital to complete two clinical trials by the end of 2008: the current single ascending dose in healthy volunteers and a multiple ascending dose in multiple sclerosis patients, expected to start in Q2/08. The completion of these two studies will offer proof of principal for PI-2301, which is a second generation copolymer targeted at treating patients with relapsing and remitting multiple sclerosis.”
Financing Two Clinical Trials in Multiple Sclerosis
Peptimmune is currently completing its Phase I single ascending dose study for PI-2301, a double blind placebo controlled randomized study that involves 56 healthy male volunteers who will receive the drug in eight escalating dose cohorts. Following establishment of safety at potentially therapeutic doses, the Company will initiate its first repeat dose study in multiple sclerosis patients in Q2/2008, where it will explore safety, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics over eight to twelve weeks of dosing.
PI-2301 is a second generation peptide copolymer from a similar compound class as Copaxone(R) (Teva Pharmaceuticals). PI-2301 works through immune modulation by enhancing the regulatory response of the immune system to control the pathogenic autoimmune response in certain diseases. PI-2301 has been optimized using Peptimmune's novel platform peptide chemistry and in pre-clinical studies, has shown to be more potent and effective than Copaxone in treating disease models for multiple sclerosis. It is expected that weekly dosing administration with PI-2301 will provide greater patient convenience and tolerability over Copaxone's daily dosing administration. PI-2301 has also shown efficacy in pre-clinical models of autoimmune diseases where immune modulation may be effective, such as Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune uveitis. Peptimmune has also introduced highly reproducible manufacturing methods that allow very strict control and characterization of PI-2301 and should provide a superior level of batch to batch consistency.
Information on Multiple Sclerosis
Over 400,000 Americans have multiple sclerosis (MS), and worldwide MS may affect over 2.5 million individuals. MS is an autoimmune disease in which the individual's immune system responds against multiple components of nerve-insulating myelin. The effects of these immune-mediated attacks can range from relatively benign to somewhat disabling to devastating, as communication between the brain and other parts of the body is disrupted.
Peptimmune, Inc. is a privately held clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the development of peptide therapies to improve the management of chronic autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. The Company is in clinical development with second-generation therapeutics that are expected to result in safer and more effective products for multiple sclerosis and pemphigus vulgaris. Current investors include New Enterprise Associates, MPM Capital, Hunt Ventures, Boston Medical Investors, and Silicon Valley Bank Capital. For additional information, access our website at http://www.peptimmune.com/, or contact Dustan Bonnin at (617) 715-8043.