VC-backed Therachon buys GLyPharma

Therachon has acquired Montreal-based GLyPharma Therapeutic Inc, a developer of drugs for short bowel syndrome and other rare gastrointestinal diseases. No financial terms were disclosed. Therachon is backed by Novo Holdings, Cowen Healthcare Investments, Pfizer Ventures, Tekla Capital Management LLC, Versant Ventures, OrbiMed, Bpifrance and Inserm Transfert Initiative.


BASEL, Switzerland, Oct. 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Therachon AG (“Therachon”), a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on treating root causes of rare conditions, today announced the acquisition of GLyPharma Therapeutic Inc. (“GLyPharma”) for an undisclosed amount. This transformational deal marks Therachon’s evolution to a multi-asset rare disease company by adding apraglutide (FE 203799), a next-generation synthetic GLP-2 analog targeting short bowel syndrome (SBS) and other devastating rare G.I. diseases. The transaction comes on the heels of a $60 million mezzanine financing led by Novo Holdings.

“Expanding our pipeline with this new asset supports our mission of harnessing internal and external scientific innovation to make a difference in the lives of people living with serious rare conditions,” said Luca Santarelli, M.D., chief executive officer at Therachon. “Like achondroplasia, our other area of focus, people living with SBS have significant unmet medical needs. We believe apraglutide offers a potential best-in-class profile for efficacy, as well as a favorable dosing regimen and improved tolerability compared with other GLP-2 analogs.”

Under the agreement, Therachon has acquired the exclusive development and commercialization rights to apraglutide, originally discovered by Ferring Pharmaceuticals (“Ferring”) and exclusively licensed to GLyPharma in 2012.

“This is an exciting time for Therachon as we continue to identify and advance best-in-disease therapies for rare conditions with significant unmet medical need through both internal R&D and selected acquisitions,” said Behrad Derakhshan, Ph.D., head of business development.

About Short Bowel Syndrome
Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS) results from extensive intestinal resection due to chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), acute events (e.g. mesenteric infarction) or congenital abnormalities. An estimated 20,000-40,000 patients are thought to suffer from SBS in the US and Europe. Intestinal failure (IF), a common and debilitating consequence of SBS, occurs when less than 200 cm of functional intestine remains following surgical resection. It is a life-threatening complication characterized by malabsorption and malnutrition, infections, blood clots and poor quality of life. Affected individuals are dependent on daily parenteral support, sometimes requiring up to 16 hrs of parenteral feeding per day.

About Apraglutide (FE 203799)
Apraglutide is a next-generation, synthetic GLP-2 analog that has undergone extensive preclinical characterization and optimization. It has successfully completed a Phase 1 single ascending dose/multiple ascending dose trials in healthy volunteers demonstrating a superior pharmacokinetic (PK) profile that affords an easy to use, once-weekly dosing regimen and is currently being investigated in two Phase 2 studies in SBS.

About Therachon
Therachon is a clinical-stage global biotechnology company focused on developing medicines for rare conditions with significant unmet medical need. The company is pursuing programs in rare conditions with well characterized biological root causes in both short bowel syndrome (SBS) and achondroplasia. Therachon is committed to making a difference in the lives of patients living with serious rare disorders. For more information, please visit

About GLyPharma
Until this transaction, GLyPharma was a Montreal-based Canadian Controlled Private Corporation funded by CTI Life Sciences Fund (CTILSF), a Montreal-based private VC Fund, Ferring and Fonds de solidarité FTQ, a Québec-based labor-sponsored Fund. GLyPharma has been a project-focused, quasi-virtual company managed by CTILSF in partnership with Ferring and committed to developing innovative products through Phase 2.