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12/8/2010 6:34:04 AM
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Catabasis Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company leveraging the therapeutic potential of omega-3 fatty acids and other well-characterized compounds to create dual action medicines for the treatment of inflammatory and metabolic diseases, today announced that it has achieved important development milestones in advancing its lead compound toward human clinical trials, triggering a second tranche of $14.5 million in its Series A financing from its current investors. In April, Catabasis announced it had completed a $39.6 million Series A financing led by SV Life Sciences, Clarus Ventures, MedImmune Ventures and Advanced Technology Ventures. Additionally, Catabasis announced it has named board of directors member Michael Ross, Ph.D., managing partner at SV Life Sciences, to chairman.
Proceeds from the second tranche will be used to progress the company’s lead compound to treat type 2 diabetes into clinical studies, further advance two additional programs in the areas of metabolic diseases and inflammation, and continue to support the growth of the company.
“These funds will allow us to complete a Phase 1 study for our type 2 diabetes compound and continue to develop our pipeline,” said Jill Milne, Ph.D., co-founder and chief executive officer of Catabasis. “We have a rich pipeline of preclinical product candidates which treat a range of diseases that have inflammation as the root cause. We believe that this flexible approach provides a unique opportunity to develop multiple new treatment options for patients, as well as strategic partnering opportunities.”
“Catabasis’ continued success in moving its lead program in type 2 diabetes towards the clinic is a testament to the rapid progress the company has made in furthering its development strategy,” said Dr. Ross. “Currently, there are no drugs on the market for type 2 diabetes that are directed at inflammation. Catabasis’ candidate has the potential to be disease-modifying and targets a root cause of diabetes and insulin resistance. I look forward to working closely with the team as they continue to execute on their business strategy.”
There is a substantial need for the development of new therapies to treat inflammation, which has been found to be a primary cause of many diseases, including type 2 diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease. While a range of treatments for various inflammatory and metabolic diseases are currently available, new, safe, effective oral medicines are needed to target the core causes of inflammation. Catabasis’ new therapeutic approach targets diseases that are linked by inflammation. The company is able to synthesize conjugates of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) fatty acids with other well-known, therapeutically beneficial compounds to produce dual-action drugs, which are new chemical entities that amplify the demonstrated effects of the original compounds. Catabasis’ lead program is in development to treat type 2 diabetes, which recent research suggests is caused by inflammation triggered by obesity. The lead program is expected to enter human clinical trials in the second half of 2011.
“Leveraging the insights from our renowned team of experts, we believe that Catabasis is well positioned to be the next breakthrough company aimed at treating metabolic and inflammatory conditions,” said Mike Jirousek, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of Catabasis. “We are very pleased with the promising preclinical data generated to date, and we are on schedule to enter our lead program into the clinic next year.”
Catabasis is dedicated to the discovery and development of innovative, effective and safe medicines to treat inflammatory and metabolic diseases. The company has assembled a team of passionate and experienced scientists who are committed to improving the lives of patients. Catabasis has developed a pipeline of molecules that amplify the beneficial effects of salicylates and omega-3 fatty acids to target the underlying etiologies of a spectrum of complex human diseases. Catabasis’ approach dramatically enhances the therapeutic potential of DHA and EPA, two essential fatty acids found in fish oil, by improving the delivery, potency and efficacy. The company was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass. Please visit www.catabasispharma.com for more information.