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Bay Area's Principia Biopharma Secures $50 Million Series B Financing


4/22/2014 6:48:57 AM

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Principia Biopharma Secures $50 Million Series B Financing

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.-- Principia Biopharma Inc. today announced that it has secured a $50 million Series B private financing round. Principia is a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing first-in-class small molecule drugs within the fields of autoimmune disease and oncology that are potent, safe and have antibody-like specificity for their targets. The proceeds from this financing will be used to further advance the company’s pipeline, including an oral BTK inhibitor for potential use in autoimmune disease and oncology, an oral, selective, irreversible FGFR inhibitor program for the treatment of solid tumors, an oral IL-17 pathway inhibitor program with utility across a range of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases as well as helping Principia expand into a clinical stage company.

This Series B financing is being led by Sofinnova Ventures, with participation by all of Principia’s existing institutional investors: Morgenthaler Ventures, New Leaf Venture Partners, OrbiMed, SR One, Mission Bay Capital and additional investors. In conjunction with this financing, Srinivas Akkaraju, MD, PhD, a General Partner at Sofinnova Ventures, has joined the company’s board of directors. Previously the company raised $40 million in a Series A financing.

“In just over three years, the company’s prolific chemistry and biology platform has led to advancing multiple programs in the fields of autoimmune disease and oncology, with an exciting level of preclinical validation to date,” said Dr. Akkaraju. “I look forward to rejoining the board and working closely with the management team to execute on the clinical plan.”

“We believe that Principia holds the promise of discovering and developing small molecule drugs in a way that is superior to the traditional methods of the industry today. The potential to combine the convenience of an orally available small molecule together with the durable specificity of an antibody represents an exciting advance in therapeutics,” said Peter A. Thompson, MD, FACP, Private Equity Partner at OrbiMed and Chairman of Principia’s board of directors.

Expanding on technology originally licensed from University of California, San Francisco, the company has built a comprehensive drug discovery and development engine broadly utilizing its proprietary technology around reversible covalent small molecule inhibitors. This tailored covalent technology enables the company to develop highly selective small molecules against a diverse range of kinases and other disease targets that have historically been very challenging to address. Principia believes this approach will lead to efficacious drugs with enhanced safety margins, making them suitable chronic therapies for many diseases.

“We appreciate the strong support from our existing and new investors and look forward to continuing our efforts as Principia expands into a clinical based company. We believe our technology and insights allow us to identify new small molecule treatments that would not have been identified using traditional methods or tools,” said Martin Babler, Chief Executive Officer of Principia.

About Principia Biopharma

Principia Biopharma Inc. is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing first-in-class small molecule drugs within the fields of autoimmune disease and oncology that are potent, safe and have antibody-like specificity for their targets. Expanding on technology originally licensed from the University of California, San Francisco, the company has built a comprehensive drug discovery and development engine broadly utilizing its proprietary technology around reversible covalent small molecule inhibitors. This tailored covalent technology enables the company to develop highly selective small molecules against a diverse range of kinases and other disease targets that have historically been very challenging to address. For more information, please visit the company's website at www.principiabio.com.

Contact:
Principia Biopharma Inc.
Media Contact:
Julie Normart, 415-946-1087
jnormart@w2ogroup.com
Investor Contact:
Christopher Chai, 650-416-7730

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