AstraZeneca PLC-Backed PhaseBio Locks in $40 Million

Published: Mar 12, 2015

AstraZeneca-Backed PhaseBio Locks in $40 Million
March 12, 2015
By Krystle Vermes, Breaking News Staff

PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. , a biopolymer-based drug manufacturer, announced today that it has raised $40 million in a Series C round of funding, led by AstraZeneca PLC . Existing investors New Enterprise Associates, Hatteras Venture Partners and Johnson & Johnson Innovation also participated in the financing round.

"The investment from AstraZeneca, together with our existing investors, provides PhaseBio with a great deal of operational flexibility and resources to advance PE0139 into a Phase IIa study, as well as to initiate Phase IIa trials of PB1046 for acute heart failure and for cardiomyopathy in Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy patients," said Jonathan Mow, Chief Executive Officer of PhaseBio. "Given the broad potential for PB1046 to treat both heart failure and orphan diseases, we have the flexibility to either develop and launch the product on our own or in collaboration with a partner."

JJDC and Fletcher Spaght Ventures will help PhaseBio further its progress on PE0139, a once-weekly insulin treatment for type 2 diabetes. Additionally, PhaseBio will be able to work on PB1046, its once-weekly Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide. The company has been aiming to conduct two separate Phase IIa trials for heart failure and cardiomyopathy with the product.

"AstraZeneca is committed to bringing innovative treatments to improve the life of diabetic patients," said Michael Gutch, executive director of Corporate Development at AstraZeneca. "The ELP technology developed by PhaseBio might offer to patients the opportunity to manage their diabetes by injecting once-weekly, long-acting basal insulin."

Expanding Leadership
PhaseBio has also been working to expand its leadership team over the past few weeks. The company announced on March 3 that Clay Thorp, general partner at Hatteras Venture Partners, had joined the team as Executive Chairman of the board of directors. Johnathan Mow took over as chief executive officer, and James Ballance was appointed vice president of Research and Scientific Affairs.

PhaseBio is positioned for growth, and the strengthening of our leadership team enables the company to leverage our proprietary discovery platform technology in multiple therapeutic areas, including metabolic and orphan diseases,” said Thorp. “I am pleased to work with Jonathan, Jim and the rest of the PhaseBio team in this new capacity to advance the pipeline and realize the full potential of this novel technology.”

Mow and Balance will bring a combined 50 years of industry experience to the head of PhaseBio.

BioSpace Temperature Poll
Vertex Pharmaceuticals made news last week when it terminated leases on three properties in Cambridge, Mass, that freed up 313,000 square feet of space in the Genetown area. The company has spent a significant part of 2014 consolidating its operations on the South Boston waterfront, leasing 291,000 square feet of office space at West Kendall Street in Cambridge’s Kendall Square. So we wanted to ask the BioSpace community: Is Boston going to be getting more biotech leases anytime soon, or fewer tenants?

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