Breath Therapeutics Holding BV Spins Out of PARI Pharma With $46 Million and a Ready-to-Go Phase III Drug/Device Combo

Breath Therapeutics Spins Out of PARI Pharma With $46 Million and a Ready-to-Go Phase III Drug/Device Combo March 8, 2017
By Mark Terry, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

Breath Therapeutics launched today with the closing of a 43.5 million euro Series A financing. The round was co-led by Gimv and Sofinnova Partners. They were joined by Gilde Healthcare. PARI Pharma provided financial support. Breath Therapeutics is a spin-out from PARI Pharma GmbH.

Pari Pharma, part of PARI Worldwide, is headquartered in Stamberg, Germany. The company focuses on optimizing its Advanced Aerosol Delivery platforms. The company spin-out is of a Phase III product into a drug/device combination that links an inhaled formulation of an immunosuppressant with a device that can be remotely monitored. It could be used to treat a rare lung condition.

The plan is to take an aerosolized form of liposomal cyclosporine A and allow it to be delivered via a nebulizer that uses remote monitoring technology. It plans to evaluate the combination on Bronchiolitis Obliterans Syndrome (BOS), a deadly orphan respiratory disease. BOS affects 65 percent of all lung transplant patients. The immunosuppressant would concentrate the drug in the lungs, where it’s needed most.

John Carroll, writing for Endpoints News, says, “The work is based on research already conducted at PARI—which has been doing research work with inhaled liposomal cyclosporine A for years—along with guidance from lung transplantation expert Aldo Iacono at the University of Maryland. The company will be based in Munich and Frankfurt.”

Karl Nagler, partner in Gimv’s Health & Care team, said in a statement, “We have followed this opportunity for more than a year and worked closely with the Breath-team to orchestrate this spin-out. This carve-out is therefore a nice example of a mid-sized company inviting external expertise and financial resources to bring to maturity an in-house innovation.”

Jens Stegemann, a PARI business development executive, will be the chief executive officer of Breath. Anne Burger will be the chief financial officer. Gerhard Boemer will be Breath’s chief science officer. Oliver Denk will be the chief operating officer. Graziano Seghezzi, a partner at Sofinnova Partners, and Karl Nagler, a partner at Gimv, and Arthur Franken, a partner at Glide Healthcare, will join the board of directors.

“We are thrilled to be involved with Breath Therapeutics,” Seghezzi said in a statement. “We were really impressed by its highly talented and entrepreneur-oriented team, as well as by the potential of its market breaking technology. At Sofinnova Partners we have a strong expertise in turning corporate spin-offs into successful companies, and are happy to share our experience and resources with the team to back Breath Therapeutics’ growth.”

The company plans to move directly into Phase III trials in Europe and the U.S., and expects to take the data directly to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

“Our strategy is to deposit high concentrations of an immunosuppressive agent directly into the small airways of the lung,” Stegemann said in a statement. “With this top- tier group of investors and the best international lung transplantation centers supporting us, we now are in an excellent position to achieve ground-breaking improvmeents in the combat of BOS.”

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