Cincinnati Startup Raises $50 Million to Advance Hypertension Treatment Licensed from Roche
Cincinnati-based CinCor Pharma snagged $50 million in Series A financing, as well as rights to a Roche therapy for treatment-resistant hypertension and primary aldosteronism, a hormonal disorder that can lead to high blood pressure.
The $50 million raised by CinCor is reportedly the largest Series A raised by a Cincinnati-based company. The proceeds from the financing round will be used to advance development CIN-107, the novel aldosterone synthase inhibitor compound acquired from Roche. CinCor plans to advance the therapeutic through proof-of-concept Phase II clinical trials in these two indications. Hypertension guidelines were changed in 2017 after overwhelming data demonstrated that reducing blood pressures to less than 130/80 reduced the risk of cardiac events, particularly heart attacks and stroke. However, CinCor said that approximately 17 percent of the hypertensive population did not achieve goal levels despite the use of combinations of blood pressure lowering medications, and are considered treatment resistant.
“This promising compound has great potential in addressing the substantial unmet medical need in patients who cannot achieve required blood pressure goals despite taking multiple anti-hypertensive medications,” Jon Isaacsohn, co-founder and chief executive officer of CinCor, said in a statement.
Isaacsohn added that patients with hypertension who have not achieved their goal blood pressure are at increased risk of heart attack and stroke. He said CIN-107 represents a new therapeutic option for those patients, as well as for patients who are at risk of aldosterone-mediated end organ damage.
While financial terms of the licensing agreement with Roche were not disclosed, CinCor will be responsible for all development, manufacturing and commercialization of the compound. CIN-107 works through the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, which is responsible for regulating the body’s fluid and electrolyte balance.
In a Phase I single ascending dose clinical study, CIN-107 was well tolerated. Additionally, the compound demonstrated specificity for aldosterone inhibition, and showed significant dose-dependent aldosterone lowering, the company said this morning. CinCor intends to continue development with a multiple ascending dose Phase I clinical study, which will be followed by two Phase II trials in patients with resistant hypertension and primary aldosteronism.
The Series A funding was led by Sofinnova Investments and supported by 5AM Ventures. As part of the financing agreement, Jim Healy, managing partner at Sofinnova Investments, joined the CinCor board of directors. Also joining the board are Maina Bhaman from Sofinnova Partners and David Allison of 5AM Ventures.
Healy said there has been a lack of innovation in the treatment of hypertension and many patients are not able to adequately control their blood pressure with current treatment options. Healy noted that the mechanism of action in CIN-107 builds on data that demonstrated the value of lowering aldosterone levels in patients with hypertension, and particularly in patients with primary aldosteronism.