Clementia Rakes in $60M for Pipeline Development

Clementia Rakes in $60M for Pipeline Development
June 23, 2015
By Riley McDermid, Breaking News Sr. Editor

French Canadian biopharma Clementia Pharmaceuticals is taking advantage of a roaring biotech market, saying Tuesday it had raised $60 million in a mezzanine round that was significantly oversubscribed.

The company said it would use the money to advance clinical trials for its drug Palovarotene, an investigational retinoic acid receptor gamma agonist, which is currently in Phase II studies. That drug has shown promise at treating fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), a disease characterized by painful, recurrent episodes of soft tissue swelling that result in new, abnormal bone formation in muscles, tendons and and ligaments.

Clementia received funding from lead investor New Enterprise Associates with participation by UCB, RA Capital Management, Rock Springs Capital Management, EcoR1 Capital and a fund advised by Janus Capital Management. Existing investors OrbiMed Advisors and BDC Capital Healthcare Venture Fund pitched in as well.

"This oversubscribed round highlights significant investor confidence in Clementia and our palovarotene program," said Clarissa Desjardins, chief executive officer of Clementia, "More importantly, it allows us to continue focusing on our top priority of developing palovarotene as a potential treatment option for patients with FOP."

The interest in the Montreal-based company was hardly surprising.

VCs are increasingly looking for novel places to put their biotech dollars, with three times more venture capital dollars spent on drug improvements than on new drugs in the last decade, found a study published in February by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO). It also found VCs are increasingly interested in rare diseases and shying away from Series A rounds.

The first-of-its-kind study was released in February and covers a 10-year-period from 2004 to 2013 and set out to “better understand investor trends in order to determine where scientific or policy issues may be impacting the ability to maintain a robust pipeline of innovative medicines.”

Life Science Startups Froth as VC Firm MPM Capital Closes $400 Million Funding Round

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As Rumors Swirl About GlaxoSmithKline Bid, Who Could Suitors Be?
Rumors are swirling that Swiss-based Roche and U.S.-based Johnson & Johnson are eying the U.K. company for approximately $143 billion. But Roche and J&J aren’t the only companies though who have been thought could go after the elephant that is Glaxo.

Last month there was buzz that Pfizer Inc. was considering acquiring Glaxo, a year after it failed to acquire AstraZeneca PLC . Just this month over a third of respondents in a poll conducted by BioSpace believe that AstraZeneca PLC could be in the running to acquire struggling GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

So BioSpace wants to ask our readers again what they predict for this new dealmaking bonanza. Will Glaxo go—and if so, to whom?

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