Bay Area's Protagonist Therapeutics Fetches $40 Million to Bring Next-Gen IBD Drugs to Trial

Protagonist Therapeutics Raises $40 Million Series C Financing to Advance Oral Peptide Drugs into Clinical Development

PTG-100 to Enter Clinic as an 'Oral Targeted Therapy' for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

MILPITAS, Calif., July 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Protagonist Therapeutics, Inc., a company developing novel, orally stable peptide therapeutics for gastrointestinal diseases and disorders, today announced the closing of a $40 million Series C financing. New investors include Canaan Partners as the lead, along with Adage Capital Management, RA Capital Management and Foresite Capital. All of the company's existing investors, including Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC, Lilly Ventures, Pharmstandard International, S.A, and Starfish Ventures also joined in the financing.

Protagonist Therapeutics, Inc.

"We are pleased with the strong support received from a broad cross section of high quality investors in this financing, which has allowed us to create a well-balanced syndicate and will enable us to advance our key programs into the clinic," said Dinesh Patel, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Protagonist. "This event highlights the evolution of Protagonist's technology platform as its assets progress from discovery to clinical development, as exemplified by our first oral peptide drug candidate PTG-100."

Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance Protagonist's development candidate, PTG-100, into human clinical testing as a potential 'oral targeted therapy' for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), as well as to further the development of additional oral peptide drug candidates in the company's product pipeline. PTG-100 is an orally stable peptide therapeutic that works by specifically blocking alpha-4-beta-7 integrin, a clinically validated target for IBD. Protagonist plans to initiate Phase 1 human clinical testing of PTG-100 by the end of 2015, and progress to Phase 1/2 clinical studies in IBD patients during 2016.

As part of the transaction, the company also announced that Julie Papanek of Canaan Partners has joined the Protagonist board of directors.

"IBD and other chronic gastrointestinal diseases and disorders represent areas of growing and unmet medical need, where oral targeted therapy drugs could offer significant advantages and differentiation over injectable biologics," said Julie Papanek. "Protagonist's proprietary technology platform has enabled the company to build a significant pipeline of drug candidates that are well differentiated against both small molecule and biologics therapies."

About Protagonist Therapeutics

Protagonist Therapeutics is a U.S.-incorporated biotechnology company engaged in the discovery and development of 'orally stable peptides' as 'targeted therapy' for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and other gastrointestinal diseases and disorders. The company has an innovative and proprietary technology platform that enables it to develop potent and orally stable peptides against protein-protein interaction (PPI) targets that are otherwise undruggable by small molecules and therefore have historically been approached largely by 'injectable antibodies'. Oral peptides may lead to a superior and safer choice for IBD patients, physicians, and payers by virtue of their better convenience and compliance, and potentially enhanced safety and efficacy in comparison to other therapeutic options. The company is nearing the completion of IND-enabling studies of an alpha-4-beta-7 integrin-specific oral peptide antagonist PTG-100, and has several other assets including an oral IL-23 receptor antagonist in different stages of research and pre-clinical development.

Protagonist is headquartered in Milpitas, California USA and is a spin-out from the University of Queensland's Institute of Molecular Biosciences (IMB). The company has its pre-clinical and clinical operations in California, and discovery operations both in California and in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. For further information, please visit

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SOURCE Protagonist Therapeutics, Inc.

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