Intarcia Buys One Month Old Startup Phoundry
- Acquisition of world class peptide team and therapeutic assets complements Intarcia's antibody fragment deal with Numab earlier this year - both targeting diabetes & obesity
- Phoundry and Numab assets will accelerate and expand next generation combination therapeutics co-formulated with ITCA 650 in once or twice yearly mini-pumps - Multiple next generation combination approaches planned to be in the clinic by 2017 - each aiming to provide disruptive improvements in glucose reductions and weight loss
BOSTON, Sept. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Intarcia Therapeutics, Inc. today announced the acquisition of Phoundry Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Founded in 2015 after six years of work as part of the Enteroendocrine Discovery Performance Unit of GlaxoSmithKline, Phoundry Pharmaceuticals has created a portfolio of optimized peptides in various therapeutic categories, most notably diabetes and obesity.
Phoundry enhances Intarcia's internal efforts to build upon the differentiated clinical success of its Phase 3 investigational therapy, ITCA 650, the first injection-free GLP-1 therapy with the potential to deliver up to a full year of treatment from a single placement.
As a result of the Phoundry acquisition and the separate Numab collaboration formed earlier this year, Intarcia will now have expanding intellectual property rights and three distinct near-term R&D programs targeting diabetes and obesity, including:
- ITCA 650 + Optimized Peptide 1 targeting Type 2 Diabetes and/or Obesity
- ITCA 650 + Optimized Peptide 2 targeting Type 2 Diabetes and/or Obesity
- ITCA 650 + Single Chain Antibody Fragment targeting Type 2 Diabetes and/or Obesity
"Incredible progress with ITCA 650 and our two pipeline deals this year have transformed the strategic outlook for the company, and put us in a position to build on ITCA 650 and advance a potentially leading portfolio of disruptive once or twice yearly combo therapies in diabetes and obesity," stated Kurt Graves, Chairman, President and CEO of Intarcia Therapeutics. "We welcome the research team from Phoundry; both companies share a common vision that combination therapies of optimized peptides have the potential to mimic and extend the metabolic benefits and weight loss potential associated with bariatric surgery, all potentially delivered in our proprietary once or twice yearly mini-pumps. Phoundry's team brings over 120 years of combined experience in peptide drug discovery and translational medicine insights that are invaluable to us in our target markets. Their team has a proven track record of producing medicines and they have worked for years to design optimized peptides to specifications that are a perfect fit for our targets and our mini-pump delivery systems. This acquisition represents a new and powerful engine of innovation for our company. With recent data showing up to 52% of the US population now having type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes,(1) and the incidence of obesity over 35% as well, there is an urgent and growing need for game changing therapies that truly disrupt the status quo trends and the devastating human and economic consequences."
"We are excited about joining Intarcia, and combining our respective technologies," explained Paul Feldman, CEO and co-founder of Phoundry Pharmaceuticals. "We've long held the belief that Intarcia's continuous, zero order delivery platform is the ideal method for peptide administration. Combining our highly potent, selective and stable peptides with Intarcia's ability to dial in the optimal dose for maximum efficacy, while eliminating regular self-injections with once or twice yearly administration, should set the stage for a number of novel, transformative medicines that can fundamentally change the standard of care and dramatically improve adherence with therapy over time."
Intarcia will fund the acquisition via a combination of cash and stock. The parties agreed not to disclose the specific financial terms of the transaction. Intarcia will retain all Phoundry employees as well a presence in Research Triangle Park, NC, and expects to double head count within 12-18 months. Paul Feldman will become a member of Intarcia's executive leadership team, serving as VP, Head of Discovery and Translational Medicine, while Andrew Young will become VP, Chief Scientific Officer and Ved Srivastava will assume the role of VP, Peptide Chemistry. In addition to the near-term priority focus on Diabetes and Obesity, both the Phoundry acquisition and the Numab collaboration formed earlier this year have additional R&D pipeline projects with potential in other serious chronic diseases.
About ITCA 650
ITCA 650 (a once or twice-yearly continuous subcutaneous delivery of exenatide) is being developed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The investigational therapy employs Intarcia's proprietary technology platform involving a matchstick-size, miniature osmotic pump that is placed sub-dermally to provide continuous and consistent drug therapy, and the company's proprietary formulation technology, which maintains stability of therapeutic proteins and peptides at human body temperatures for extended periods of time. Exenatide, the active agent in ITCA 650, is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist currently marketed globally as twice-daily and once-weekly self-injection therapies for type 2 diabetes. Upon approval, ITCA 650 would represent the first injection-free GLP-1 therapy that can deliver up to a full year of treatment from a single placement. ITCA 650 is currently in a global Phase 3 clinical trial program called FREEDOM.
About Intarcia Therapeutics, Inc.
Intarcia Therapeutics, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company developing therapies to enhance treatment outcomes by optimizing and improving the efficacy, continuous administration and tolerability of drug therapies. In addition, delivering medicines just once or twice yearly has the potential to ensure improved patient adherence and compliance, which is very poor in most chronic diseases. Intarcia's drug development expertise and competitive edge are demonstrated by its abilities to stabilize proteins and peptides at above-body temperature and to deliver them in a constant and consistent manner via Intarcia's proprietary technology platform. Intarcia is conducting a Phase 3-stage development program for type 2 diabetes that consists of four separate clinical trials, three of which have been completed. Intarcia continues to conduct research and development, utilizing its platform technology, to treat other chronic serious disorders in the field of diabetes and obesity. For more information on the Company, please visit www.intarcia.com.
About Phoundry Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Founded in 2015, Phoundry Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is a Research Triangle Park, North Carolina-based biotechnology company focused on the discovery of peptide therapeutics. Phoundry has highly specialized expertise in peptide chemistry, biology, and drug metabolism and pharmacokinetic studies. The company was co-founded by six scientists from GlaxoSmithKline's Enteroendocrine Discovery Performance Unit, Paul Feldman (CEO), Andrew Young (CSO), Ved Srivastava, Mark Paulik, James Way and Shane Roller, and A. M. Pappas & Associates. The scientific founders' track record includes eight drug products, including exenatide, pramlintide and three other peptide therapeutics, as well as over two dozen Phase 2 clinical-stage assets. The Company's operations, including its laboratory-based activity, are at the Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences in Research Triangle Park.
Intarcia and its logo are registered trademarks of Intarcia Therapeutics, Inc.
(1) JAMA, 2015; 314(10):1021-1029, Mende, "Prevalence of and Trends in Diabetes Among Adults in the United States, 1998-2012"
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SOURCE Intarcia Therapeutics, Inc.