Akouos Inc., of Boston, a precision genetic medicine company developing potential gene therapies to restore, improve or preserve hearing, said it has raised $105 million in an oversubscribed series B financing led by Pivotal Bioventure Partners, with participation from new investors Cormorant Asset Management, Cowen Healthcare Investments, Ecor1 Capital, Fidelity Management & Research Co., Polaris Founders Fund, Pagsgroup, Surveyor Capital (a Citadel company), Wu Capital and other institutional investors. Existing investors 5AM Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Novartis Venture Fund, Partners Innovation Fund, RA Capital Management and Sofinnova Investments also participated in the round. The funds will be used to advance the company’s lead program, AK-OTOF, a gene therapy focused on restoring hearing in individuals with sensorineural hearing loss due to mutations in the otoferlin (OTOF) gene, to first-in-human clinical studies subject to IND filing and acceptance, and establish the company’s in-house GMP manufacturing capabilities at its new offices in the Boston Seaport.
Emmaus Life Sciences Inc., of Torrance, Calif., said it completed a 36-month term purchase agreement for up to $25 million of common stock with Lincoln Park Capital Fund LLC that will make an initial purchase of 100,000 shares at $2 each. The company plans to use the proceeds from sales of its common stock for working capital and general corporate purposes.
Lipidio Pharmaceuticals Inc., of San Diego, said it closed its series A financing for the development of its lead therapeutic candidate, GDD-3898, and will conduct new studies to strengthen support for its therapeutic potential in one or more new indications associated with excess body fat, including nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and Prader Willi syndrome.
Pliant Therapeutics Inc., of South San Francisco, which is focused on discovering and developing therapies for the treatment of fibrosis, said it raised $100 million from a series C financing round to support the continued clinical development of PLN-74809 in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IBF) and primary sclerosing cholangitis, as well as its ongoing drug discovery programs targeting other fibrotic diseases. PLN-74809 is designed to be a dual selective inhibitor of αVβ1 and αVβ6, two integrins that play key roles in multiple fibrotic pathways. The compound is in phase IIa testing for IPF.
Xortx Therapeutics Inc., of Calgary, Alberta, which is focused on developing innovative therapies to treat progressive kidney disease, said it closed a first tranche of a nonbrokered private placement issuing 18.25 million units for gross proceeds of CA$2.55 million (US$1.9 million). Each unit comprises one common share and one common share purchase warrant exercisable at CA25 cents for a period of one year from the issuance of the units. The net proceeds will be used to advance the company’s development of XRx-008 and XRx-221 for polycystic kidney disease (a phase III ready program) and type 2 diabetic nephropathy (a phase IIb ready program), including operations and ongoing licensing discussions.