Innodia Inc. added C$7 million to its Series A round, in-licensed diabetes technology from Neurochem Inc. and now is looking to move products into the clinic.
The C$7 million (US$5 million) addition effectively closes a C$10 million Series A round. The tranche was led by Picchio Pharma Inc. and participated in by previous investor Biomedicine LP. Also participating were Neurochem and private investors, although Innodia CEO and President Claude Vezeau said that "one more major investor" might enter.
Picchio Pharma also is a significant investor in Neurochem, of Montreal. Through the financing and the licensing deal, Neurochem becomes the largest shareholder of Montreal-based Innodia with a 31.1 percent stake.
"The funds will be used to bring our two lead products into the clinic - ID 0101 and the Neurochem technology," Vezeau told BioWorld Today.
Founded nearly a year ago in late May by Vezeau - along with Bernard Pau and Pierre Petit - Innodia is focused on Type II diabetes. ID 0101 has a dual mode of action by which it increases insulin secretion and decreases peripheral insulin resistance, the company said. Neurochem's product, now called ID 1567, is an anti-amyloid approach to Type II diabetes. Innodia also has two other technologies for Type II diabetes, but it is expected that ID 0101 and ID 1567 make the jump to the clinic first.
"In the first half of next year we expect to put [ID 1567] in the clinic," Vezeau said. "ID 0101 will be in the clinic in the first quarter of next year."
At nine employees now, Innodia expects to reach 20 in the next year. It has an agreement with the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) in France in which the center matches "the number of researchers we put" into a collaboration. Given that, Innodia has six scientists and three managers, along with the six matched scientists from CNRS.
Innodia plans to develop products through Phase II on its own, then "find partners for Phase III and commercialization," Vezeau said. But that's in the future. For now, it's money in the bank and human testing ahead.
"The key goal is the clinic - that will create a lot of value and we'll build up the North American structure of the company," Vezeau said. "This is a great opportunity for diabetes in Canada, with our four technologies."