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首页 » 脑血管病 » 注资4000万美元,阿斯利康联手PhaseBio开拓糖尿病、心血管疾病市场

注资4000万美元,阿斯利康联手PhaseBio开拓糖尿病、心血管疾病市场

来源:生物谷 2015-03-13 10:45

2015年3月13日讯 /生物谷BIOON/--进入二十一世纪,人类在许多重大疾病的研究中都取得了重大进展,然而在认识人类自身以及许多慢性疾病方面则显得不尽如人意。而糖尿病研究和心血管病研究则是这一问题的一个缩影。许多生物医药公司都曾雄心勃勃的希望在糖尿病领域实现重大突破,却最终折戟沉沙。这似乎已经成为生物医药公司的一个魔咒。

最近,美国宾州的生物医药公司PhaseBio就再次向这一魔咒发出了挑战。PhaseBio公司宣布已经完成了总价值达到4000万的C轮融资。值得注意的是此轮融资的主要投资方中赫然出现了制药巨头阿斯利康的身影。这也让市场对PhaseBio的前景看法水涨船高。据了解,此轮融资后,PhaseBio公司将开展关于长效胰岛素药物产品PE0139的首个临床二期研究,此外公司开发的用于治疗心血管疾病的多肽类药物也即将进入临床二期研究。

而公司的这两项药物产品都是围绕着公司独有的ELP技术设计的。ELP技术是通过在胰岛素等半衰期较短的多肽上再偶联一条多肽以延长多肽药物分子在体内的存在周期。对于PE0139而言,研究人员希望能够开发出一种降血糖效果长达一周的胰岛素药物。这样,患者的注射负担将大大降低。

事实上,这并不是PhaseBio公司第一次在糖尿病市场有所行动。此前,公司曾开发过一种新型GLP-1药物,然而临床三期显示这种药物的药效并不突出。不过,此次公司是否能一雪前耻还需要时间的检验。(生物谷Bioon.com)

详细英文报道:

One of the toughest diseases in drug development is diabetes. Even drugs that offer only a marginal gain over existing remedies require huge and expensive late-stage studies, pit some of the biggest rivals in the industry against each other, and the regulatory bar on safety is set high. But even facing some admittedly big challenges in the clinic, Malvern, PA-based PhaseBio rounded up $40 million in Series C money to pursue its R&D dreams in the arena, bringing in pharma giant AstraZeneca ($AZN) as a backer in the process.

AstraZeneca, which has been staking out a big role for itself in diabetes as it plots a comeback, joined some A-listers in the round: New Enterprise Associates, Hatteras Venture Partners, Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC and Fletcher Spaght Ventures. Together they're fueling a Phase IIa study of PhaseBio's once-weekly, long-acting basal insulin, PE0139, for diabetes along with a once-weekly "Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide" called PB1046, which is going into separate Phase IIa trials for heart failure and for cardiomyopathy in Duchenne and Becker muscular dystrophy.

"This gets us through the next set of Phase II trials," CEO Jonathan Mow tellsFierceBiotech about the round, which covers costs until the end of 2016.

Diabetes giant Novo Nordisk ($NVO) has a once-weekly basal insulin in the pipeline, says the CEO, but AstraZeneca, J&J ($JNJ) and its others backers believe that the biotech still has the inside track on developing the first, best-in-class once-weekly. But Mow is also quick to acknowledge that it's going to take a major player to fund a late-stage program needed for any regulatory approvals.

"We don't see PhaseBio taking this all the way through development," he says.

The company's pipeline revolves around its elastin-like polypeptide (ELP) tech platform, which is designed to amp up a drug's half life and maintaining stability in circulation. The long-acting basal insulin was created by combining an ELP to native human insulin, making it work in animals in a once-weekly dose. Their cardio drug was built the same way, taking a peptide with a short half-life and using ELP tech to provide prolonged exposure in circulation.

Not surprisingly, PhaseBio has had some setbacks to deal with. The biotech has a GLP-1 drug that went through a Phase IIb study with 350 patients, only to come out looking "good but not great," in Mow's words. Given that giants in the field have won approvals for a slate of GLP-1 drugs, that wasn't good enough to maintain it as the lead project. Mow says the company has set it aside for now, but still has hope that it may prove a good combo with their long-acting basal insulin.

The setback, though, does help illustrate why so few biotechs pursue programs for diabetes. Over the last few years Tolerx, Phenomix and Cebix all disintegrated in midair trying to make an advance in diabetes, only to fall short and crash. And they're not alone. But PhaseBio has raised a total of $105 million from some noteworthy investors who think the biotech has a good shot at beating the odds.

 

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