– USA, NC – Vascular Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (VPI), a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company addressing the complications of diabetes, announced today that it has increased its Series A financing with the addition of a $9.0 million expansion round. The lead investor, Lumira Capital, and one unnamed investor, were joined by VPI’s existing investors Intersouth Partners and MPM Capital. Beni Rovinski, PhD, Managing Director of Lumira Capital, will join VPI’s Board of Directors. Together with the $16 million raised previously, this expansion brings the Series A total to $25 million.
VPI plans to use the proceeds to fund the ongoing Phase 2 clinical trials of VPI-2690B for the treatment of diabetic nephropathy. VPI-2690B is a first in class monoclonal antibody that binds to a unique molecular target within the αVβ3 receptor. VPI-2690B was found to be safe and well tolerated in a Phase I combination single and multiple dose escalation study conducted in healthy volunteers. VPI has an agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen) which grants Janssen the exclusive right, at Janssen’s discretion, to acquire Vascular Pharma following the completion of a planned Phase 2 clinical study of VPI-2690B upon pre-negotiated terms and conditions set forth in the agreement.
Beni Rovinski said, “I am very impressed with VPI’s innovative technology which has the potential to have a significant impact on the treatment of diabetic nephropathy, a disease with limited treatment options. I am looking forward to working with the VPI team to advance the development of this important product.”
“We are delighted that a leading life sciences investor, with significant expertise in the renal area, shares the enthusiasm of our current investors and values the potential of VPI-2690B,” said Richard Shea, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vascular Pharmaceuticals. “Our Phase 2 program is currently enrolling at more than 40 US sites, and we feel Beni’s drug development and operational experience will prove invaluable as we continue to move VPI-2690B through clinical development.”
About Diabetic Nephropathy
Approximately 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes1. Diabetic nephropathy is a serious complication of diabetes and the leading cause of chronic kidney disease. In the United States, diabetic nephropathy accounts for approximately 40% of the new cases of end stage renal disease (ESRD)2. There is no cure for diabetic nephropathy. Currently approved treatment options include only antihypertensive drugs that affect the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and have the ability to delay, but not stop, the progression of the disease. Treatment options for patients with severely limited kidney function include dialysis or kidney transplantation.
About Vascular Pharmaceuticals
Vascular Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a privately held biopharmaceutical company developing VPI-2690B for complications of diabetes such as diabetic nephropathy. The company was formed based on research conducted at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and is the exclusive licensee of a set of patents providing comprehensive coverage of the VPI-2690B program. VPI-2690B targets the αVβ3 integrin receptor which is involved in aberrant cellular signaling that occurs in the presence of high glucose and leads to damage to several key cell types involved in maintaining kidney filtration. Vascular Pharmaceuticals is headquartered in Research Triangle Park, NC.
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