Seroba Kernel and venBio co-lead $20m Investment in Heart Metabolics
Company Established in Ireland as Part of the Financing.
DUBLIN – April 17, 2014 – Heart Metabolics Limited, a new Irish biotechnology company focused on the development of drugs for cardio-metabolic diseases, has announced the completion of a $20 million Series A financing co-led by venBio (USA), and Seroba Kernel Life Sciences (Ireland), with additional funding from Brandon Capital Partners (on behalf of AustralianSuper) (Australia) and AshHill (USA).
The proceeds from this financing have supported Heart Metabolics Limited in acquiring a Phase III-ready drug candidate and related preclinical drug candidates from a U.K. company, HMBL Limited (formerly known as Heart Metabolics Limited), and the funding will support the company moving these drug candidates forward. The Irish operation will initially focus on supporting the clinical and regulatory activities within the company.
“We are excited to raise the funds necessary from high calibre investors to accelerate the development of perhexiline in a pivotal Phase III clinical trial,” said Peter Milner, M.D., CEO of Heart Metabolics Limited, cardiovascular clinician and serial entrepreneur (including co-founder of CV Therapeutics). “Based on previous clinical data, we believe this drug will be an effective therapy for the rare but deadly heart disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.”
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (“HCM”) is one of the most common of all hereditary heart diseases. Heart Metabolics is developing perhexiline as a new therapy for congestive heart failure symptoms in HCM. The current treatment options for severe HCM are limited, with no FDA approved drugs for these patients. On the heels of positive Phase II clinical results for perhexiline in HCM in the U.K., and a strong intellectual property position, the company is focusing its efforts on obtaining a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) from the FDA in 2014 for its pivotal Phase III clinical trial that will commence in early 2015. The drug has orphan drug designation in the United States from the FDA and the company is seeking orphan drug designation in the EU. In addition, the company has a second drug candidate in preclinical development for an undisclosed indication of high unmet medical need.
Dr Alan O’Connell, a partner in Seroba Kernel Life Sciences, is joining the board of Heart Metabolics. Dr O’Connell said “Seroba Kernel is very pleased to co-lead this investment which will support the establishment of Heart Metabolics in Ireland. We are delighted that the company will now develop this potentially important new treatment for this serious life threatening disease from its Irish base.”
Corey Goodman, Ph.D., managing partner of venBio added, “We look forward to working with a terrific management team, clinical experts and group of investors to move this promising drug forward into a Phase III clinical trial for patients suffering from this serious orphan disease.”
Joining Drs O’Connell, Goodman and Milner on the board of directors are Robert Adelman, M.D., managing partner of venBio and Stephen Thompson, Ph.D., managing director of Brandon Capital Partners.
For further information, please contact:
Vicky La Touche-Price
Seroba Kernel Life Sciences
15 Molesworth Street
Ph: + 353 1 6334028