Biotech startup Promediorhas raised $3 million from new strategic investor, Shire, in a move that will help it add myelofibrosisas an indication for its lead therapeutic in addition to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, according to a company statement.
The investment in the Malvern, Pennsylvania biotech by Shire’s venture arm marked the second closing of Promedior’s Series D financing round. The biotechnology firmhas raised $24.6 million to advance its treatment for the rare fibrotic diseases.
Its lead therapeutic for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis completed a Phase 1bstudy earlier this year. The therapeutic PRM-151is a protein that regulates the cells that control the fibroticprocess.In the first half of 2013 it expects to initiate a human clinical study of the treatment in myelofibrosispatients, according to the statement. Myelofibrosis isa rare bone marrow disorder in which the marrow is replaced by fibrous scar tissue.
The company is also accelerating the development of its drug candidate for fibrovascular retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration — a diseases that leads to blindness. It currently affects an estimated 1.75 million people in the US with numbers projected to grow to 3 million by 2020 because of the rapidly aging population. Other fibrovascularretinal diseases the company plans to develop treatments for include diabetic retinopathy and proliferative vitreoretinopathy, a complication of retinal detachment surgery.Currently the only treatment for proliferative vitreoretinopathy is surgery and the outcomes tend to be poor.
Earlier this year Promedior’s lead drug received orphan drug designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration — a status is reserved for treatments for rare diseases that affect under 200,000 people. There is currently no treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a disease that leads to the development of scar tissue in the lungs.
Orphan drug status can open up cost-saving options for the clinical trial process such as tax breaks and reduced research and development expenses. It also gives companies market exclusivity for their drug for seven years.
Reserve your seat now for MedCity CONVERGE, to be held July 9-10 in Philadelphia. Discover strategies, solutions and startups in healthcare innovation. Be a part of this gathering where the entire healthcare ecosystem converges.