Pharma

After wrapping up Phase 2 trial for schizophrenia drug, Reviva snags $12 million

Brain damageFresh off completing enrollment in its Phase 2 clinical trial, a California drug startup developing therapies for central nervous system disorders has quietly raised $12 million.

Reviva Pharmaceuticals Inc. saw 82 investors pitch in to its latest round of funding through equity, debt and convertible notes, according to a SEC filing. Reviva’s website indicates that its investors are angel investors who are doctors and healthcare industry executives. The company last disclosed fundraising last year with a $7.6 million round.

Reviva’s lead candidate, RP5063, is a schizophrenia drug that’s just completed a global Phase 2 clinical trial in 234 patients. According to a January company statement, top-line data from that trial was expected to be released in February, but as far as I can tell it hasn’t yet been publicly released. A company executive did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

While approved antipsychotic drugs address the positive symptoms of schizophrenia, like hallucinations and disordered speech, Reviva notes that there are still unmet needs in addressing negative and cognitive symptoms. Some of the FDA-approved drugs also carry undesirable, dose-limiting side effects.

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While Big Pharma has scaled back its R&D efforts in CNS diseases, a number of smaller companies have emerged to fill that void. Alexza Pharmaceuticals, for example, got the FDA OK in December for its inhaled drug for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, which it says should launch in the third quarter of 2013. Takeda, Covidien and Shire all snatched up CNS-focused drugs from smaller companies last year.

San Jose-based Revivia also has preclinical candidates for treatment of obesity and depression.

[Mental illness photo from BigStock Photos]

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