Pharma, Startups

Samumed raises $438 million to fund regenerative medicine development

The company plans to use the funding to advance clinical candidates and expand its portfolio, which touches a wide range of diseases.

A San Diego-based life sciences company specializing in regenerative medicine has raised nearly half of $1 billion.

Samumed said Monday that it had raised $438 million in an A-6 Round of equity, bringing the total amount of money it has raised to $650 million and giving it a pre-money valuation of $12 billion. The round came particularly from private capital that includes family offices, high net worth individuals and sovereign funds, while existing investors provided about 15 to 20 percent of the funding, a company spokesperson said. Still, despite the emphasis on sovereign wealth funds and private investors, Singapore-based Vickers Venture Partners has also invested in the company, according to the venture capital firm’s website.

The company plans to use funding to advance lead candidate, SM04690, in knee osteoarthritis, while also advancing other drug candidates and expanding its portfolio, the spokesperson said. According to Samumed’s pipeline page, the small-molecule drug is in Phase II testing for osteoarthritis and Phase I testing for degenerative disc disease. Another drug candidate in Phase II development is SM04554, for androgenetic alopecia. Other drug candidates in development include SM04646, in Phase I testing for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; SM04755, in early clinical development for psoriasis and tendinopathy; and SM08502, for cancers. SM07883 is in preclinical development for Alzheimer’s disease.

Samumed’s focus is on developing drugs that primarily target the Wnt pathway, a signaling pathway involved in stem cell control, proliferation and self-renewal.

The global market for regenerative medicine is expected to grow significantly in the next several years. According to a report in June by Research and Markets, the size of the market – valued at $5.4 billion in 2016 – is expected to reach more than $39.3 billion by 2023, driven by advancements in tissue and organ regeneration, greater chronic disease prevalence and other trends. The report profiled companies like Stryker Corp., Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Medtronic, Athersys, U.S. Stem Cell and others, segmenting the market into cell therapies, gene therapies, tissue engineering as well as small molecules and biologics.

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