Aerpio Therapeutics, Inc., a Cincinnati, OH-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on advancing innovative therapies for vascular diseases, closed a $22m financing.
The round was led by new investor OrbiMed, with participation from existing investors Novartis Venture Funds, Satter Investment Management, Kearny Venture Partners, Venture Investors, Triathlon Medical Ventures and Athenian Venture Partners. In conjunction with the funding, Chau Q. Khuong, Private Equity Partner at OrbiMed, will join Aerpio’s Board of Directors.
The company intends to use the funds to expand the development of AKB-9778, a small molecule activator of Tie2, currently in a Phase 2 trial for the treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME), and the advancement of AKB-4924, a small-molecule HIF1 activator, into clinical development for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Led by Joseph Gardner, PhD, President and CEO, Aerpio develops small molecule drugs based on Tie2 activation and the stabilization of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF‐1α). It recently initiated a randomized, double-masked, double dummy, Phase 2 study designed to assess the safety and efficacy of AKB-9778 administered over three months as monotherapy and as an adjunct with ranibizumab in subjects with DME.
The company is also prioritizing further therapeutic opportunities for AKB-9778 and expects to initiate development in a second target indication before year end, and will progress a second pipeline candidate, AKB-4924, and activator of HIF1, into clinical development.