Spinifex Pharmaceuticals, a Melbourne, Australia- and Stamford, Connecticut-based biotechnology company developing new drug candidates for the treatment and management of pain, raised $45m in Series C funding.
The round was led by Novo with participation from new investor Canaan Partners and existing investors GBS Venture Partners, Brandon Capital Partners, Uniseed and UniQuest. Heath Lukatch and Steve Collins representing Novo A/S and Brent Ahrens of Canaan Partners will join the Spinifex board.
The company intends to use the funds to advance development of its lead candidate, EMA401, a novel angiotensin II type 2 (AT2) receptor antagonist being developed as an oral treatment for chronic pain without CNS side effects. It had positive results of Phase 2 clinical trial of EMA401 in postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), a painful condition that develops in some patients following herpes zoster (shingles) and where existing therapy does not relieve pain in all individuals.
Established in 2005 and led by CEO Tom McCarthy, Spinifex is also preparing to conduct a further, dose-ranging, Phase 2 trial of EMA401 in PHN patients, specifically studying the candidate’s efficacy over a 12-week time frame as would be required by the FDA during the eventual Phase 3 program. It also intends to establish clinical proof-of-concept for EMA401 in neuropathic and inflammatory pain conditions such as osteoarthritis, chemotherapy induced neuropathy and peripheral diabetic neuropathy.