Ra Pharmaceuticals, a Cambridge, MA-based developer of peptide chemistry platform to deliver drugs with specificity of antibodies coupled with the pharmacological properties of small molecules, completed a $58.5m Series B financing.
The round was co-led by RA Capital Management, Novo Ventures, and Lightstone Ventures, with participation from new investors Rock Springs Capital and Limulus Venture Partners and existing investors New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Novartis Venture Fund, Morgenthaler Ventures, and Amgen Ventures.
The company intends to use the funds to generate human proof of concept data for its lead molecule, RA101495, in multiple indications, and to advance multiple product candidates derived from its proprietary Extreme Diversity™ platform, including the development of a broader pipeline of products targeting additional diseases of the complement system.
RA101495 is a complement C5 inhibitor and is expected to enter Phase 1 clinical studies for the treatment of paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) in late 2015.
Led by Doug Treco, PhD, Founder and CEO, Ra Pharma develops a proprietary platform that combines in vitro display technology, a defined translation system and a variety of non-natural amino acids to produce novel drug-like peptides. Its proprietary peptide chemistry platform delivers drugs with the diversity and specificity of antibodies, coupled with the pharmacological properties of small molecules. The company’s primary clinical focus is on diseases of complement dysregulation and orphan indications defined by validated biomarkers.
The company also announced today that its multi-target collaboration that was established in April 2013 with a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc., known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, has been extended.