Elcelyx Therapeutics, a San Diego, CA-based developer of pharmaceutical products for diabetes, raised $40m in Series E financing.
The round was led by Sailing Capital, with participation from Clough Capital Partners, L.P., and existing investors Morgenthaler Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Technology Partners, and GSM Fund. In conjunction with the funding, Liang Tsui, managing director and partner of Sailing Capital, joined Elcelyx’ board.
The company intends to use the funds to start a large Phase 2b, dose-ranging clinical trial to evaluate Metformin DR, an oral agent under development to fill the needs of type 2 diabetes patients who cannot currently use metformin due to contraindications or poor tolerability.
Led by Alain Baron, M.D., president and chief executive officer, Elcelyx Therapeutics develops therapeutic agents based on the finding that modulation of the neuro-enteroendocrine system of the gut, including L-cells, amplifies the release of hormones such as those that play an important role in glucose regulation. This discovery affords a potentially safety advantaged platform to develop novel therapies as well as re-position existing therapies. The company’s Metformin Delayed Release (Metformin DR) releases metformin in the gut instead of systemically, reducing bioavailability while still achieving efficacy. In two previous Phase 2 studies, the candidate lowered glucose and was well tolerated in patients with type 2 diabetes.
The company received guidance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regarding the late-stage development of product candidate Metformin Delayed Release (Metformin DR). Elcelyx plans to enroll approximately 550 patients in the Phase 2b dose-ranging study. This trial is expected to be followed by two pivotal Phase 3 studies, one of which will include type 2 diabetes patients with moderate renal impairment.