Aerpio Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a Cincinnati, OH-based biopharmaceutical company focused on advancing treatments for ocular diseases, completed its reverse merger transaction with Aerpio Therapeutics, Inc. and Aerpio Acquisition Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the company.
Following the reverse merger transaction, the company will continue the historical business of Aerpio.
The company also announced today the consummation of a private placement for gross proceeds of approximately $40.0m for the issuance of an estimated 8.0m shares of common stock at a purchase price of $5.00 per share.
Backers included current investors Novartis Venture Fund, OrbiMed, Satter Investment Management, Kearny Venture Partners, Venture Investors, LLC., and Triathlon Medical Ventures and new institutional investors Montrose Capital Partners and Ally-Bridge. Following the completion of the reverse merger transaction and subsequent financing, the company’s Board of Directors is comprised of eight members. Previous members Muneer Satter (Chairman), Joseph Gardner, Ph.D., Chau Khuong Ph.D., Anupam Dalal, M.D., and Paul Weiss, Ph.D., will remain on as directors.
In addition, Caley Castelein, M.D., Pravin Dugel, M.D., and Steven Prelack have joined the board.
The proceeds from the transaction will be used for clinical development activities, including advancement of Aerpio’s lead program, AKB-9778, for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy (DR).
Led by Joseph Gardner, President & CEO, Aerpio Pharmaceuticals is advancing a lead program, AKB‐9778, which is a small molecule activator of the Tie2 pathway and is in clinical development for diabetic retinopathy.
In the second quarter of 2017, the company plans to initiate a 150 patient, double-masked, placebo-controlled, Phase 2b trial of once- and twice-daily dosing of AKB-9778 for 12 months to evaluate its safety and efficacy in subjects with moderate to severe DR without diabetic macular edema.