WOBURN, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Neurogastrx, Inc., a privately held specialty pharmaceutical company developing transformative therapies for gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, announced today the successful completion of a $60 million Series B crossover round led by Vivo Capital. Other new investors participating in the Series B round include RTW Investments, Samsara BioCapital and Marshall Wace, joining 5AM Ventures, venBio and OrbiMed Advisors who also participated in the Series A financing.
Proceeds from the financing will be used to advance the company’s pipeline of GI therapies for serious conditions that impact millions of people yet are not effectively treated. This pipeline includes fexuprazan for the treatment of erosive esophagitis (EE) and NG101 for the treatment of gastroparesis. EE impacts 20 percent of the 65 million people in the U.S. who have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and gastroparesis impacts as many as 10 million Americans. The company intends to initiate Phase 3 clinical development for fexuprazan in the U.S. in 2022. NG101 is currently in Phase 2 clinical development in the U.S.
“The strong support Neurogastrx has received from our crossover investors will enable our next stage of evolution, as we build the resources to leverage the full potential of our pipeline,” said James O’Mara, President and Chief Executive Officer of Neurogastrx. “The substantial progress we’ve made over the last 12 months, including our recently announced partnership with Daewoong Pharmaceuticals for the development of fexuprazan in North America, has positioned the company to potentially deliver options for the millions of people seeking effective treatments for these difficult-to-treat GI disorders.”
In conjunction with the Series B crossover and in preparation for a pivotal growth phase for the company, Neurogastrx is expanding its management team with three new hires.
- Jim DeTore, Chief Financial Officer (CFO): Formerly, Jim was CFO of Bluebird Bio where he helped raise over $800M in capital. Prior to that, Jim served as Vice President of Finance at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, where he worked on its initial public offering and follow-on rounds of financing.
- Christophe Arbet-Engels, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer: Dr. Arbet-Engels has comprehensive experience in drug development from drug research and discovery to commercialization, gaining his experience at large pharma companies that include Biogen, Boehringer Ingelheim, Roche, Merck, Aventis (now Sanofi) and entrepreneurial biotechs Millendo Therapeutics, Poxel Pharmaceuticals, and Ligand Pharmaceuticals.
- Paul Rogers, Chief Commercial Officer: A seasoned pharmaceutical industry veteran, Paul formerly led U.S. clinical development and commercialization for NEXIUM® at Astra Zeneca and was Vice President, Global Marketing for LINZESS® at Ironwood Pharmaceuticals.
“We’re thrilled to have these accomplished individuals with broad corporate, clinical and commercial expertise join our team,” said O’Mara. “Jim DeTore’s experience in raising capital is highly relevant and timely for Neurogastrx as we continue to develop our pipeline. Christophe’s skill in shepherding clinical stage therapies through the development process is invaluable. Additionally, Paul’s track record of successfully bringing a major gastrointestinal therapeutic through late-stage development and launch is equally critical as we plan to initiate Phase 3 for fexuprazan in the U.S. early next year.”
Fexuprazan is an investigational novel potassium-competitive acid blocker (P-CAB) in late-stage development for the treatment EE, a chronic and progressive condition that impacts millions of patients in the U.S. It is designed to block proton pumps from secreting gastric acid in the stomach. P-CABs have been shown to act more rapidly and suppress the secretion of acid more effectively and more durably than proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which are the current standard of care for EE. It is estimated that 65 million people in the U.S. have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and that 20% of GERD sufferers have EE. Of those patients with EE who are currently on treatment (most commonly PPIs), as many as 10 million have persistent GERD and other acid-related GI disorders that are not adequately managed with existing treatments.
NG101 is a dopamine D2 receptor antagonist in late-stage development for the treatment of gastroparesis, a severe and debilitating GI disorder that affects the daily lives of as many as 10 million people in the U.S. Gastroparesis is a common complication of diabetes, but there is also a significant idiopathic population who suffer from the same constellation of symptoms. NG101 is being developed with the goal to provide a safe and effective first-line therapy for patients with gastroparesis.
About Neurogastrx, Inc.
Neurogastrx, Inc. is a privately held specialty pharmaceutical company developing transformative therapies to advance the treatment of GI disorders for which meaningful therapeutic innovation is required to satisfy unmet patient need and disease burden. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.neurogastrx.com.