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Biopharm Raises $80 Million in Series C Venture Funds

Loose bills of multiple denominations (borman818)Relypsa Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company in Santa Clara, California raised $80 million in series C venture funds, the third round of financing after initial start-up. New investor Sibling Capital LLC joins current backers OrbiMed Advisors, 5AM Ventures, New Leaf Venture Partners, Sprout Group, Delphi Ventures, and Mediphase Venture Partners in this funding round.

Relypsa is a developer of non-absorbed polymeric drugs to treat cardiovascular and renal diseases. Its lead candidate is patiromer or RLY5016 is an oral potassium binder being developed for the treatment of hyperkalemia in patients with diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and heart failure. A phase 2 clinical trial of patiromer is currently under way.

Hyperkalemia is a condition resulting from excessive potassium in the blood stream. The condition is diagnosed in some 8 percent of hospitalized patients in the U.S., usually in a mild form. Severe hyperkalemia, marked by extremely high levels of potassium in the blood, can lead to cardiac arrest and death. When not recognized and treated properly, severe hyperkalemia has a mortality rate of about 67 percent.

Proceeds from the new financing are expected to fund late-stage clinical trials and further development of patiromer, submission of a new drug application, and commercial planning for the drug. The current phase 2 trial has completed enrollment of 306 subjects at some 50 sites. The trial will test patiromer’s efficacy in an eight-week treatment period, followed by the long-term evaluation of safety and tolerability in a subsequent 44-week extended treatment period.

Relypsa had earlier raised raised $43 million in in Series A round and $70 million in Series B financing. The company was founded in 2007 as a spin-off from Ilypsa Inc., which was acquired by Amgen in 2007.

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Hat-tip: Fortune/Term Sheet

Photo: borman818/Flickr

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