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Biopharma Secures $38.5 Million in Series D Funds

Currency dice (MD4 Group/Flickr)Chiasma Inc., a biopharmaceutical company in Jerusalem, Israel, has closed its $38.5 million series D funding round, the fourth cycle of financing after initial start-up. The round was led by by new investor Abingworth and current investor MPM Capital, with participation from current share holders 7 Med Health Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, F3 Ventures, and Fredric Price, Chiasma’s chairman.

Chiasma develops oral-administered drugs to replace drugs that once required injections. The company’s platform technology, Transient Permeability Enhancer (TPE), makes possible intestinal absorbance of drug molecules, which normally are not easily delivered through the intestine. The company says TPE is compatible with peptides, small proteins, saccharides, and small molecules that are usually poorly absorbed. TPE protects the drug molecule from inactivation by the hostile gastrointestinal environment and at the same time acts on the intestinal wall to induce permeation of the drug molecules being delivered.

The company’s lead product is Octreolin, a drug candidate to treat acromegaly, a hormonal disorder that results from an excess of growth hormone, and occurs in about six of every 100,000 adults. Octreolin has completed phase 1 clinical trials on healthy volunteers in the U.S. and Israel that show Octreolin in capsule form has a phrarmacokinetic profile similar to commercially available injected octreotide acetate and an ability to reduce growth hormone.

Chiasma plans to use the proceeds of the round to complete its phase 3 trials in acromegaly patients for Octreolin, scheduled for the second quarter of 2013. The funding is also intended to finance a clinical study for the company’s second product, a small molecule drug candidate to treat a complication of chronic kidney disease.

Octreolin has been granted an orphan drug designation by the Food and Drug Administration. Chiasma says if its New Drug Application to the FDA is approved, Octreolin would qualify as an orphan drug and be eligible for seven years of market exclusivity, potential tax credits, and a waiver of the prescription drug user fee for the marketing application. The company expects to make a similar application to the European Medicines Agency in 2013.

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Hat tip: Fortune/Term Sheet

Image: MD4 Group/Flickr

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