Biotech player Heart Metabolics raises US$20m in Series A financing

17 Apr 2014

Dublin biotech firm Heart Metabolics has just raised US$20m in Series A financing from several venture-capital companies, including venBio, Seroba Kernel Life Sciences, and Brandon Capital Partners on behalf of Ash Hill and Australian Super.

The company is focused on the development of drugs for cardio-metabolic diseases.

The funding round has enabled Heart Metabolics Limited to acquire a Phase 3-ready drug candidate and related pre-clinical drug candidates from a UK company, HMBL Limited, and will support the company moving these drug candidates forward.

“We are excited to raise the funds necessary from high-calibre investors to accelerate the development of perhexiline in a pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial,” said Peter Milner, CEO of Heart Metabolics, who is also a cardiovascular clinician, serial entrepreneur and co-founder of CV Therapeutics.

“Based on previous clinical data, we believe this drug will be an effective therapy for the rare but deadly heart disease, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.”

Tackling hereditary heart disease

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is one of the most common of all hereditary heart diseases.

Heart Metabolics is developing perhexiline as a new therapy for congestive heart failure symptoms in HCM.

The current treatment options for severe HCM are limited, with no drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for these patients.

On the heels of positive Phase 2 clinical results for perhexiline in HCM in the UK, and a strong intellectual property position, the company is focusing its efforts on obtaining a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) from the FDA in 2014 for its Phase 3 clinical trial that will begin in early 2015.

The drug has orphan drug designation in the US from the FDA and the company is seeking orphan drug designation in the EU.

In addition, the company has a second drug candidate in pre-clinical development for an undisclosed indication of high unmet medical need.

Human heart image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years