Celtaxsys Secures $45M in Capital to Fund Novel Anti-inflammatory Phase 2 Programs in Cystic Fibrosis and Acne

Print 08 June 2015

Atlanta, GA--(June 8, 2015) – Celtaxsys, a clinical stage drug development company focused on developing novel therapies for patients suffering from inflammatory diseases, today announced the successful completion of a $40M Series D financing led by Domain Partners VIII.  Additional investors in the financing include Lumira Capital, RMI Partners, Masters Capital Management and the Georgia Research Alliance Venture Fund.

The financing will be supplemented by a $5M grant from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics (“CFFT”), the non-profit drug discovery and development affiliate of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (“CFF”). The grant will help fund Celtaxsys’ Phase 2 trial assessing the safety and efficacy of the company’s lead candidate, CTX-4430, a once daily, oral anti-inflammatory medicine, in preserving lung function in CF patients.  CTX-4430 has been granted Orphan Drug Designation in both the US and the EU.  The Series D proceeds will also support the completion of an ongoing Phase 2 trial in patients with moderately severe acne vulgaris, with top line results expected by the end of Q1 2016.

“The proceeds from this financing, led by top-tier biotechnology investors, speaks to the investment community’s support for developing innovative anti-inflammatory medicines for patients diagnosed with orphan diseases.  We believe CTX-4430’s ability to reduce neutrophil elastase in the airways of CF patients has the potential to preserve lung function in CF patients, irrespective of patient-specific CF gene mutation,” said Greg Duncan, President and CEO of Celtaxsys. 

“Although new therapies have markedly improved the outlook for patients with CF over the past few decades, the effects of chronic inflammation in the lungs is still the primary cause of early death. An effective anti-inflammatory therapy for CF patients is sorely needed,” said Michael Konstan, MD, Vice Dean for Translational Research at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and Vice Chair for Clinical Research at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, Cleveland.   “Early results demonstrating that CTX-4430 can reduce elastase and sputum neutrophils are promising.  We look forward to seeing how CTX-4430, in combination with the other treatments patients with CF are taking, can reduce lung inflammation in the upcoming Phase 2 trial with the ultimate goal of improving the quality of life and survival of patients with CF”, added Konstan.

In conjunction with the financing, Nicole Vitullo, Partner at Domain Associates, Gerry Brunk, Managing Director at Lumira Capital and Maxim Gorbachev, Partner at RMI Partners will join the Celtaxsys’ board of directors at this important juncture for the Company. “We are delighted to be adding substantial life-sciences expertise to our board as we position ourselves to advance our lead candidate into Phase 2 and our broader Leukotriene A4 Hydrolase inhibition platform to treat patients with a variety of inflammatory diseases”, commented Daniel Perez, Chairman, Celtaxsys Board of Directors.

About Cystic Fibrosis: Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a chronic disease that affects the lung and digestive system and impacts 70,000 patients worldwide. CF is caused by genetic deficiencies leading to abnormal protein functioning, the result of which causes the body to produce excessive levels of unusually thick mucus in the lungs, pancreas, and GI tract. This excessive sticky mucous clogs the lungs, leading to life threatening infections and hospitalizations, as well as altering the ability to break down and absorb food. Respiratory distress in CF, defined as acute difficulty in breathing, infection and/or hospitalization, is most commonly related to lung infection and inflammation induced lung tissue damage attributable to an overwhelming and dysfunctional response by neutrophils.

About acne vulgaris: Acne vulgaris (AV), or simply acne, is an extremely common skin disease affecting an estimated 650 million worldwide. AV is characterized by the proliferation of inflammatory and non-inflammatory skin lesions, hyperactive sebaceous glands, and in some cases, permanent skin scarring.

About CTX-4430: CTX-4430 is a once-daily oral drug candidate currently undergoing clinical trials for inflammatory diseases. It is a novel small molecule inhibitor of Leukotriene A4 Hydrolase (LTAH4), the key enzyme in the production of the potent inflammatory mediator Leukotriene B4 (LTB4).  LTB4 can at times create an over activation of neutrophil immune response and has been strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of many diseases involving excessive inflammation, including Cystic Fibrosis, COPD, Multiple Sclerosis, Irritable Bowel Disorders and a variety of dermatologic diseases. 

About Celtaxsys: is a privately-held drug discovery and development company focused on advancing treatments for serious inflammatory diseases.  The company is building a sustainable pipeline of first-in-class immuno-modulators, the most advanced of which is CTX-4430.  For more information, visit www.celtaxsys.com .

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