Print 24 July 2012
AUCKLAND – July 24, 2012 – CoDa Therapeutics, Inc. announced today that it raised an additional NZ$24.5M from Russian investment firm RusnanoMedInvest (“RMI”). This brings the company’s total Series B Round to nearly NZ$49 million following a first close late last year.
All current investors, including Auckland-based BioPacificVentures, participated in the round. RMI is a Russian government company which invests in medicine and pharmaceuticals.
The RMI investment is accompanied by a licensing of CoDa intellectual property rights in Russia, potentially accelerating the availability its drug Nexagon® on the Russian market. CoDa will receive an upfront license fee and royalties based on sales.
The financing will be partly used to expand late stage clinical trials of Nexagon® as a treatment for diabetic foot ulcers. CoDa recently initiated a 160 patient Phase 2 diabetic foot ulcer trial in the United States and will include additional clinical sites in Russia over coming months.
CoDa is also currently conducting a 300 patient Phase 2b trial of Nexagon® for the treatment of people with venous leg ulcers in New Zealand, the United States and South Africa.
Results from an earlier trial showed Nexagon® to be highly effective as a novel wound therapy for venous leg ulcers. In that trial, nearly one third of patients’ wounds were completely healed after just four weeks following only three applications of Nexagon® (compared to only 6% healing in a control group).
Bradford J. Duft, co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of CoDa Therapeutics said, “This investment by RMI – which brings the total funds raised by CoDa to over $90 million – is a significant validation of the New Zealand originated science co-invented by Professor Colin Green at the University of Auckland. CoDa is privileged to have a strong clinical and research team based in our Auckland office, led by Chief Operating Officer Tracey Sunderland, along with the support of local investor BioPacificVentures and, importantly during our continuing growth, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).”
CoDa has 70% of its staff in New Zealand including five scientists based at the University of Auckland, where Professor Green and his team are also based.
"This round of financing will allow CoDa to continue its global growth plans from New Zealand,” explained Andrew Kelly, Executive Director of BioPacificVentures, a leading life science company investor in New Zealand. “BPV is delighted to be able to help fund this.”
Murray Bain, Acting Deputy Chief Executive, Science & Innovation at MBIE commented, “We are excited to see one of our portfolio companies achieve significant commercial milestones like this. The additional funding will further assist in the development the next generation of wound healing drugs, in conjunction with funding that has been provided by MBIE through the TBG program.”
“I am really excited to see the potential of the Nexagon® platform being developed,” said CoDa co-founder Professor Colin Green. “Nothing is more thrilling than seeing your discovery make major steps towards commercialization and the treatment of patients in need. Misregulated cellular gap junction communication is increasingly recognized as a key factor in a number of disease conditions and CoDa is at the leading edge of utilizing gap junction modulation technologies to target these conditions.”
About CoDa Therapeutics, Inc. – CoDa Therapeutics is a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on developing novel targeted therapies that address major unmet medical needs in inflammation, wound-healing and tissue repair. The company is pioneering a new field of science known as gap junction modulation, using a new class of therapeutics that can modulate wound responses and reduce inflammation. CoDa has two open INDs and has completed multiple Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials in both skin and eye, where Nexagon® was shown to be safe and tolerable following administration to over 380 wounds on more than 180 subjects. CoDa’s technology, which can be applied topically, has been shown to work in preclinical studies across a wide variety of wounds and inflammatory settings and conditions. CoDa presently has issued patents in the US, Europe and elsewhere, and pending applications in more than a eighteen patent families directed to methods and compositions for the treatment of acute wounds, chronic wounds, scarring, abnormal scarring, inflammation and pain, fibrosis, surgical adhesions, and orthopedic procedures, as well as combination therapies and improved medical devices.
About Nexagon® – The active ingredient in Nexagon® is CODA001, a natural, unmodified antisense oligonucleotide that down-regulates the key gap junction protein connexin43 to dampen inflammatory responses and enhance healing. Data show that for optimal healing connexin43 is normally dialed-down at the edges of acute wounds (i.e., wounds that will heal normally). CoDa has demonstrated in the clinic, however, that connexin43 is wrongly up- regulated at the edge of human chronic wounds (i.e., wounds that are difficult to heal such as venous and diabetic ulcers). CoDa believes that one can better target available medical options and design more effective wound-healing alternatives by devising a therapeutic approach based on biological mechanisms naturally at work or conversely, at fault, in a given situation. The answer is thought to lie in connexin43, which may be seen as a “master switch” in wound healing that is temporarily turned “off” for superior healing of acute wounds, and when left “on” can lead to the unwanted inflammation and/or stalled healing characteristic of chronic and other difficult or slow-to-heal wounds.
Russian pharmaceutical company NovaMedica, a portfolio company of RUSNANO, announces the start of construction of a plant for the production of sterile injectable drugs as part of its long-term strategy to localize innovative medicines and technologies of their development and production in Russia. The plant will be built in the industrial park “Vorsino” in the Kaluga region.
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