CHAPEL HILL, NC, September 12, 2012, Vascular Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Vascular Pharma), a drug discovery company developing an innovative product to treat patients with complications arising from diabetes, announced today that it has successfully completed a $16 million Series A equity financing.
The Series A financing was co-led by Intersouth Partners and MPM Capital and is the company’s first institutional round of funding. Vascular Pharma will use the $16 million to continue development of VPI-2690B, a pre-clinical candidate for the treatment of diabetic nephropathy.
In addition to the Series A financing, Vascular Pharma announced that it has entered into an agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc. (Janssen) which grants Janssen the exclusive right, at Janssen’s discretion, to acquire Vascular Pharma following the completion of a planned Phase 2 clinical study of VPI-2690B upon pre-negotiated terms and conditions set forth in the agreement. Janssen will provide Vascular Pharma with an initial upfront payment and certain contingent milestone payments in return for its rights under the agreement.
Vascular Pharma’s development efforts are focused on its preclinical candidate, VPI-2690B, which targets a pathway that is stimulated by hyperglycemia. In multiple animal studies, VPI-2690B has been shown to slow the development of diabetic complications including nephropathy, accelerated atherosclerosis and retinopathy.
Richard Kent, M.D., Partner at Intersouth Partners and Vaughn Kailian, Managing Director of MPM Capital, will join Vascular Pharma’s Board of Directors.
“Diabetic nephropathy is the leading cause of chronic kidney disease in the United States, with almost 50,000 patients per year progressing to dialysis as a result,” said Richard Shea, CEO of Vascular Pharma. “We are excited that Intersouth and MPM have partnered with us to support our further development efforts, and are pleased to enter into this relationship with Janssen.”
“The negative health outcomes and high cost of treating diabetic nephropathy place an enormous burden on diabetic patients and healthcare spending,” said Dr. Richard Kent of Intersouth Partners. “Vascular Pharma’s drug shows real promise in addressing this critical patient need, and we are excited to partner with the company at this critical point in its growth.”
VPI-2690B is a monoclonal antibody that has been shown in animal models to reverse the development of proteinuria and to prevent histological changes in the kidneys of diabetic animals. Significant preclinical development has been conducted by inventors Drs. David Clemmons and Laura Maile of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine.
About Vascular Pharmaceuticals
Vascular Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is a privately held drug development company developing VPI-2690B for complications of diabetes such as diabetic nephropathy. The company is headquartered in Chapel Hill, NC.
About MPM Capital
MPM Capital is a dedicated life sciences venture capital investor that has raised five healthcare venture funds over the past 15 years with committed capital in excess of $2.5 billion. Since 1997 and through December 31, 2011, these five venture funds have invested over $2.2 billion in 121 companies, ranging from early stage start-ups to late stage commercial companies.
About Intersouth Partners
Intersouth Partners is one of the most active and experienced venture capital firms in the Southeast, having invested in more than 110 private companies. Founded in 1985, Intersouth manages $780 million in seven venture capital limited partnerships, making it the largest venture capital fund in North Carolina and one of the largest in the Southeast.