AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) Backs PhaseBio In A $40 Million Round

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AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) is certainly hungry for more opportunities in diabetes and cardio treatments, and the company is not hiding its intent. The British-based drug maker recently joined other backers in a funding round for PhaseBio, which has some promising diabetes and cardio drug candidates in its pipeline. There are awesome opportunities in heart and diabetes treatment, but bringing a drug to this market is always a great challenge.

PhaseBio financiers

AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) joined other financiers such as Johnson & Johnson Innovation (JJDC), New Enterprise Associates, Fletcher Spaght Ventures and Hatteras Venture Partners to back PhaseBio. The $40 million raised in the latest round of funding is expected to support PhaseBio’s various research and development projects.

PhaseBio, a Malvern, PA-based Company, has two Phase 2a drug candidates whereby one is designed to treat diabetes and the other is aimed at heart failure. The latest backing is expected to fuel the two studies and hopefully push them to commercialization. PhaseBio’s candidate known as PE0139 is a once-weekly drug designed for diabetes treatment. The other name in Phase 2a trial is PB1046, which is also a once-weekly treatment for heart conditions.

Competition

Diabetes and heart treatments are lucrative areas, but besides the high regulatory bar, there is also competition. A number of big names in the pharmaceutical world are racing to create more effective diabetes and cardio treatments, which requires PhaseBio to be more versatile it its drug projects.

One drugmaker that has been cited as a challenge to PhaseBio is Novo Nordisk A/S (ADR) (NYSE:NVO), which also has a once-weekly basal insulin candidate in its pipeline. However, AstraZeneca and other backers of PhaseBio are hopeful given that PhaseBio has a nice track record in developing best-in-class treatments, especially in the once-weekly category.

Need for more funding

Although PhaseBio now has adequate cash to support its Phase 2 trials, CEO, Jonathan Mow, cited that there may be a needing for more funding to take their projects to late-stage programs.

AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) is among the Big Pharma facing expiration of billion-dollar blockbusters thus the need for new opportunities.

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