France-based biotech company Biophytis completed its $12 million dollar raise it needs to begin mid-stage trials of two drugs for age-related diseases through a private placement. The company is headquartered in Paris and gained €10.4 million (nearly $12 million) from the private placement involving U.S, and European investors, and reported it will now move forward with its trial plans for sarcopenic obesity candidate Sarconeos (BIO101) and Macuneos (BIO201) for dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Biophytis is one of the biotech companies to list on the Parisan stock exchange back in 2015, and has said the time it was preparing to begin phase 2b trials of its two lead candidates. In the meantime, it has raised other funds through a number of private placements and began the process of recruiting patients and choosing clinical centers that can conduct the studies.
The new placement now allows the company to move ahead with a 26-week trial of Mas receptor nonpeptide agonist BIO101 also known as SARA-INT that will entail 334 sarcopenic patients. It follows a six-month observational study (SARA-OBS) in three centers in the U.S. and eight in Europe at selecting patients for the interventional trial, which will be spearheaded by noted sarcopenia researcher Prof. Roger Fielding of Tufts University.
Sarcopenic obesity is a condition characterized by a combination of excess weight and low muscle mass that is currently managed using exercise. Biophytis is planning that BIO101 could become a new treatment option if as experimental work indicates it can increase muscle formation and cut protein breakdown. It filed an investigational new drug (IND) application with FDA in September, after adjusting the protocol to take into account feedback from the EMA that stated gait speed in a 400-meter walk test should be the primary result measure.
The new funding will also be directed towards MACA-PK, an international clinical trial of BIO201, a PPAR alpha-targeting drug that it believes can trim oxidative stress and retinal cell death in patients with dry intermediate AMD—a condition that as of right now has no approved therapies.
The biotech’s CEO Stanislas Veillet stated that the raise will “enable us to significantly strengthen our shareholder structure, notably thanks to the support of leading American and European investors, who have shown their confidence in the potential of our therapeutic approach.”