Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) is the latest Big Pharma to join the list of Nimbus Therapeutic financiers in a B round funding. Nimbus’ drug design is based on computer-driven technology. The company netted $43 million in the latest round.
Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE)’s backing of Nimbus comes when the global drugmaker is trying to look for new blockbuster opportunities to keep its revenue growing. The company failed to tap Britain’s AstraZeneca plc (ADR) (NYSE:AZN) with nearly $117 billion buyout offer, but it has continued to put its money in potential growth areas.
Nimbus is developing a treatment for what is known as Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH). The condition affects millions of people around the world and analysts believe NASH is a potential goldmine for successful developers. Nimbus, which uses computer technology for its drug design, is transitioning to clinical-stage after spending years to craft its foundation in preclinical space.
The cash secured in the latest funding round is expected to fund Nimbus’ clinical research on NASH. Pushing the drug candidate to Phase 1 trial is expected to provide a clear look at the potential of the treatment. Nimbus has enough cash to take its NASH research to at least Phase 2b. If all goes well, the company could enter Phase 2a trial of its NASH candidate in early 2016.
Other backers and partners
Besides Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), the other new backer of Nimbus is Lightstone Ventures. The latest round also included a group of original financiers such as Lilly Ventures, GlaxoSmithKline plc (ADR) (NYSE:GSK)’s SR One, Atlas Venture and billionaire Bill Gates.
Nimbus also has undisclosed partnerships with Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) and Shire PLC (ADR) (NASDAQ:SHPG). However, the company expects to keep NASH out of partnerships because through it the company hopes to show investors that it has real value.
Nimbus is currently led by Don Nicholson as CEO. Nicholson spent 25 years working in the research and development arm of drugmaker Merck (MRK). His focus at Nimbus is growing the company’s pipeline assets and pushing them through to the market.
With enough financial resources and backing of influnecila names, Nimbus has both the energy and morale to push ahead on its own.