US biopharma Aerpio Therapeutics clinches $27m Series A


Clinical‐stage biopharmaceutical company Aerpio Therapeutics has closed a $27m Series A financing led by life sciences investor Novartis BioVentures and joined by Venture Investors, Triathlon Medical Ventures, Kearny Venture Partners, Athenian Venture Partners and AgeChem Venture Fund.

Aerpio was created in a spin‐out transaction from biopharma group Akebia Therapeutics in December 2011.

Dr Joseph Garner, President and CEO of Aerpio, said, “The $27m financing will provide sufficient funding to complete a Phase 1b/2a study, which will begin shortly, as well as a large, definitive Phase 2 study in DME patients.”

“Aerpio is already making significant progress in its lead programme, AKB-9778, so we’re very pleased to be supporting further clinical development of this promising compound,” said Campbell Murray, managing director at Novartis BioVentures.

“The Tie2 pathway is emerging as a prime target for stabilising retinal blood vessels against excessive vascular leak and pathologic vascular growth, two major drivers of vision loss in diabetics. Although VEGF inhibitors have shown application in DME, significant unmet needs remain for these patients. We believe that AKB-9778 could prove to be more effective in DME than currently available therapies, while offering a safety and tolerability profile that is potentially more favorable.”

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