Oxthera: Funds for orphan drug
18.04.2014 - Oxthera AB, a Swedish biopharma company with a focus on rare diseases, has gained a SEK70m cash injection to continue its clinical programme for primary hyperoxaluria.
Stockholm-based Oxthera announced that they have received the financing from a syndicate of current shareholders and new investors, led by French Kurma Partners, including Idinvest Partners and Mayo Clinic. Oxthera is currently conducting a phase II clinical study to demonstrate the clinical efficacy of their product Oxabact in primary hyperoxaluria, which is a rare autosomal recessive disorder. The disease leads to markedly elevated levels of endogenous oxalate in plasma and urine, which in turn can cause kidney damage, including calcification of the kidney. If left untreated, the disease can cause kidney failure and premature death.
Since primary hyperoxaluria affects only about 3,000 patients in the Western world, Oxabact has received orphan drug designation in the EU and the US for this indication. Clinical trials with Oxabact in patients with the disorder were initiated in 2013 at seven clinical sites in three countries. Results are expected during autumn of this year. The oral product is composed of highly concentrated freeze-dried live bacteria (Oxalobacter formigenes). With Oxazyme, Oxathera also has another drug in the pipeline: The oxalate decarboxylase is used for the treatment of oxalate malabsorption and kidney failure in enteric hyperoxaluria.
After the financing round, Oxthera’s board of directors will be joined by Khalid Islam, previously Chairman a CEO of Gentium S.p.A., and Rémi Droller, Managing Partner of Kurma Partners. “I am pleased to join the Board and look forward to assisting the management in their efforts to provide a much needed therapy for patients with this devastating disease, a high unmet medical need given that currently there are no approved therapies”, Islam commented.