Inspirna Raises $50 Million in Series D Financing
Funding to further support company in advancing its clinical stage oncology programs
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Inspirna, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing first-in-class small molecule therapeutics, announced that it has raised $50 million in a Series D financing round, co-led by new investors Sands Capital and Vivo Capital, with additional participation from new investor Dreavent 6. Existing investors also participated in the financing round including Novo Holdings A/S, Sofinnova Partners, Sixty Degree Capital Fund, New York City Investment Fund LLC, Lepu Holdings, and additional investors. In addition, Michael Ginder, of Sands Capital, and Jack Nielsen, of Vivo Capital, will join Inspirna’s Board of Directors.
Proceeds from the financing will support the clinical development of Inspirna’s lead drug candidate RGX-202-01 (“RGX-202”), a first-in-class oral small molecule inhibitor of SLC6a8 to treat RAS mutant advanced colorectal cancer (CRC), and RGX-104, an oral small molecule activator of LXR/APOE to treat lung cancer and endometrial cancer. The financing will provide the company with the funds necessary to further evaluate efficacy and safety for RGX-202 in second-line RAS mutant CRC in an ongoing Phase 1b clinical trial, for which the company recently disclosed interim data in a poster presentation at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.
“I would like to thank both our new and existing investors for the confidence they continue to demonstrate in the potential of our unique drug candidates to make a profound impact on patients in the clinic,” said Masoud Tavazoie, MD, PhD, and Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Inspirna. “We are currently evaluating RGX-202 and RGX-104 in clinical trials in high unmet medical need settings and, with renewed support from our investors, are now well-positioned to further build on the promising efficacy signals and safety profiles for these drug candidates.”
About Sands Capital
Sands Capital is an active, long-term investor in leading innovative businesses globally. Our approach combines analytical rigor and creative thinking to identify high-quality growth businesses that are creating the future. The firm maintains an integrated investment platform spanning venture capital, growth equity and public equity. Sands Capital is based in Arlington, Virginia.
About Vivo Capital
Founded in 1996, Vivo Capital is a leading global healthcare investment firm with a diverse, multi-fund investment platform in venture capital, growth equity, buyout, and public equities. The Firm has approximately $6.4 billion in assets under management and has invested in over 290 public and private companies worldwide. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, with additional offices in Asia, the Vivo team consists of more than 50 multi-disciplinary professionals. Vivo invests broadly in healthcare across all fund strategies, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and healthcare services, with a focus on the largest healthcare markets globally.
Inspirna, Inc., is a privately-held clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel cancer drugs that target key pathways in cancers of high unmet need. The company is pursuing several first-in-class drug candidates. Inspirna’s lead drug candidate, RGX-202-01, is an orally-administered small molecule that targets the CKB/SLC6A8 pathway. This pathway becomes activated in the tumors of select patients where it enables the generation of the energy molecule ATP in response to tumor hypoxia. RGX-202-01 is currently being tested in a Phase 1b clinical trial in combination with standard-of-care FOLFIRI and bevacizumab for the second line treatment of patients with advanced or metastatic CRC.
Inspirna’s drug candidate RGX-104 is an oral small molecule activator of LXR/APOE that inhibits angiogenesis and tumor myeloid derived suppressor cells to enhance the immune response against tumors. RGX-104 is currently being tested in a Phase 1b/2 clinical trial in APOE biomarker enriched patients with advanced or metastatic lung cancer or endometrial cancer.
Inspirna identifies novel cancer targets using its microRNA-based target discovery platform, RNA-DRIVEr™, which was originally developed by Inspirna’s scientific co-founders at The Rockefeller University and exclusively licensed to Inspirna. The Company brings together distinguished scientific founders, a seasoned board of directors, and a leadership team comprised of experienced drug developers. The Company is funded by leading biotechnology investors, including Novo Holdings A/S, Sofinnova Partners, Sands Capital, Vivo Capital, Lepu Holdings Limited, Sixty Degree Capital, K2 HealthVentures, Oceanpine Capital, WuXi PharmaTech Healthcare Fund I, LP, Alexandria Venture Investments, LLC, Dreavent 6, Exor Seeds, and the Partnership Fund for New York City. For more information, please visit www.inspirna.com.