Aristea Completes $63 Million Series B Financing to Accelerate Clinical Development of Novel Immunotherapy Drugs for the Treatment of Orphan Diseases
Aristea Therapeutics (Aristea), a clinical-stage immunology focused drug development company developing novel therapies to treat serious inflammatory orphan diseases, today announced the closing of a $63 million Series B financing. Led by Fidelity Management & Research Company, LLC., the financing included participation by existing investor Novo Holdings A/S and new investors Arena Pharmaceuticals and funds managed by Tekla Capital Management, LLC.
Aristea was a spin-out from AstraZeneca in 2018 with Novo Holdings A/S as the founding investor and it is committed to addressing significant unmet medical needs in orphan diseases for which there are currently no approved therapies. The company’s current lead product candidate, RIST4721, is an oral CXCR2 antagonist being developed for the treatment of palmoplantar pustulosis (PPP) with results reported from its Phase 2a clinical trial in 2020. PPP is a debilitating condition that is characterized by repeated flares of sterile neutrophil-filled pustules that lead to redness and thickening on the palms of the hands and/or the soles of the feet and associated pain, itching and burning sensations. CXCR2 plays important roles in neutrophil recruitment to inflammatory sites and represents a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of neutrophil-mediated inflammatory diseases. Aristea is initiating later this year a Phase 2b study and plans to expand the development of RIST4721 into two additional orphan indications, familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) and Behcet’s disease.
Separately, Aristea announced today a drug development collaboration and option to acquire agreement with Arena Pharmaceuticals to further advance the development of RIST4721. Aristea will use the proceeds of the financing to continue the build-out of its leadership team, the formation of new partnerships and the advancement of the development of its portfolio of immunology focused programs to address orphan diseases.
“The successful closing of the Series B will allow Aristea to advance its clinical-stage programs and to focus on bringing new innovative preclinical and clinical assets into the portfolio,” said James M. Mackay, Ph.D., President and CEO of Aristea. “By capitalizing and building upon prior clinical experience with RIST4721 and a strong patent portfolio, we have de-risked our target indications and leveraged the potential of this immunotherapy to target other serious inflammatory diseases. I am looking forward to continuing the advancement of our groundbreaking clinical programs to reach patients as quickly as possible.”
“We see immense value in Aristea’s pipeline in a market with enormous potential. In the past few years, Aristea’s team of recognized drug development leaders, with a unique understanding of inflammatory and dermatological diseases, has been working on advancing well tolerated and effective therapies for orphan diseases from the labs to the clinics,” said Tiba Aynechi, Ph.D., Senior Partner at Novo Venture (US) Inc. “We look forward to the expansion of Aristea’s pipeline as it evolves into approved therapies accessible by patients in need globally.”
In conjunction with the Series B financing, Loretta Tse, Ph.D., Vice President at Tekla Capital Management, LLC, will join Aristea’s Board of Directors, and Maurice Mezzino, Senior Vice President Corporate Development at Arena Pharmaceuticals, will join as a Board Observer. Both Dr. Tse’s and Mr. Mezzino’s expertise will lend critical guidance to Aristea.
Citigroup served as placement agent to Aristea Therapeutics in connection with Aristea’s Series B financing.